Copywriting is the act or occupation of writing text for the purpose of advertising or other forms of marketing.[1] The product, called copy or sales copy, is written content that aims to increase brand awareness and ultimately persuade a person or group to take a particular action.[2]

Copywriters help create billboards, brochures, catalogs, jingle lyrics, magazine and newspaper advertisements, sales letters and other direct mail, scripts for television or radio commercials, taglines, white papers, social media posts, and other marketing communications.


Many copywriters are employed in marketing departments, advertising agencies, public relations firms, copywriting agencies, or are self-employed as freelancers, where clients range from small to large companies.

  • Advertising agencies usually hire copywriters as part of a creative team in which they are partnered with art directors or creative directors. The copywriter writes a copy or script for an advertisement, based largely on information obtained from a client. The art director is responsible for visual aspects of the advertisement and, particularly in the case of print work, may oversee production. Either member of the team can come up with the overall idea (typically referred to as the concept) and the process of collaboration often improves the work. Some agencies specialize in servicing a particular industry or sector.[2]
  • Copywriting agencies combine copywriting with a range of editorial and associated services that may include positioning and messaging consulting, social media, search engine optimization, developmental editing, copy editing, proofreading, fact checking, speechwriting and page layout. Some agencies employ in-house copywriters, while others use external contractors or freelancers.
  • Digital Marketing Agencies commonly include copywriters whether freelance or employees that focus specifically on digital communication. Sometimes the work of a copywriter will overlap with a content writer as they'll need to write social media advertisements, Google advertisements, online landing pages, and email copy that is persuasive. This new wave of copywriting born of the digital era has made the discipline more accessible. But not without a downside as globalization has meant some copywriting work has been devalued due to the ease of finding skilled copywriters working at different rates.

Copywriters also work in-house for retail chains, book publishers, or other big firms that advertise frequently. They can also be employed to write advertorials for newspapers, magazines, and broadcasters.

Some copywriters work as independent contractors or freelancers, writing for a variety of clients. They may work at a client's office, a coworking office, a coffeehouse, or remotely from home.

Copywriters are similar to technical writers and the careers may overlap. Broadly speaking, however, technical writing is dedicated to informing and instructing readers rather than persuading them. For example, a copywriter writes an advertisement to sell a car, while a technical writer writes the operator's manual explaining how to use it.


Traditionally, the amount of education needed to become a copywriter was most often a Bachelor's degree in English, advertising, journalism, or marketing. That is still often the case for in-house copywriters. However, freelance copywriters today can learn the craft from copywriting courses or mentors. Many clients accept or even prefer writing samples over formal copywriting credentials.

In 2018, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported an annual median salary of $62,170 for writers and authors. In 2019, stated that the expected salary for copywriters ranged from $35,000-$73,000.[3]

Famous copywriters

John Emory Powers (1837–1919) was the world's first full-time copywriter.[4][5][6] Since then, some copywriters have become well-known within the industry because they founded major advertising agencies, and others because of their lifetime body of work. Many creative artists worked as copywriters before becoming famous in other fields.[7]



The Internet has expanded the range of copywriting opportunities to include landing pages and other web content, online advertisements, emails, blogs, social media and other forms of electronic communications.

The Internet has brought new opportunities for copywriters to learn their craft, do research and view others' work. Clients, copywriters and art directors can more readily find each other, making freelancing a viable job option. There are also many new websites that make becoming a freelance copywriter a much more organized process.

Web copy may include among its objectives the achievement of higher rankings in search engines. Originally, this involved the strategic placement and repetition of keywords and phrases on web pages, but writing in a manner that human readers would consider normal, as well as their inclusion into Meta tags, page headings and sub headings.

But times have moved on, and "on-page optimization" now involves the consideration of semantic words and phrases (i.e. those that mean the same or are connected).

Copywriting for SEO also includes what is written on pages that link to the page concerned, especially on the text used in the link ... but this must not be overdone. SEO is now as much of an art as the science it used to be, involving judgments at every step. There has been (and continues to be) a great deal of research on the subject as things slowly evolve. [8] [9] [10]


“Neurocopywriting — from NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) — using psychology and social behaviour researches in advertising text. But I completely switched to a term ‘metacopywriting’, because historically NLP is a wrong name. There is no direct connection with brain or neurons, but it is about ‘meta’, a prefix meaning more comprehensive or transcending. However the name ‘neurocopywriting’ is quite trendy (especially in Russia).” [11]

Book publishing

In book publishing, flap copy or jacket flap copy is the summary of a book which appears on the inside of a hardcover dust jacket; back cover copy is similar text, usually briefer, on the outside back cover; and catalog copy is a summary written for a publisher's catalog. This is another way of how copywriting uses writing to persuade the customer to develop interest in the product.

In popular culture

The aim of copywriting is to influence or persuade, so well-placed and prominent copy can help to promote a point of view, and popular culture is no exception. This is particularly apparent in social media, which is having an increasing effect on influencing opinions and attitudes on a global scale [12]

But popular culture can also be used by copywriters to resonate with a relevant audience. Using words, phrases and concepts that their target audience identifies with will immediately create a subliminal connection that reinforces the message. There are many examples where this has been extremely effective [13] and how to put it into action. [14]

See also


  1. ^ "copywriter | Definition of copywriter in English by Oxford Dictionaries". Oxford Dictionaries | English. Retrieved 2018-01-23.
  2. ^ a b McKee, Steve (15 August 2007). "How to Hire an Ad Agency". Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved 11 June 2013.
  3. ^ "Copywriter: Salary, Duties, Outlook and Requirements". Retrieved 2019-12-12.
  4. ^ Patrick Robertson (11 November 2011). Robertson's Book of Firsts: Who Did What for the First Time. Bloomsbury Publishing. pp. 1893–1894. ISBN 978-1-60819-738-5.
  5. ^ Jens Olesen (1998). Normal People Do Not Work in Advertising. Dados internacionais de catalogacao na publicidade. p. 2. ISBN 978-85-900682-1-1.
  6. ^ Joel Shrock (30 June 2004). The Gilded Age. ABC-CLIO. p. 53. ISBN 978-0-313-06221-6.
  7. ^ Myers, Ben (18 January 2008). "Copywriting is still writing". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 21 February 2017.
  8. ^ Ahrefs blog
  9. ^ Search Engine Watch
  10. ^ Search Engine Journal blog
  11. ^ Maiorova, Natalia (2020). Metacopywriting. Mindfulness in advertising text (eBook ed.). Ridero. p. 32. ISBN 978-5-0051-2304-6.
  12. ^ Covenant Journal of Communication (CJOC)
  13. ^ HubSpot blog
  14. ^ Wordwise blog