What does a copywriter do?
Updated: Oct 27
A copywriter is a job title that is used for someone that is good at structuring words and sentences to communicate effectively with existing or prospective customers.
A copywriter is often paid on project or monthly basis to produce blog articles, website content, emails, infographics, playbooks, white papers, scripts, long-form SEO content, and social copy.
Some of the best freelance copywriters have an excellent grasp of syntax (the ability to structure sentences), diction (vocabulary), and grammar; they also take time to understand the persona of the reader to engage them and the journey they take to become a customer.
Freelance writer for hire
If you were to type ‘freelance copywriter’ into Google, you would be overwhelmed with the choice, varying in both price and quality.
Although some copywriters have English or journalism degrees, there is no set qualification for becoming a copywriter -- so the proof is in the pudding (or in the reading). That's why it's important to ask for a portfolio or writing sample before you start working with a writer.
These are the type of options you’ll be presented with if you did search for a copywriter, which I have separated into content mills (low-paid writers), freelance expertise, and content agencies:
A content mill is a term used by writers for content businesses that churn out low-priced copy and pay writers even less. It’s not fair to say that they turn out low quality, as they are often propped up by great writers that have fallen on hard times. Unfortunately, if you pay peanuts, you might get rushed copy, though.
Copify – this is cheap, and they pay their writers a minimal fee, sometimes as little as £5.75 (low based on industry averages from the 2019 ProCopywriter's survey) to produce articles for you. The job is advertised to an approved set of freelance writers, which have passed a basic 200-word test. The brief they provide is not structured, so you may get varying levels of quality or need to go back and forth to achieve an expected standard.
Upwork – this is a little better than Copify, in the way that they seem a little more structured and have good customer reviews, although they pay writers a range of $15 to $80 (still well below the ProCopywriter's average fee).
Professional freelance writer
Sitting in the middle are the freelance writers (Marketing Per Hour Copywriting sits here), which can be split into:
Student writer – learning to write professionally and offering a low fee.
Mid-weight copywriter – a few years in the industry and mid-level pricing.
Heavy-weight copywriter or senior copywriter – they've honed there craft over five years or more and know how to write and charge accordingly.
There are also more niche copywriters:
SEO copywriter – they can get clicks for your website.
Conversion copywriter – focuses on email sequences to convert leads into sales.
Tech writer – they turn 0s and 1s into legible and engaging copy.
Marketing or creative copywriting – a senior-level copywriter with a marketing background, who know hows to drive SEO engagement and leads (Marketing Per Hour Copywriting).
Advertising copywriter – turn to these writers for hard-hitting headlines and TV copy.
Content marketing agencies
At the top of the hierarchy is content marketing agencies, which are in another league (the good ones). Top content agencies have in-house designers, editors, account managers, social media managers, seo experts, and much more – but the majority still use freelance copywriters. As an agency has a monthly wage bill and overheads from an office, they understandably have to charge more.
How much does a copywriter cost?
According to ProCopywriters, the average cost for a copywriter in 2019 was £349 per day.
Copywriting Service Types
There are lots of types of copywriting services, here are some examples:
o Blog writing services
o Website copywriting service
o Eguide writing service
o Email and conversion copywriting
o Video, playbook, and infographic copywriting
o Call centre script or stage script writing
o Ecommerce product copywriting
o Social media copywriting
o Long-form or SEO content writing (1000 words +)
o Sales material copywriting
The best copywriter for your industry
You will also find copywriters that specialise in specific industries, for instance, Marketing Per Hour Copywriting has extensive experience in the following:
A financial services copywriter not only understands the language used within finance but also the dos
and don’ts. To protect the consumer, the financial services industry is heavily regulated, so a financial services writer needs to be clear, fair, and not misleading.
Marketing Per Hour Copywriting has 20 years’ experience writing for the financial services industry.
A fintech copywriter, similar to financial services, needs to be mindful of the rules while being creative. Fintech companies have a more modern approach but messages can often be lost in a computer scientist’s or analyst’s 0s and 1s. A professional fintech copywriter will interview the key members of the team and ensure that the content marketing copy is accurate and engaging at the same time.
Marketing Per Hour Copywriting has ten years’ experience writing for the fintech industry.
A recruitment copywriter digs deep into both the hiring manager’s persona and that of the job searcher. The recruitment industry is changing at pace and very competitive, so these writers need to be on their toes and very creative.
Marketing Per Hour Copywriting has two years’ experience writing for the recruitment industry.
Insurance broker copywriter
An insurance broker copywriter aims to educate and protect both existing and potential customers by removing the jargon from insurance policies. An insurance broker copywriter knows how to talk about the benefits, solutions, and pitfalls in policies to engage readers.
Marketing Per Hour Copywriting has five years’ experience writing for the insurance broker industry.
Freelance writing in the UK varies wildly, but it’s the same as buying a pair of shoes – you get what you pay for, and the ethics behind the production process and remuneration differ greatly.
As members of the ProCopywriter’s network, Marketing Per Hour Copywriting is committed to offering the best value without compromising quality. By working from home, Marketing Per Hour can pass savings on to clients, reduce our carbon footprint, and achieve a balanced lifestyle – so we continue to love writing every day.