What is a Copywriter?

You may have seen the term 'copywriter' increasingly appear and may have wondered what the role entails. Copywriters are essential for any business in today's digital age. In this post we've broken down their role and responsibilities, listed what their daily schedule would consist of and which degrees you could take to prepare you for the role of a copywriter.

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Copywriter (the role explained)

Copy is a form of written content which is commonly used in marketing and communications to attract a reader's attention and persuade them to take action, which in turn would increase brand awareness and identity. Copywriting is the act of creating copy to use within advertising, marketing, and similar business fields. The person who completes this action of creating the copy is known as a copywriter.

Why is copywriting an important skill?

The ability to write good copy is an important skill in this modern world. By persuading a company's target audience that purchasing their product or service will provide them with value, well-written content will help a company meet its profit goals. Due to the Covid-19 aftermath, the majority of companies realise the importance of having an online presence, hence them needing a professional website to market their goods online to attract a wider variety of consumers from around the world: copywriters are in demand more than ever.

What skills do I need to become a copywriter?

It is naturally expected that you will have a high level of English language skills in both reading and writing in regards to your spelling, grammar and diction. Other skills you should have are:

Research skills - finding information has become much easier and quicker in the modern age of the internet. To learn more about your client's audience or about a topic you may need to write, you'll need to have excellent research skills.

Listening skills - your clients will give you a brief of what they want you to do and you must be able to understand that brief and translate it into clear copy for their target audience.

Attention to detail - depending on your workplace, you may not be able to have someone to review your work, forcing you to become your own proof-reader. As a result, you'll need a sharp eye to be able to spot mistakes in your own work.

Creative thinking - you'll be writing from scratch for the majority of your time as a copywriter. You must be able to put yourself in the shoes of your audience and consider issues from a different angle. You must persuade them that the goods, for which you are writing copy for, are the best solution for them.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) - knowing keywords and SEO is a big part of digital copywriting and it's becoming increasingly visible in contemporary copywriter job requirements. Your copy should be informative, engaging, and relevant to your target audience; SEO will help attract your audience's attention by utilising the right keywords and phrases in order to yield clicks and interaction to the landing page you want them to visit.

What are the main responsibilities of a copywriter?

Although the duties will vary depending on the company you work at, there are five main responsibilities of every copywriter:

  1. Writing clear and compelling copy for various mediums (e.g. web pages, email campaigns, company newsletters, social media, and printed marketing materials)
  2. Confidently editing and proofreading your copy
  3. Conducting interviews and producing high-quality research
  4. Using SEO concepts to increase the scope and impact of the copy
  5. Collaboratively working with other creative professionals (e.g. graphic designers and marketers) to produce highly effective marketing projects

What is the schedule of a copywriter?

A copywriter's daily tasks can differ depending on the contract they have, such as freelance, agency work, or working in-house. However, their schedules tend to follow a similar structure:

09:00am: enter the office and set up their desks. Their consistent looming deadlines will mean that they have to stay on their toes. They could possibly be attending team meetings for project updates, brainstorming ideas, or spending time liaising with a client over their brief.

10:00am: Copywriters will spend some time researching their clients' target audience to understand them better. This may be done with a team or independently. They may also conduct interviews or market research about the client's audience, their products, and services on offer, or any marketing goals.

11:00am: writing and editing copy; researching fresh trends and interesting angles to use.

13:00pm: more writing and editing copy by themselves or on behalf of their co-workers.

In the afternoon: updating website copy and completing SEO checks.

17:30pm: update their to-do list with a list of actions they have completed for the day and writing their tasks for tomorrow.

What degree can I take to become a copywriter?

An English degree will definitely put you in good stead when it comes to learning the complexities of the English language and the best creative writing principles for writing copy. These are our top five degree options, based on which modules we believe will best prepare you for a copywriter position.

BA (Hons) English 'Foundation of Language' module will help you improve your critical thinking skills, as well as your ability to interpret and present your findings derived from a variety of sources in a professional and easy-to-understand manner.

BA (Hons) English and Creative Writing 'Craft of Writing' module is ideal for building a solid foundation in the area of creative writing by teaching you how to use various strategies to produce effective writing.

BA (Hons) English and Journalism 'Key Critical Concepts' module will teach you methods to critically reflect and analyse various text styles and close reading techniques.

BA (Hons) English Language and Literature 'Language in Action' module will broaden your understanding of linguistic principles and terms and then apply your new understanding to real-world language examples.

BA (Hons) English Literature 'Foundations of Creative Writing' module will have you experimenting with contemporary ways to collect source material and create new writing, whilst also developing your techniques to build your own professional writing practice.

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