Name: Carol Pocina
Job Title: Copywriter
Years of Experience: 3
Where: Minneaplis, MN
Education: Bachelor of Science in Marketing
Other Relevant Work Experience: Worked on directories for community services. Talked with people that offered free services and wrote informational paragraphs for directory.
Salary: See the PayScale Research Center for copywriter salary data.
Copywriter Careers – Copywriter Job Description
How do you get started as a copywriter? In this Salary Story, we hear about one copywriter's career path from completing a marketing degree to finding freelance copywriting jobs. She shares advice on what to expect from copywriter careers, especially as an entry-level writer. She also offers insight into the salary of a copywriter and explains why copywriter jobs can be both challenging and fun. If you're looking for a creative occupation or just want to know more about freelance writing jobs, keep reading to find out more.
PayScale: What is your copywriter job description?
I work on writing copy for clients' ads and brochures. I do research on the technical properties of the products I write about and try to determine what makes the product appealing to the people who will read my work. Currently I am writing about tools that painting contractors use and copper metal roofs. Copywriting isn't always exciting.
PayScale: How did you begin your career in copywriting?
I was a marketing major in college and had an internship doing marketing for the student union. The most interesting part of the job was writing the copy for the college newspaper ads and posters. I decided I wanted to focus my career on writing.
PayScale: What do you love about your copywriter job?
I love that I always get to learn about new things. Doing the research is actually more interesting than doing the writing. I also love that I can do freelance copy writing jobs for extra money. Being a copywriter at a small agency doesn’t equate to a large salary. However, I feel very lucky to even have a job as a writer. I realize there are a lot of writers that are unemployed right now.
PayScale: What are the biggest challenges you face in your copywriter job?
The biggest challenge of copywriting is when you have to think of something creative in a very short time period. I once had only four hours to come up with copy for Christmas village boxes. The hard part was that they wanted an actual story with a plot to link all the pieces of the village set. However, they didn’t have any figurines in the set. Coming up with a story line and plot with no people was tough. The fact that I only had a few hours made it even harder. Listening to Christmas music while I wrote the copy actually helped me get in the mood. Getting in the right mindset is also a challenging part of the job.
PayScale: What advice would you give to someone interested in a career in copywriting?
I would suggest trying freelance copy writing or guest blogging before you make the career choice. Everyone thinks they can write and that it is easy. Writing grammatically correct copy is easy. Writing copy that captures interest and persuades people to do a specific action is much, much harder. You also need to make sure your lifestyle can take a low starting salary. And, you need to realize that salary doesn’t ever become great unless you become a famous author.
PayScale: Do you recall any particularly interesting moments from your job as a copywriter?
I once had to write copy for a church bulletin spoof. I learned how to write sarcasm in a hurry. When it was done, not one person in the office could read the church bulletin and not laugh. This was one of my favorite pieces to write, even though the clients never got to read it.
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