How to Become a Copy Writer
Copy Writer Job Duties
Skills or Qualities Needed to Become a Copy Writer
Copy Writer Salaries
Influential Professional Copy Writers
Leading Copy Writer Organizations
Top Cities for Copy Writer Jobs
Other Careers of Interest
Many copywriters attend advertising institutions that focus exclusively on creative fields in copywriting and art direction. The Art Institute's Programs in Advertising attract future copywriters to their various campus sites who are interested in writing for advertising agencies. The Portfolio Center in Atlanta, Georgia, and the Miami Ad School in Florida are two reputable schools that focus on portfolio building and internships. These institutions can be expensive, but students graduate with impressive portfolios that showcase their talent and are extensively trained for positions as copywriters.
Copywriters generally have bachelor degrees in English, Journalism or Communications and Marketing. If a degree is not possible, many colleges offer certifications or non-degree courses on the basics of copywriting.
In order to pursue a career in copywriting a willingness to learn and to self- promote is essential. Writers new to the profession will begin by procuring an internship with an advertising agency or local newspaper advertising department. An internship is extremely effective in garnering the experience that future clients or employers look to see in hiring a copywriter. For many novice copywriters, an internship with an agency may lead to a permanent position of employment.
Copywriters watch for businesses that may need copywriting services. This may include offering to write advertisements for the local newspaper or neighborhood business. Small businesses need advertisement copy, direct mail, coupon copy and flyers written. Writing an item for free can grant a new writer the experience needed to build up their portfolio and aid in securing future paid contract jobs .
A copywriter's writing versatility allows for more employment opportunities. A portfolio that showcases writing samples written in a wide-range of copy style (print, web-based, direct mail) indicates a copywriter's skill in writing effective copy.
Copywriters are also employed to write press releases, work as freelance ghost writers, freelance editors, or to write non-fiction magazine pieces. The fastest growing area in this field is in Web-copy. Web-copy is short, easy to read and must be Search-Engine Optimized (SEO).
Freelance copywriters are independent contrators that are hired by businesses and companies to write copy. Due to the flexibilty of being self-employed, many freelance copywriters tend to work on multiple projects at the same time in various mediums of copywriting: this may include writing contracts for the Internet, advertising agencies, direct mail or a publishing company.
An agency-based copywriter is employed full-time by a particular business or company and writes copy specifically for that firm. Many full-time copywriters work as part of a creative team alongside an art director. Most businesses that employ copywriters generally look for an experienced writer that can create a slogan, jingle or radio advertisement in the type of copy they want written. An agency-based writer adapts their style to not only fit the specific audience to whom they are writing, but also to reflect the image of the client they are representing.
A copywriter's goal is to educate, promote or sell a product or service. A copywriter is an expert communicator who can pinpoint in words and pictures the key benefits of that product.
Copywriters need to have strong writing skills and the ability to express their idea(s) clearly and concisely. Savvy copywriters study copy written by their colleagues and in styles outside of marketing in order to keep their craft fresh and innovative.
An astute copywriter is congenial and empathic to the issues of their targeted audience, while being cognizant of the needs of their client or employer.
Copywriters stay up-to-date with the latest cultural and societal trends. Expert writers are well-read and keep abreast with current events and world news by actively searching out and investigating new fields of interest that they can thoroughly research to create "better copy."
As in most professions, range in payment is dependent upon experience and skill. For a copywriter who is beginning a career in this field the need to gain confidence and copy-writing credits, combined with the client's budget, will dictate the rate of charge. A freelance copywriter--regardless if the contract is web-based or direct mail--is aware of their own business plan in completing projects and being diligent with deadlines, factors that help to determine rate per copy.
Copywriters have an advantage over many professions due to the unique nature of their field: the value of not being limited by location. Many copywriters freelance, keeping flexible schedules that allow them to work when it is personally convenient, and often telecommuting from their home. Even for "in-house" copywriters who work for a specific business, many employers allow their copywriters to telecommute. For many seasoned copywriters, their revenue is generated by word of mouth and personal marketing of their craft as opposed to living and working in a targeted city or locale.
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