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Home  l  Copy Writing

Career In Copywriting

Submitted by Eamon Mahony  l March 19 2008  l  Viewings: 4784

By Eamon Mahony

What is copywriting?

Copywriting is a craft used in advertising for communicating brands to audiences. Copywriting involves being able to come up with creative concepts (often in conjunction with an art director/ visualizer designer) as well as being able to write clear, interesting, and ultimately, engaging, copy.

Where does copywriting take place?

Traditionally copywriting was a discipline that grew up in the big ad agencies (such as Ogilvy & Mather, Leo Burnett, McCann-Erickson, and so on), direct marketing agencies, and, to a certain degree, in various marketing departments of large, corporate organizations. The work of copywriters of old would appear on TV, radio, print and brochures. But copywriting has now spread to new media, in particular, the Internet. As a result copywriters can now be found in various modern, digital and interactive advertising agencies, as well as in various types of media companies.

How do get into copywriting?

Most traditional advertising agencies don't require any formal copywriting qualifications (at least in the UK). You don't even have to be a creative writer. However, it certainly helps if you have a good degree in English or an arts subject where you have had to do a lot of writing. The most important thing is that you are able to come up with good creative concepts, are good at writing straplines (slogans), are able to write engaging copy, and able to write in a broad varieties of styles. Reading widely is crucial (in order to enhance your writing abilities as well as being able to write in a broad variety of styles). There are a lot of graduates, and people in general, competing for copywriter jobs. Therefore it is really important to get some experience in something related to copywriting so as to strengthen your job application.

For example, some experience in journalism (local newspaper, for example), or writing programmes for local radio or a small TV company. Some experience in a marketing role would, also, be useful. Copywriters must be creative but they must, also, be interested in and understand marketing (copy is only good if it is both creative, as well as relevant to the marketing behind a brand). So you need to try and learn as much about the advertising industry as possible (in particular, learning about consumer behaviour, branding, and so on). Lastly, you also need to have a good understanding of what is going on in the cultural / social world around you. And it would be greatly beneficial to get some work experience as a junior copywriter. Not only will this be great hands-on experience. But you will, also, learn a lot about what you need to focus on in order to get into and carve out a career for yourself in copywriting. Work experience is a good way of networking (which might lead to a job opportunity), and best of all, work experience might lead, directly, to your first job in copywriting.



- brand-building / content-writing is becoming more and more important for driving traffic to websites (as SEO becomes less important, and social networking more important)

- brand-building is becoming more entwined with other disciplines that require good, general copywriting skills (or variations of), for example, PR

- audiences are now becoming more critical of advertising (and the way it is communicated)

- it is becoming more important to understand how to communicate to new emerging audiences on the Internet and elswhere

so copywriting, as a skill in general, is becoming more and more important, and copywriter jobs (or variations of) are increasing all the time.

Eamon Mahony of Spotlightideas.co.uk

Eamon's experience / expertise lies in advertising account planning (for some leading London ad agencies), TV and radio, and IT (IBM).


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Article Submitted On: February 15, 2008

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