What is copywriting - woman copywriter studying copy on her laptop

What is copywriting?

If you’re looking to develop a new income stream, you may have seen this come up in your feed online. In today’s post, I describe exactly what copywriting is, what copywriters do and how to get into copywriting.

The beauty of becoming a copywriter, even as a side hustle is that you can work from anywhere, be paid well and the work is so varied.

My copywriting story

I took the plunge in April 2020 to train to be a copywriter and I’ve never looked back. I wanted to develop another income stream alongside blogging, that would make it possible for me to leave teaching, and also live and work where I want.

At the time, I was at a crossroads over what type of freelance writer I wanted to be. You can find out more about my journey in this post below. This course has been the reason I have been able to move to a lovely house, fix two rooves, scale down my teacher work to 3 days a week, and develop my passive income strategy!

Filthy Rich Writer Reviews – Copywriting Course

What is copy?

Copywriting or copy is basically any piece of writing that is designed to persuade. Everywhere you look you will find copywriting. From advertisements for products via social media to leaflets in the mail.

A female copywriter working on a laptop

Examples of copywriting 

There are so many examples of copywriting in the real and digital world around us. So this is by no means an exhaustive list. 

Here are some examples you will see of copywriting:

 Digital copywriting examples

  • Websites – home page, services, About page 
  • Landing pages 
  • Email marketing 
  • Sales pages for products or services
  • Facebook and Instagram ads
  • Sequences of emails 
  • DMs on Facebook

Print copywriting 

  • Flyers 
  • Leaflets 
  • Wedding invitations
  • Proposals for work 
  • Sales letters 
  • Books 
  • Business cards
lady copywriter working on her writing

The difference between content writing and copywriting

Copywriting is often confused with content writing – especially online. Copywriting is designed to help someone take a specific action. So maybe to click through to a link, or to buy the latest mascara on Instagram.

It tries to connect the reader by highlighting how the product or service can help them.

Copywriting takes time to write and refine, which is why copywriters get paid really well for what they do. It has to sound EXACTLY like the brand, communicate a clear message and help someone take an action.

One example would be an email as part of a sequence, that encourages people to sign up for coaching services that they need. Good copywriting will help them see if the coach is the right fit to help them. 

Another example of good copywriting would be clear, important messaging on a food product, that instantly communicates to a person allergic to nuts that they shouldn’t eat the product. 

Here is an example of my work. I have connected parents with toys from their past and married this up with the need to be sustainable, and for children to have less screen time.

Product Home Page – Beebop Kids

Content is informative and useful for someone who is looking for the answer to a specific question. 

Below is an example of content I have written for my cycle niche site. It answers the question of which are, in my opinion, the best aerobars this year.

The 5 Best Aero Bars for Road and Triathlon Bikes 2021

This kind of work is much lower paid than copywriting, but as an established copywriter know that it’s okay to charge copywriting rates when writing content. It’s quite regular practice for content writers to be paid by the word, so it can work out as quite low pay for how much research you do, then writing and optimizing the content for SEO.

What do copywriters do?

Image of woman on laptop working on what is corywriting

Copywriters start by helping the client or creative director identify the goals of the project. Working together, they outline who the project is going to connect with, how it will be delivered, and what action they want people to take. 

If you are working on staff, you will create the copy from this brief, refine it as a team and then work with a designer to create the way the copy will look and feel. 

If you are working as a freelancer, you can also team up with a designer if this is what your client wants. Most of the time, in my career, I have created the copy and reviewed it with the client, as most of them send it to their designers afterward

Ways copywriters work

Copywriting is so flexible as a career. You have the choice of whether you want to work as an on-staff copywriter; or whether you work with an agency. You can even work completely freelance, or a combination of these paths.

On-staff copywriter

On-staff copywriters work as part of a creative team, usually under the direction of a creative director. You are employed by the company or agency as their copywriter and will work alongside a designer to create project copy as it comes in.

Agency copywriter or contractor

Being a contractor means you aren’t employed by the company you work for, but you may have contracted hours for them per week or month. You have freedom to choose what to do when your contract ends, and have the flexibility to move on whenever you want to. 

You usually work on site, which means that you can meet and develop relationships with people in the same field as you.

Freelance copywriter

Woman working on what is copywriting outdoors

Being a freelance copywriter means that you can work from home and conduct meetings either on tools like Zoom or in-person. You get ultimate freedom to choose what work you want to do and for whom. You decide how much you earn so you need to ensure a steady flow of work yourself.

How can I get started with copywriting?

When I started out I had no experience in copywriting. This is a really important thing to remember if you are considering getting started with copywriting. You DO NOT need experience to start. Read my story here.

Everyone starts somewhere and as long as you are willing to learn new things, you will be fine. 

As copywriters, we had to learn how to write copy. No-one turns pro instantly. 

If you’re interested in finding out more about copywriting, I’d strongly recommend you check out this free training from Filthy Rich Writer. It’s how I started.

How to Land Freelance Copywriting Clients…Without Wasting Time on Frustrating Job-Bidding Sites or Cold-Calling Strangers.

WATCH THE FREE TRAINING

In conclusion 

Copywriting is all around us.

From websites to printed leaflets, businesses are always in need of great copywriters. Copywriting is essentially words that sell or persuade people to do something. The possibilities are endless in terms of who you may be writing for and trust me, every day is different!

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What is copywriting? Photo of me Helen Nuttall, freelance copywriter