Writing text for the purpose of advertising or marketing

Copywriting is the act or occupation of writing text for the purpose of advertising or other forms of marketing. Copywriting is aimed at selling products or services.[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 to 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, website and social media posts, and other marketing communications. All this aligned with the target audience's expectations while keeping the content and copy fresh, relevant, and effective.[3]


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 copy or a script for an advertisement, based largely on information obtained from a client. Either member of the team can conceptualize the overall idea 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.

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. [1]

Copywriter job is related, but different from that of a technical writer. Even though careers may overlap, the style guides, for the end product has different purposes:

  • Technical writing saves readers or speakers' time by providing the valuable and complex technical information in a simple format (see, for example, Simplified Technical English). So a tech writer uses the specific techniques for formatting the required information into a documentation topic. Common tasks are release notes, step-by-step instructions, technical information, diagrams, and tables. Tech writers mainly work for engineering, medicine, or IT companies, using communication skills for gathering information and the logic for structuring topics.
  • Copywriting results in marketing texts and scenarios about products or services. The Copywriter represents the company in the best way possible by talking up the product and the service, or by creating a company style guide. The key point is to create a desire to work with the company or do business with the company. The Copywriter has to find the key to the audience to create the content, so business and sociology skills would be required to form a strong trust-feeling for the company.


Traditionally, the level of education needed to become a Copywriter is most often a Bachelor's degree in English, Advertising, Journalism, or Marketing. That is still 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.[4]

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.[5]

Famous Copywriters

John Emory Powers (1837—1919) was the world's first full-time Copywriter.[6][7][8] 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.[9]

David Ogilvy (1911—1999) is known as the Father of advertising. He is also famous for his famous quote dedicated to Rolls-Royce cars as he said: "At 60 miles an hour the loudest noise in this new Rolls-Royce comes from the Electric Clock".[10] He has also written some books on the advertising field such as Ogilvy on Advertising and Confessions of an Advertising Man.[11]

Leo Burnett (1891—1971) was named by Time as one of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century.[12] He was the founder of Leo Burnett Worldwide. His memorable Marlboro Man is one of the most successful campaigns ever. His company was acquired by Publicis Groupe in 2002.

There are many ways advertisers try to appeal to their client base and have different types of advertising executions to do so. This includes a straight sell, scientific/technical evidence, demonstration, comparison, testimonial, slice of life, animation, personality symbols, imagery, dramatization, humor, and combinations.[13]

Notable ad campaigns

  1. Nike's "Just Do It" — increased Nike's sales from $800 million[14] to more than $9.2 billion[15] in 10 years.
  2. California Milk Processor Board's "Got Milk?" — increased milk sales in California and has spawned many parodies since its launch.
  3. Apple's "Get a Mac" — the Mac vs PC campaign generated 42% market share growth in its first year alone.[16]



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.

Experimenting and ongoing re-evaluation are part of the process.[17]

Search engine optimization (SEO)

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.[18][19] In the case of Google, a copywriter would tailor content to its "E-E-A-T" algorithm, which ranks search results based on experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness.[20]

Book publishing

In book publishing, the back of the book contains a blurb that presents a summary or details pertaining to the information inside. The author uses the back cover to grab the attention of the audience as well as provides the information for what the book contains and persuades the customer to develop an interest in the product.[21]

Business-to-Business B2B

B2B businesses sell their products and services to other companies, instead of customers. For instance, the manufacturers sell their products to warehouses, factories, etc. These products are not sold to customers. So, the Copywriters produce sales content to describe the benefits of purchasing the products. The tone is formal, conversational, and clear. Since businesses explore various vendors before buying the product, there should be a lot of engaging and appealing fresh content. B2B marketing materials include e-books, infographics, press releases, web pages, email sequences, scripts for podcasts, webinars, and so forth.[22]

Brand Copywriting

The main objective is to increase brand awareness among the target audience so that a customer thinks about the company first before buying a product. The Copywriters craft a unique story that resonates with the target audience. The brand Copywriter's promote or sell a product or an idea using creative campaigns for the target audience.

Business to Customer (B2C)

B2C businesses aim to sell products and services directly to customers. The main goal is to persuade the customer to take prompt action. Prominent examples are supermarkets, brick-and-mortar stores, online stores, and so on. The Copywriters uses long content with consistent branding, bulletin points, sub heads, shorter sentences, and paragraphs to highlight the features of the products.

See also

Look up copywriting or copywriter in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.


  1. ^ a b "Copywriting 101". Semrush.
  2. ^ a b McKee, Steve (15 August 2007). "How to Hire an Ad Agency". Bloomberg Businessweek. Archived from the original on August 6, 2012. Retrieved 11 June 2013.
  3. ^ Tomas, Dolly (2023-07-04). "What Does A Copywriter REALLY Do? Is It Worth It?". Optimized Ecom. Archived from the original on Sep 6, 2023. Retrieved 2023-09-06.
  4. ^ Wolfer, Sondra (2021-06-29). "What Does a Copywriter Do and How Do You Become One? Everything You Need to Know". The Muse. Retrieved 2023-02-20.
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  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ Jens Olesen (1998). Normal People Do Not Work in Advertising. Dados internacionais de catalogacao na publicidade. p. 2. ISBN 978-85-900682-1-1.
  8. ^ Joel Shrock (30 June 2004). The Gilded Age. ABC-CLIO. p. 53. ISBN 978-0-313-06221-6.
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  10. ^ Dougherty, Philip H. (8 June 1982). "ADVERTISING; Rolls-Royce Begins New Ad Campaign". The New York Times.
  11. ^ "David Ogilvy". Amazon.
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  13. ^ Belch, George E.; Belch, Michael A. (31 March 2020). Advertising and Promotion: An Integrated Marketing Communications Perspective. McGraw-Hill Education. ISBN 978-1-260-57099-1. OCLC 1152282297.
  14. ^ McGill, Douglas C. (11 July 1989). "Nike Is Bounding Past Reebok". The New York Times. Archived from the original on Jul 9, 2023.
  15. ^ Lee, Louise (21 February 2000). "Can Nike Still Do It?". Bloomberg. Archived from the original on Sep 24, 2020.
  16. ^ Mihailescu, Victor (Jun 10, 2007). "Apple's 'Get a Mac' Awarded Grand Effie". Softpedia. Archived from the original on Nov 27, 2023.
  17. ^ Moving "You can cancel at any time" on the subscription landing page made a major difference. Sarah Bures (June 13, 2019). "What It Means to Design for Growth at The New York Times". The New York Times. Archived from the original on Sep 18, 2023.
  18. ^ Miller, Claire Cain (February 10, 2011). "Search Engine Optimization to Lure Readers". The New York Times. Archived from the original on Nov 4, 2023.
  19. ^ Cabrera, Claudio E. (April 10, 2019). "Lifting Journalism by Knowing What Readers Are Looking For". The New York Times. Archived from the original on Oct 28, 2023.
  20. ^ Southern, Matt (April 24, 2024). "Google E-E-A-T: What Is It & How To Demonstrate It For SEO". Search Engine Journal. Retrieved 10 July 2024.
  21. ^ Willder, Louise (2022). Blurb your enthusiasm: an A-Z of literary persuasion. A Oneworld book. London: Oneworld Publications. ISBN 978-0-86154-249-9.
  22. ^ "Types of Copywriting – AWAI".