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Copywriter Career Guide

How to Become a Copywriter

Do you enjoy persuading people with your words and ideas? Are you good at understanding the needs or wants of others? If so, then a career as a copywriter might be for you.

Crafting content that effectively tells the story of a business or organization while also influencing an audience in a specific way is the essence of copywriting. Copywriters are responsible for the words (known as “copy”) used in advertising or marketing to persuade customers to purchase a good or service. These writers have a keen understanding of human psychology and are motivated to influence decision-making with their writing. Businesses of all sizes and all industries depend on the knowledge and skills of copywriters to effectively reach their target audience and optimize their growth. 

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What Is a Copywriter?

A copywriter is a marketing professional who provides copy for websites, blog posts, emails, posters, ads, articles, etc. Their goal in writing is to inform, engage, and persuade audiences. Copywriters can specialize in a specific area of copywriting, such as print marketing, digital marketing, social media marketing, email marketing, and more, but the foundation of any copywriting is understanding a customer’s problem or need. Then, a copywriter develops writing to engage, build trust, and provide a solution for the customer.

Generally, there are three types of copywriters: an agency copywriter, who writes for a variety of large brands through an agency’s business-to-business (B2B) model; a corporate copywriter, who writes a variety of copy for a single company; and a freelance copywriter, who writes on a project-by-project basis for a variety of mediums and organizations. The need for dynamic copywriting persists no matter the size or type of business, since a fundamental aspect of business growth is to communicate and persuade a target audience.

What Does a Copywriter Do?

Copywriters do more than just write. Depending on the size of the business or organization, their daily responsibilities can vary. In general, most copywriters spend their time:

  • Asking good questions to obtain key information: Copywriters need to be excellent information seekers, capable of sifting through many sources to arrive at key information. For example, when given the task of writing an interview article, a copywriter might read through numerous articles on the interviewee and follow up with their own questions in order to determine which information provides the best support for their assignment.
  • Researching competitors: Many copywriters are tasked with writing competitive copy, often determined by search engine optimization (SEO). It’s important to be able to research competitors and understand their areas of success and growth to develop the best copy for a particular market. 
  • Choosing the appropriate copywriting framework: Copywriting frameworks (also known as formulas) are methods for creating copy quickly and efficiently. For instance, one well-known copywriting framework is AIDA, which stands for attention, interest, desire, and action. Using this model helps a copywriter develop copy that is not only compelling but mindful of the marketing sales funnel
  • Planning out each section of copy: Great ideas mean nothing without strong organization and planning. A copywriter must consider the best organization, from titles to sections to bulleted lists, for their copy to be easily read and understood by consumers. 
  • Writing clear, compelling copy for various mediums (e.g., ads, blog posts, newsletters): It’s imperative that a copywriter has a strong writing foundation and understanding of grammar, editing, and revision. In addition, copywriters need to be able to write short- and long-form copy and transition between both with ease. 
  • Receiving feedback from stakeholders: Since copywriters are communicating with a company’s customer base, it’s important to receive feedback from executives and stakeholders. For example, a stakeholder might provide feedback that a particular product isn’t communicating with their target audience as they hoped, and copywriters need to be able to adapt their writing strategies to improve and correct this challenge. 
  • Collaborating with editors to refine their copy: Writing is often a collaborative creative process, and copywriters need to be able to consider and incorporate the feedback or changes given by editors. Refining your writing through editing is an important part of ensuring that the copy remains focused and clear. 

How Do I Become a Copywriter?

The first step in becoming a copywriter is to earn a bachelor’s degree in English, communications, or marketing. Within these programs of study, you’ll learn and develop skills in research, writing, editing, and audience awareness, all of which are essential for success as a copywriter. Gaining writing experience as an intern for a local business or small publication while earning your bachelor’s degree will help you begin to develop your portfolio (examples of your best writing). Once you earn your degree, you’ll want to apply for entry-level copywriting roles where you can continue to earn relevant writing experience and enhance your portfolio. Additionally, earning an MBA or master’s degree in marketing will allow you to move into leadership roles and increase your earning potential.

Best Degrees for a Copywriter

Marketing – B.S. Business Administration

For those who want to lead brands and steer consumer markets:...

For those who want to lead brands and steer...

For those who want to lead brands and steer consumer markets:

  • Time: 70% of graduates finish within 41 months.
  • Tuition and fees: $3,720 per 6-month term.

Some careers and jobs this business degree will prepare you for:

  • Marketing and PR manager
  • Director of marketing and communications
  • Director of publications
  • Customer intelligence manager
  • Marketing sales manager

Marketing is a creative and exciting field—and one where an undergraduate degree will open better opportunities.

Master of Business Administration

The flexible MBA program you need, focused on business...

The flexible MBA program you need, focused on...

The flexible MBA program you need, focused on business management, strategy, and leading teams:

  • Time: Graduates can finish in 12 months.
  • Tuition and fees: $4,675 per 6-month term.

Sample careers and jobs this business degree will prepare you for:

  • President and CEO
  • Vice president
  • Executive director
  • Chief strategic officer

Our competency-based model gives you an innovative learning experience you won't find anywhere else—and our MBA grads tell us they loved accelerating their program to see a faster ROI.


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What Skills Does a Copywriter Need?

A copywriter needs a variety of skills to be successful, most importantly:

  • General understanding of copywriting basics
  • Knowledge of online content strategy and creation
  • Awareness of online content and various marketing strategies
  • Experience with search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Writing, reading, editing, and proofreading
  • Research
  • Problem-solving
  • Time management
  • Organization
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How Much Does a Copywriter Make?

$69,500

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for writers in the U.S. is $69,500 per year. Income is largely influenced by education, skills, and experience, with the lowest 10% earning around $38,500 per year and the highest 10% earning $133,500. 

What Is the Job Outlook for a Copywriter?

9%

The field of professional writing is expected to grow by 9% from 2020 to 2030. As more and more businesses expand their digital marketing strategies, copywriters will remain in high demand, and a copywriter skilled in online writing and social media will have a significant advantage in the years to come. 

Where Do Copywriters Work?

Varies

One major benefit of copywriting is that if you have access to a computer and the internet, you can work from almost anywhere. Some copywriters work in-house at an agency or organization, but most work remotely. As of 2020, 68% of professional writers are self-employed, with the remaining portion of writers employed by information, scientific, technical, and educational services. 

Additional FAQs

A copywriter is a marketing professional who provides the copy for websites, blog posts, emails, posters, ads, articles, etc. in order to persuade and engage a target audience.

Copywriters write persuasive marketing copy in order to move an audience to take action.

In order to become a copywriter, you’ll need to earn a bachelor's degree in English, communications, or marketing and gain relevant experience to develop your skills and writing portfolio. An MBA or master’s degree in marketing is encouraged to advance into a leadership role or increase your earning potential. 

Interested in Becoming a Copywriter?

Learn more about degree programs that can prepare you for this exciting career.

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