Can someone, please, explain what a copywriter actually does, so I know how best to pitch my creative writing skills for this type of work?


  • There are different types of copywriters and copywriting so I suggest spending some time researching where you'd like to fit.

    Also, I recommend the following books:

    How To Write Better Copy by Steve Harrison
    Junior by Thomas Kemeny
    Macy's, Gimbels & Me by Bernice Fitz-Gibbon
    All copy books by Andy Maslen who is offering an online course:
  • @Elliott Starr Yes, you've confirmed for me a few things I have been thinking about. Thank you very much for your time and etail.

  • Hi Magdalene, so like the brilliant responses you’ve already received here, copywriting is specifically about writing copy for everything that requires some sort of creative text. Be it print adverts for press or billboards, blog posts, or writing posts for social, or even writing a song for a jingle or a script for a radio ad, video or TV or even a documentary and as @Benedict Cosgrove mentioned, interviews.

    I’d like to add beyond that, as a copywriter you take on the voice of the brand, humanize it and speak to your target audience in the language they understand, to persuade, inform, educate, and entertain them or just to keep the conversation going with them.

    Your writing must always have a purpose. The mark of a successful copy is one that resonates and connects with your audience whoever they are. And as with any form of successful communication, you’ll know it does when you receive the intended feedback from your audience.

    All the best.

  • Before you start pitching yourself as a copywriter, I'd recommened writing at least 20 spec ads. If you ever need anyone to look over work/ideas you'll find help on social easily enough. I'm always happy to take a look too.
  • Copywriting is conveying the voice and tone succinctly and with impact.

    It can be long form, short and punchy, or just a word or 2.

    It’s about getting in the head of the brand and being the mouth.

    You also need to speak to the queen of copy @Vikki Ross who is on here. She has a wonderful group of people who you can speak with.

    Stay Boom!

  • A simple way to think about brand communications is to think about a brand being a shopkeeper, in a little wooden shack, on an island, in the sea.

    On another island, is a person. And the brand wants this person to buy from them, or buy into them and believe in them. The trouble is, at the moment, they’re on this other island.

    So, the brand needs to build a bridge, that connects the two islands.
    First, they have to work out at which point the bridge should connect, on each island. Where are we going to build the bridge? Where are going to connect the brand and the customer? This is about media, about finding the relevant media in which to speak to the customer.

    If we’re trying to sell the latest trainer to a 16-year old, is a print ad the right bridge to use? Probably not. Because they’re not really consuming that media anymore.

    Farmers selling eggs don’t put their “Fresh eggs, £1.99 a box” sign in their back garden…they put it at the side of the road, where people will see it. So, in the case of an urban sixteen year old, you’re probably going to want to look at social media, not print ads.

    Then you have strategy, which, while I’m massively oversimplifying, for the purpose of this answer, is about ensuring that we say the right thing to our target customer, to encourage them to cross this bridge and buy from, or buy into the brand.

    Then, because dozens of competing brands are all building bridges over to our customer’s island, and trying to talk to them, too, it’s the job of Creative (sometimes a Copywriter, sometimes an Art-Director, sometimes a CW, AD team) to communicate the strategic message in the most interesting, engaging, memorable and shareable way possible. Because if we get that right, our person on this island might not just buy from, or into the brand, they might tell some other people on their island, too.


    Hope that's helpful :)
  • Hey Magdalene, you might find this useful:

    I'll also give an actual answer, separately. Have a great weekend.
  • Hey Magdalene!

    You'll love these two links; the copywriters can explain it much better than I ever could!

    Hope some content on there is helpful :)

  • Hey Magdalene!

    50% of the job is writing everything and anything that requires copy.

    The other 50% is diplomatically agreeing with what the client does to that copy ; )

    (Excellent answers here from everyone. Best of luck!)
  • Show that you can adapt to Tone of Voice, i.e. really get different personalities (of brands) across in your writing.

    Communicaiton always has a purpose. Show that you can land the message — in as few words as possible.

    Be aware of cultural politics (race, gender, class — all human issues) when you write and help clients say the right thing & behave better.

    You might be writing long-form editorial, or just come up with product names or social media captions. Or you might come up with ad lines that encapsule massive creative ideas in a few words. Explore what you're good at and what kind of stuff you really want to be writing. Then find out what your clients need and want to pay fior ;)
  • Hi, Magdalene -- Tom and others have already nicely captured what makes copywriting such a strange beast , but I would add that the level of creativity one is "permitted' to bring to a copywriting project varies wildly, depending on the client. I've worked on projects where clients' directions about tone, word count, and other aspects of the job were effectively set in stone, and I've also had the pleasure of writing for clients who allowed all of the creators on a given project a remarkable degree of freedom.

    Finally, one genre of copywriting that has not been mentioned here, but probably should be, is interviewing. Some clients are happy to have a founder, CEO, etc., interviewed by a copywriter, so that the message of the piece comes across in his/her/their words. In fact, interviews have been among the most gratifying projects I've worked on, as many founders are smart, curious, thoughful people, and it's a pleasure to speak with them.

    I hope that helps. Good luck!
  • I've been a copywriter for 3 years and I'm not even sure how to answer that... But it's a question of grasping the voice that the brand you're working with is trying to convey and writing content (I do blog posts and newsletters, but as @Tom Kandolo mentioned it can be almost anything that needs writing) in that voice. I honestly find it quite similar to editorial writing as you have to be mindful of the audience you're speaking to in both cases.
  • "Copywriting done right converts what a client thinks is great about their product, service and/or brand into a message that convinces other human beings that what the client offers is a benefit to them.

    Copywriting is writing with an intent and purpose."

    This was mentioned by Derek Walker on LinkedIn recently and I saved it because for me, it captures what a Copywriter is in a simple way.
  • Hey Magdalene, a copywriter basically writes copy for everything you can think of that needs some sort of creative text. Whether thats slogans for billboards, blog posts, the writing on a website, even instgram post captions. Whenever a company or brand needs some type of creative writing done, they generally bring in a copywriter.

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