If you have a knack for creative writing and intend to turn it into a career, you might consider being a copywriter.
Most copywriters spend their day writing content for advertising or marketing purposes – writing a slogan for a new product or a new jingle for a toothpaste commercial are part and parcel of a day in the life of a copywriter. In fact, famous slogans, like Nike’s “Just Do It” or McDonald’s “I’m lovin’ it” are the works of copywriters somewhere in the world.
Duties and responsibilities
Copywriters today are not the same as what it used to be years ago. The shift from print to online content increases the responsibilities and skillsets, knowledge of online content development and strategy.
The common responsibilities of a copywriter includes the following:
Write, edit and proofread content (including social media). An increase in social interaction on the web means copywriters are required to not only write but also edit and proofread content to represent the client’s brand. Copywriters work on different types of content each day, from blog posts to newsletters, e-books and even press releases.
*27,000,000 pieces of content are shared each day.
*Companies with active blogs receive 97% more leads (*source: epxresswriters.com).
Develop and implement content strategy. Proposing ideas on content strategy for a project and managing its implementation.
Collaborate with other departments. In order to create engaging and user-friendly content, copywriters are required to work with PR, advertising, design and other departments within an organisation.
Meet tight deadlines. Be prepared to manage several deadlines within a short turnaround time to meet client’s demands.
Degree in mass communication, journalism or English. Although you don’t need a graduate degree to become a copywriter, employers prefer to see that you have knowledge in mass communications, journalism or English.
Explore more creative courses offered by IACT College, the creative communication specialist.
Create your own portfolio. To apply for an internship with any ad agencies, you need to compile your portfolio of work, basically copies of your blog posts, articles, etc even articles written for your school newspaper counts!
Internship at an ad agency. Practical experience as a junior copywriter or intern at an advertising agency will be beneficial. Check out recruitment portals such as GradJobs to locate internships or placements which suit your preference.
Certification by industry experts. Gain specialised certification in the field of copywriting and valuable insights from experts in the field. For more information on specialised short courses in copywriting, visit Career Advisor.
Apart from a relevant degree and certification, you will need some essential “soft skills” to be a copywriter.
Creativity and an eye for detail. An ability to write engaging content and think out of the box is essential as much as the details.
Adaptable. If you are just starting out in the industry, learning on the job is important to gain more experience and perfect your craft.
Communication. The ability to communicate effectively with co-workers and clients is important as a copywriter.
Social media. The digital age demands that copywriters have a solid grasp of SEO content and writing for social media.
The average salary for a Copywriter is RM2,919 per month in Malaysia (source: indeed.com.my)