Copywriters produce written content, known as copy, for businesses across a variety of sectors.
Ultimately, their job is to promote a product, service or idea to the intended audience, using written word to communicate, engage and persuade readers.
This comprehensive guide includes a full job description as well as everything else you need to know about copywriters, such as the skills and qualifications needed, typical employers and average yearly salary.
- Copywriter job description
- How much do copywriters earn?
- What does a copywriter do?
- Requirements, skills and qualifications
- Who employs copywriters?
- Which junior jobs progress to copywriter roles?
Copywriter job description
Copywriter | Mediology
Mediology is a fresh and innovative digital marketing agency working with a range of clients in the TV, media and entertainment sectors. Founded in 2014, we’re a close-knit but rapidly growing team committed to delivering the best results in the North West.
About the role
We are looking to hire a dynamic and hardworking copywriter to work on client campaigns across a range of digital platforms. Reporting to our senior copywriter, the successful candidate will be responsible for writing engaging copy across all of our campaigns and will support the team at a critical point in our company’s expansion.
- Working with senior copywriter to create and adapt each campaign’s copy requirements
- Liaising with clients regularly via email, telephone and face-to-face meetings
- Extensively researching each client’s target audience to tailor campaign accordingly
- Writing SEO friendly website copy for clients including meta titles and meta descriptions
- Creating concise, engaging and on-brand social media content and managing client content calendars
- Writing tailored, audience-focused copy for clients’ email newsletters and press releases
- Relaying all work to senior copywriter for edits and making required revisions
- Completing other ad-hoc admin, office and internal copywriting tasks from time to time
Location & commitments
- Full-time position based at our offices in Manchester
- 5 hours per week, Monday-Friday
- Occasional overtime required to meet campaign deadlines
- Travel to events across the North West required from time to time
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills with a passion for writing engaging copy
- Excellent editing and proofreading skills
- Highly organised with experience meeting tight deadlines
- Strong research and analytical skills
- At least two years of experience in a junior copywriting role or similar
- Degree or HND in English, Journalism or other essay-based subject
Contact us to apply
If you’d like to join the Mediology team, email your CV and a short cover letter explaining why you’re perfect for the role to our HR manager Holly at Holly.Evans@Mediology.co.uk.
How much do copywriters earn?
The average salary for a copywriter in the UK is £32,500, though this can rise significantly with experience.
Copywriter salaries in the UK
- Low: £26,000
- Average: £32,500
- High: £37,500
Copywriting salaries can vary depending on multiple factors:
- Industry – Industries such as finance and healthcare will usually pay copywriters more than traditional marketing or advertising agencies, at least when a writer is first starting out
- Company size – Major corporations and well-known household brands will pay their employees a higher amount than a small startup
- Type of copy – Salaries will vary depending on the type of copy being written e.g. is the copywriter producing adverts, articles, emails or something else?
- General salary factors – e.g. level of candidate experience and location
For example, a copywriter with five years of experience working freelance in London will probably earn more than a junior copywriter with two years of experience, working for a local digital agency in a smaller town.
Remember that these are averages taken from job adverts online and don’t take into consideration other factors that lead to job satisfaction. These benefits can include flexible working, holiday allowance and bonuses.
What does a copywriter do?
By breaking down a typical copywriter job description, we can take a look at what duties and responsibilities are generally required for the role:
- Developing a brief – Coming up with an initial concept for the project, discussing this with the client or manager and adjusting accordingly
- Researching – Gathering information, data and statistics to increase knowledge of both the subject being written about and the target audience
- Creating copy Writing and proofreading text that is clear, concise and engaging and fits the brief and needs of the client and audience. Typical pieces include;
- Articles for news sites
- Advert copy
- Email campaigns
- Website copy
- Guides and tutorials
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – Implementing SEO techniques, such as using specific keywords, to increase the likelihood of the text appearing high on search engine results pages
- Adhering to brand guidelines – Ensuring all content follows the tone of voice guidelines for the brand and fits with the company’s overall style and content strategy
- Liaising with other teams – Collaborating with other copywriters, design team and marketing team during the writing process
- Editing copy – Listening to feedback from client or manager and applying edits to the text before signing off on the final draft
- Uploading and formatting copy – Uploading copy to a Content Management System (CMS), website, social media platform or sending it on to the relevant person
- Persuading and influencing – Using advanced writing techniques to persuade readers to take a certain action – e.g. sign up to a newsletter or make a purchase
What do copywriters need?
Copywriting is a career open to anyone who is proficient with language and the written word. A strong combination of skills, experience and qualifications will allow candidates to succeed as a copywriter.
Here’s what employers are typically looking for:
Junior copywriter jobs do not necessarily require previous experience, as most are open to recent graduates and school leavers. However, employers will favour candidates who have completed an internship and developed their own personal writing portfolio such as a blog or website.
Senior copywriter jobs will ask for significant experience as a junior and mid-weight copywriter. This can range anywhere from five years to upwards of ten, depending on the industry, salary and seniority of the client. Portfolios at this stage must be extensive and previous managerial or supervisory experience is essential if the candidate will be working in a team with junior copywriters.
To succeed as a copywriter, candidates must be highly skilled in the below areas:
- Communication: Excellent written and verbal communication skills when liaising with clients, team members and writing for an audience
- Organisation: Balancing multiple projects for multiple clients at once, as well as meeting tight deadlines and being able to work under pressure
- Creativity: The ability to think outside the box and generate innovative and original work
- Writing: Excellent command of English, impeccable grammar and the ability to tailor writing to different styles and mediums
- Research & analytical: Researching and analysing relevant data, statistics and other information and using this to shape the brief or project
- Attention to detail: Producing work that is accurate, precise and does not contain any mistakes
- Interpersonal: Forging strong relationships with clients over an extended period of time
- Resilience: The ability to accept sensitive feedback and criticism and adapt writing accordingly
These harder, more copywriting-specific skills are also hugely beneficial:
- Understanding of SEO: An understanding of Search Engine Optimisation and how search engines operate
- Knowledge of relevant platforms: Experience working with relevant website builder or CMS and a basic knowledge of HTML
- Industry-specific knowledge: Knowledge of the industry they are writing for e.g. marketing, finance, law etc.
Qualifications are not essential for copywriting roles but they are usually highly desirable. While it is possible to become a copywriter with good GCSEs and A-Levels combined with practical experience and hard work, a degree will provide candidates with a significant advantage.
A full list of useful qualifications relevant to copywriting are as follows:
Although some copywriting jobs are open to secondary school or college leavers, holding an undergraduate degree or HND can open up a much wider range of graduate opportunities. Some employers might also specify that this should be graded at 2.1 or above (or equivalent). Minimum entry-level requirements for a university degree usually include 4 GCSEs graded A*-C (or equivalent) and at least one strong A Level.
The below degree subjects are the most relevant and sought-after when it comes to copywriting roles:
- English literature
- English language
- Creative writing
- Any essay-based degree such as History
Industry-specific degrees can also be useful, for example an Advertising degree for anyone wishing to be an Advertising Copywriter. Postgraduate degrees in any subject are not essential but can bolster a candidate’s overall application.
The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) is a leading professional marketing body that runs 130 learning centres in 36 different countries. It offers recognised marketing qualifications such as certificates and diplomas as well as online courses in various subjects.
There are no certificates or diplomas focusing specifically on copywriting but there are a huge range of free and paid copywriting courses at principles, intermediate and advanced level. These vary from general copywriting courses to courses focused on specific industries. Some of the courses on offer include:
- Digital Copywriting: A free, virtual online course at principles level that can improve copywriting skills in just six sessions
- Creative Brief: An intermediate virtual course focusing on how to write the perfect creative brief
- Copywriting Masterclass: An advanced level, virtual course focusing on a comprehensive overview of the craft of copywriting
The Institute of Data and Marketing (IDM) offers paid online courses focused primarily on digital marketing, including copywriting. These courses directly lead to a recognised award, certificate or other qualification.
The most useful IDM qualifications for copywriters are:
- IDM Award in Digital Copywriting: An online course graded at Level 4 difficulty
- IDM Advanced Certificate in Digital Copywriting: An online course graded at Level 5 difficulty
D&AD New Blood Shift London
The D&AD New Blood Shift London is a free night school for writers, artists and other creatives. It is comprised of a series of workshops and talks led by professionals working in the creative industries. Applications are online and typically open in the summer, with successful candidates beginning school in September. It is open to anyone who does not have a degree.
What is expected of copywriters?
Copywriters are typically expected to commit to the following:
- Full time hours – Usually Monday-Friday, 9-5 or similar, though freelancers can choose their own hours
- Occasional overtime – Some overtime work may be required when meeting deadlines and working on important projects or campaigns
- Location – Usually based in an office with work from home opportunities available
Benefits for copywriters will vary depending on the industry and whether they are working for an agency, in-house or freelance. Some of the most common benefits on offer include:
- Pension scheme
- Holiday allowance
- Flexible working hours
Who employs copywriters?
Any business that wants to sell a product, promote a service or inform an audience about anything can benefit from a copywriter. This means that work opportunities for copywriters exist across all industries, from luxury consumer goods, to public sector services and not for profit charities.
Marketing, digital, advertising and PR agencies make up a significant proportion of employers. These are external companies who provide marketing services, including copywriting, to a range of different clients.
Copywriters can also work as part of company in-house marketing teams, or they can work freelance and take on their own clients.
Below are some of the sectors copywriters tend to work across:
- Consumer goods
Which junior jobs progress to copywriter roles?
There are a variety of routes into copywriting that usually begin with junior positions in copywriting, marketing, social media or other areas.
Let’s take a look at some of the junior jobs that can equip candidates with the skills they need to be a copywriter.
Junior copywriters work directly below mid-weight and senior copywriters. Their responsibilities are similar to those of all copywriters: researching content, writing copy and editing their work, though junior roles can be less client facing and there will be significantly less creative freedom. For example, junior copywriters will work to a brief set by a senior copywriter, rather than have the flexibility to create their own. A job as a junior copywriter is a great way to develop research, writing and creativity skills by shadowing more experienced copywriters, and this is why it is one of the most common routes into the industry.
Social media assistant
Social media assistants work in larger content teams alongside copywriters and other marketing professionals. Their role is to schedule and post content on the company’s social media channels, as well as writing copy such as social media content and blog posts. This role is well-suited to school leavers, interns or graduates and is a great stepping stone towards becoming a copywriter as introduces candidates to both long and short form copy.
Marketing assistants work directly below marketing executives and managers to provide support to the wider marketing team. Their role can include working on marketing campaigns, helping to organise events and writing copy such as social media content, press releases and blog posts. This entry-level role is especially useful for anyone who wants to specialise as a copywriter for an in-house marketing team as it familiarises candidates with writing long and short form copy as well as the wider principles of marketing.
Which senior jobs do copywriters progress to?
The skills gained in copywriting allow candidates to progress to a variety of roles. Many copywriters become senior copywriters and eventually go freelance or set up their own agencies. However, this is far from the only possible career path.
Potential opportunities can include:
Senior copywriters are highly experienced copywriters who have worked in the business for many years. They are likely to have worked for a huge number of clients and will have an impressive and varied portfolio. In addition to traditional responsibilities such as creating briefs and producing copy, senior copywriters may specialise in writing a specific kind of copy or writing copy for a certain type of product or topic, making them an expert in their field.
Marketing managers occupy a senior position within a marketing team. Their responsibilities include researching their target customers, creating marketing strategies and planning and overseeing campaigns. A knowledge of SEO and how to sell to an audience gained from copywriting can be beneficial for this role, and copywriters who have worked within marketing teams in more client facing roles may be especially interested.
Media or press officers are responsible for representing their organisation to the media. They work with journalists to encourage them to write positive stories about their product, service or brand. Responsibilities include writing press releases, contacting journalists about potential stories and working on media campaigns. Copywriting can prepare candidates well for this job, especially if they have worked for a PR agency writing press releases and have extensive client facing experience.
Copywriter description – conclusion
For those with excellent writing skills and boundless creativity, copywriting can be an extremely rewarding career.
With opportunities available across the UK in a variety of different sectors, copywriting is hard work but offers a great deal of freedom and the opportunity to specialise in a multitude of interesting areas.
A lucrative salary, strong career progression opportunities and the ability to work flexibly are some of the greatest perks of this exciting career.