6 min read

What does a copywriter do? (and how you can become one)

Chris Lu
November 20, 2022

What you'll learn

What you'll need

Many people don’t understand what a copywriter does. There’s so much more to writing an ad or a sales page than just putting words on the page — professional copywriters have mastered the art of persuasion, meaning they know how to ask their readers to take action. So what exactly do copywriters do, and how can you become one? Let's go over some basics.

What does a copywriter do?

The role of a copywriter is to craft the messaging for any type of sales, marketing, or advertising content. This can mean the text on a website, an advertisement, or even a company’s internal marketing materials.

A copywriter must be able to write in a way that grabs the reader’s attention and inspires them to respond or take action. They must also be able to work from a brief provided to them by the client and produce high-quality copy on deadline.

Copywriters work in all sorts of industries, from advertising agencies to online marketing companies and even publishers, magazines, and newspapers. Some writers like being self-employed, while others prefer the security of working within a larger company.

Now, let's explore the different types of copywriting!

Image Source: Daria Nepriakhina

Conversion copywriting

Conversion copywriting is focused on converting visitors to action, such as subscribing to email, signing up for an app, purchasing an item, etc.

Conversion copywriters must know their audience and be able to create a bond between that audience and the brand. Many conversion copywriters focus on the pain points and emotions faced by potential customers, then create copy that speaks directly to those emotions.

The audience is going to respond or convert based on what they read in your copy, so it's important to use attention-grabbing headlines, clear calls-to-action, and thoughtful, well-organized content. It's not just about grabbing attention — it's about keeping it and eventually driving the reader to action.

Brand copywriting

Brand copywriting is how a brand speaks to its audience. It is storytelling that tells the story of a brand, the people behind the brand, and the feelings that motivate these people to do what they do.

The role of a brand storyteller has become more important over time as people begin to connect with brands in new ways. People don’t just want to be customers; they want to be a part of your brand community, and they expect openness, authenticity, and transparency from the brands they engage with. 

A good brand copywriter speaks for your brand in a way that connects with your audience. A good brand copywriter should also be able to spot trends happening within your industry, discuss how these trends affect your business, and how the copywriter can best capitalize on these trends while staying true to their existing messaging & positioning.

Email copywriting

Email copywriters write email messages that persuade people to take some sort of action. Email copywriters might be responsible for:

  • Announcing a new product or service
  • A drip campaign for new user signups
  • Marketing an upcoming event
  • Newsletters sharing the latest industry news
  • and much more!

Email copywriting is about finding the perfect blend of informative and persuasive. A good email copywriter writes emails that are engaging, interesting, and make people want to reply. This also means being able to write subject lines that grab the reader’s attention, spurring them to open the email and read on. 

Image Source: Stephen Phillips

Social media copywriting

Social media copywriting is the art of writing content to sell on social media. It's the art of persuasion — the art of making a sale in 140 characters or less.

Social media copywriting is an incredibly valuable skill because it allows businesses to connect directly with their customers without spending a dime on advertising.

These copywriters need to master writing for various social media networks, including:

  • Facebook posts
  • Instagram captions
  • Pinterest pins
  • LinkedIn ads
  • Snapchat video scripts
  • Twitter tweetstorms
  • TikTok scripts

They need to know how to speak to the target audience and make sure their message is discoverable via the underlying algorithm used by each individual network.

SEO copywriting

SEO (search engine optimization) copywriting is content writing based on the needs and desires of a specified target audience. To write effective SEO content, you must know who your target audience is and what they are looking for when they ask Google or Bing a question.

As a professional writer, you will need to produce high quality blog posts that helps your client increase their search engine ranking. By making use of a few tips and tricks, you can create highly optimized content that will attract the right customers and boost your client’s online traffic.

More than ever, people rely on the Internet to find answers to their questions. SEO copywriters respond to this need by creating high-quality content that provides answers to the questions being asked by real people online at any given time.

Ad copywriting

Ad copywriters write advertisements, brochures, catalogs, and other promotional materials for small businesses, major corporations, and everyone in between. In essence, they write the words that explain to consumers why they should purchase a particular product or service over another.

Newer agencies specialize in Facebook, Google, and LinkedIn text ads, which can include banners, pop-up ads, and search engine marketing. Some specialize in print advertisements (newspaper, magazine, billboards), while others are more targeted toward television commercials or radio ads.

When writing ad copy, a copywriter must account for numerous different factors, including the budget of the campaign, the target audience, and any other unique features of the product or service they are promoting. Depending on the type of work they do, advertising copywriters may also be responsible for creating hundreds of variants to test and iterate to find the highest-performing ad.

Image Source: Markus Spiske

Thought leadership copywriting

A new form of copywriting is thought leadership, also known as personal brand-building copywriting.

Thought leadership copywriting is a method of engaging an audience by sharing your expertise. It's a way to position yourself as an authority in your industry or niche by way of mediums like blog posts, tweets, LinkedIn posts, etc.

It takes more than mastering the mechanics of writing to become an expert; it also requires the ability to market yourself as one. The purpose of thought leadership copywriting is to take your knowledge and use it to grow your brand and business.

To do this effectively, you need to prove that you're an authority in your industry or niche, creating valuable, engaging content while simultaneously advertising your services.

How do I become a copywriter?

The truth is, copywriters are in high demand these days. You can bet that my clients are looking for someone like you, and not just the big, corporate firms — even small companies need talented copywriters to help them build their brand, solidify their messaging, and attract new customers.

Here are three tips to get started.

Jump right in

Try getting some preliminary work experience before you start applying for copywriting jobs. Although many companies hire beginners, most will still ask for some relevant experience or writing samples. Not sure where to start? Practice by working for yourself or other clients on freelance websites like Upwork or Fiverr.com.

Consider asking friends if they need any copywriting help or volunteering for an organization or cause that's close to your heart. This will give you valuable experience working with real clients who'll give you honest feedback on your work.

Use copywriting tools to help you out

Trying to learn copywriting skills on the job can be tough, especially when you’re dealing with tight deadlines and demanding clients. Luckily, tools like Copy.ai can help you break through writer's block and create a rough draft in minutes for all kinds of projects.

Start selling yourself

As you learn and hone your skills, practice your copywriting by writing about topics, products, and experiences that you're interested in.

Start creating valuable content; information is king, and nobody knows this better than writers. Once you've established yourself as someone who consistently puts out helpful content, people will start to notice. Make sure all of your posts are high-quality and offer real value for people in your niche.

Turning yourself into an industry expert will put you at the top of the list every time a company needs a copywriter.

Good luck!

If you're considering a copywriting career, there has never been a better time to pursue your passion. From email writing to content marketing for startups and beyond, freelance writing opportunities abound in this digital landscape.

The best way to get started? Follow your passion and get creative with your portfolio. If you can show the world your unique talent, you'll find plenty of copywriting jobs that were made just for you. Try our AI writing tools today!

Here are a few additional guides to help you get started:

How to create website copy

How to develop a content strategy

And our tools like:

Our free Instagram caption maker

Try Chat by Copy.ai free: Whatever you need—just ask.
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