Few people understand what copywriters do. Some people still think they’re involved in copyright law! Even those who realise the occupation is about writing rather than legal matters get confused about what exactly those elusive copywriters do and how they started out.
It’s time to clear things up once and for all. Here’s a quick breakdown of the different forms a copywriting service may take and the day-to-day tasks involved.
It shouldn’t come as a shock that copywriters spend a lot of time writing copy, but it’s worth taking a deeper look at the process.
Who do copywriters produce work for? If they’re freelancers, it will be their clients. Meanwhile, in-house copywriters produce work on behalf of their copywriting agency or for a single client.
Either can specialise in a single topic or cover multiple areas.
What about the type of writing? There’s a vast amount of variety. Copywriters may produce any of blog posts, web pages, newsletters, marketing materials, social media posts and press releases. Freelancers usually focus on a few particular areas, but in-house copywriters may produce a little of everything.
Whatever they’re writing, copywriters need to put a huge amount of thought into the voice they want to adopt and the message they want to put across. For instance, a B2B professional services firm will want a more formal, serious tone than a D2C fashion brand targeting Generation Z.
Then there’s the topic research. It’s impossible to craft great copy without a solid knowledge of the business and industry you’re writing it for. This includes understanding the target audience, competitors, and latest industry trends. It’s time-consuming stuff!
Copywriters who work within one niche – such as financial and medical writing – may be able to work primarily from their own knowledge, but they’ll still need to do some research.
Besides, specialist freelancers often spend a decent chunk of their free time ensuring they’re up-to-date with the sector they write about. Essentially, they spend their downtime doing more reading and research – that’s what we call dedication!
Excellent blog posts always contain links to plenty of high-authority, reliable sources, whether its academic studies or respectable newspapers. Finding and reading these sources takes time. Quite often, in fact, this research and strategy phase takes even longer than the writing itself.
Editing and proofreading
Once a copywriter has finished writing their article, newsletter, or other content, they haven’t truly finished.
The editing process can be long in any type of writing, but none more so than copywriting. Fluff and flowery sentences are the enemies; every single word should provide value or stir emotion.
There’s also grammar and typos to worry about. Although most copywriters are grammar nerds, it can be surprising how much goes under the radar. Printing out a physical copy to check and reading out loud are two useful tricks, or asking a helpful colleague to help.
Most professionals also use a tool like Grammarly to help them out, but this is a complement to manual proofreading, not a replacement.
A copywriter isn’t just some isolated figure typing away in the corner with no connection or association with a company’s overall vision or aim. At least, that’s not how things usually go.
Often, copywriters play a central role in aiding – or even managing – the marketing strategy of a firm. This is especially true of freelancers, who can offer more value by being a one-stop-shop for everything related to marketing and sales.
A key way copywriters can help with strategy is through SEO. To expand the reach of a brand beyond its loyal following, content must have good SEO to bring in more organic traffic and therefore new customers.
Startups and SMEs are unlikely to have an in-house team to carry out keyword research, create a content calendar, and everything else related to a solid SEO strategy. So, it may well fall on freelance copywriters to take care of this.
Copywriters may also help with other aspects of digital marketing, like running ad campaigns, managing social media accounts, or tracking metrics to decide on future direction.
No matter how passionate you are about writing, it’s always wise to pick up new skills and have new experiences under your belt.
In-house copywriters can go home after a long day of work and put their feet up, knowing that their jobs will still be there the next day.
Meanwhile, freelance writers are always wondering how they can find their next client and worrying that their work has dried up!
Business development – also known as finding clients – is a huge part of life for any freelancer. Finding them may involve cold emails and calls, checking job boards, or creating an inbound marketing strategy. It’s exhausting work.
Joining a copywriting agency such as Woo is an attractive alternative that gives copywriters the security of knowing the clients are ready and waiting. Freelancing websites are another alternative.
However, despite its difficulties, most freelancers work for themselves to have this flexibility. The prospect of creating your own schedule, being selective about clients and projects, and working from anywhere is appealing to many people.
Then there’s the admin. Freelancers run their own businesses, so they must handle taxes, invoices, and balancing the budget.
Hopefully, this has given you a clear picture of what a copywriter does. At its core, copywriting is all about creating high-quality writing that hooks readers in.
But things are rarely so simple – the daily life of a copywriter can easily be taken up by tasks that don’t involve actual writing. That can be a good thing, too. Many people now prefer to create a flexible career they can shape around their lifestyle and maintain some variety.
At Woo, we’re a copywriting agency that also provides a content writing service. If you’re looking for writers to expand your reach and grow your business, our qualified professionals can help.