Copywriting is all around us, but it can be difficult to fully understand what it is as it performs many functions throughout our society. For those who do understand it, there is a lot of money that can be made and many different career paths to choose from.
What is Copywriting?
Copywriting covers a variety of writing tasks. Ads, sales letters, jingles, press releases, and much more are all products of copywriters.
Ultimately, the purpose of copywriting is to market a product, brand, or business in a way that incites action from the target audience.
Commercial scripts, for example, are typically geared more to increase brand awareness and incentivize the watcher to “call now” to get an exclusive offer on a product.
Copywriting requires a solid understanding of the targeted audience and being able to effectively reach them by, usually, exposing a need and providing a solution. The tone of voice, length of the text, and various strategies are all implemented to create a persuasive piece of writing.
Types of Copywriting
There are many different types of copywriting, such as:
Copywriting for SEO—This type of copywriting is found on the web and targets certain keywords to best optimize for the search engine and drive-up organic impressions.
PR Copywriting—This copywriting focuses on increasing public awareness and a positive image for a brand, company, or person. The most common form of PR copywriting is press releases which get info out to the public about the company.
Marketing Copywriting—This includes anything that is promotional by nature such as ads and commercials.
Brand Copywriting—This type of copywriting focuses on increasing brand awareness. Jingles are one of the most popular types of brand copywriting.
Social Media Copywriting—This type of copywriting is typically informal and looks to increase audience engagement.
Direct Response Copywriting—Short and sweet is common in direct response copywriting as it is ended to incite an immediate reaction. Pop-up ads and landing pages are the two most common types of direct response copywriting.
Technical Copywriting—This is typically used to explain what a product or service is while also being persuasive. Technical copywriting is usually used in instances when potential customers don’t know much about the product or service.
Email Copywriting—Typically used to connect directly with the intended audience and to remain present in their mind.
Thought Leadership Copywriting—Prominent figures will often use this type of copywriting to further establish their credibility and authority on a topic.
If you want to get into copywriting, niching down is the best long-term strategy. Since the field of copywriting is large, it would be difficult to become great at all types of copywriting.
So, finding an area of copywriting that you like and becoming an expert in that area will allow you to gain higher profile projects.
How Much Can You Make Copywriting?
As of 2021, the average copywriter makes $69,510 per year with top earns surpassing the $100,000 mark.
On the other hand, freelance copywriters have the potential to make a lot more. While it may take a year or two, it is not uncommon to make over 100k as a full-time freelance copywriter.
Top clients can pay as much as $1,000 to $2,500 for one to two pages of sales copy. As a result, some copywriters have even surpassed the seven-figure mark.
How to Get Started
If you are wanting to work as a copywriter at a company or agency, then you will most likely need a Bachelor’s degree in Writing, English, Business, or a similar related field.
Some businesses will even pay for your education or some one-off courses so that you can become a better copywriter.
Commissions are common in the copywriting industry and so your base salary is just one part of the picture. Depending on the company and the type of copywriting you want to do, you can make good money.
However, if you want to go solo and try your hand at freelance writing, then there are plenty of videos, articles, and materials for free online that can teach you what you need to know.
While you won’t be making much in the beginning, as you bring on more and more clients and start charging more for your services, you can make over 100k after only a year or two of work.
Some of the best freelancing sites to get started on are Fiverr, Upwork, Freelancer, and Guru. Just remember that it can be difficult to sell your copywriting services at higher rates if you are a generalist.
So, it is best to specialize in one or a couple of areas of copywriting so that you can more easily show that you are an expert in the matter.
The Future of Copywriting
There are some who think that copywriting is dead with the emergence of more sophisticated AI (Artificial Intelligence) that can write pieces of copy that is often indistinguishable from human-written copy.
This is not an unreasonable concern as large companies such as Chase Bank are starting to replace human copywriters with AI.
However, that does not mean that copywriting is dead, but it does mean that the industry is evolving and if you don’t evolve with it, then you may find yourself out of a job.
AI copywriting, while impressive, lacks creativity and can only write copy once it is given set parameters. Further still, as of today, AI is not able to effectively write long-form pieces of copy without a decent amount of supervision.
AI will typically repeat itself and does not always have a clear progression of ideas when it comes to long-form pieces of copy.
However, short and well-defined pieces of copy are where AI is great and often even surpasses the capabilities of human copywriters.
So, there will still be a need for human copywriters when creativity is a must and there are no clear parameters. There will also be a need for those who can supervise the AI.
All in all, copywriting can be a lucrative career option. However, with the emergence of AI, it is important to gain copywriting skills that cannot easily be taken over by AI.