A Day in the Life of a Copywriter – Uncensored
The world of copywriting is a fascinating one, it certainly keeps me on my toes. While many thinks it’s a one-dimensional role, with the only prerequisite being the ability to string a sentence together, it is, in fact, a role that calls for one to be multi-skilled and a master of multitasking – contrary to popular belief. Forget what you’ve heard – we aren’t just forming an immense bond with our keyboard and obsessed with the way a pen can seduce an empty page.
We are strategic, we are inquisitive, we are constantly learning about a vast range of topics – as well as you as our audience. We are versatile – having to write for many different niches; we are continuously analysing and finding ways to peak your interest, all while actually getting down to the gist of it – which is throwing our thoughts onto paper, in a way that causes you, as our reader, to react. To do this successfully, we are forever ‘switched on’. Our working day does not end when we close our laptops or put down our pen at the end of the day. We are great at what we do because we’re always aware of what’s out there: what’s being said, what’s being shared, liked, frowned upon, spoken about, advertised, you name it – we’re on it. We know that if we’re not up to date with what’s happening in the world, and ultimately what is stirring intrigue, we’re wasting our own time – we’re missing the mark, and our content is going to be lost in the system.
Between being woken up during the night with content ideas darting through our neurons, strategically brainstorming content ideas that are compelling (and sensitive enough) for the internet and drinking bucket-loads of coffee to keep us sane, we’re writing with a purpose. While there are many types of Copywriters, I am a Copywriter who focuses on SEO – writing copy for the web, to improve the visibility of sites and increase conversions through my copy. I write with hopes that my reader will take action; either by returning to the site, clicking on my links, or purchasing the products and services that I am inadvertently ‘advertising’. And no, I’m not a blogger who’s having a moment, for all those who probe me further (with a frown and a side eye), when I say I’m a Copywriter. I may write for the web, but I’m not talking about my personal experiences, neither am I endorsing beauty products or chatting about my #OOTD. I am writing with an element of persuasion, and I am seeking out results.
Now that that’s out the way: welcome to my eventful life as a Copywriter. My life is made up of days filled with plenty of head-scratching, back-spacing, grammar checking and proofreading. Over and above all of that (which is a given for every single day) we have a long list of other responsibilities. So, this is my average day, as a Copywriter:
7:30 am – 8:20 am After not getting much sleep, because my brain is bursting with information, ideas and words that I’m dying to throw out onto a page – I drag myself out of bed and set my sights on the kettle. Even though my eyes are still shut, my arms are extended, and they’ll save me every time (so I think). Once I’ve gotten my caffeine fix, I scroll through social media and various news sites, reading through the top stories. I am obsessed with informational content – as are most Copywriters. I’d spend my entire morning doing this, if I had half the chance. Once I’ve peeled myself away from my cellphone screen, freshened up and look decent enough to leave the house – I gather my bags, jump in the car and prepare myself for the emotional rollercoaster, which is my morning commute – in traffic. To stay sane, I listen to the radio and pay special attention to the adverts. Sounds strange, but I’m pretty much programmed to do this. It serves as a source of inspiration for my copy, and it’s interesting – I want to know how companies are promoting themselves, through their use of words. I should probably find something better to do – I know.
C O F F E E
9:00am – 10:30am I get to work, switch on my laptop, refresh my memory with the article I need to write and for which client, and begin my in-depth research. I sift through various online platforms, gathering data and equipping myself with the tools to formulate an article that is not only credible, but is easier to write, because I have educated myself on the subject. As Copywriter’s, we need to be highly-skilled in researching. When you’re writing an article on E-sports betting, for example, and you’re a woman who has never betted a day in her life, nor has the slightest clue as to what E-sports is, you need to find quick ways to school yourself. Time is of the essence and you need to be prepared to familiarise yourself with any and all subjects, that come your way.
I make sure that the headline of my article and the angle I’m eager to take considers my client’s link, is aligned to the keywords that generate traffic, and is suitable for the product or service I’m associating with. I also make sure my idea for the article is original and cannot easily be found elsewhere on the web. Once I’ve covered this, I put pen to paper – or should I say fingertips to keyboard.
C O F F E E
10:35am – 11:00am By this time I have finished my first article, and I’ve read it about 500 times. Ok, not quite, but close enough. I then remove some points, add new ones, look for synonyms for certain words, proof-read – basically the article is scrutinized from top to bottom. I pull some copywriting tricks out the bag, using handy apps that check for errors in grammar and punctuation – which are mighty useful, especially when the words become a blur of black and white, because you’ve read the article one too many times. Once I’m happy, the article is reviewed by the head of content, who either gives her tick of approval, or sends it back with constructive criticism. Thereafter, the article is outreached to various websites – ones that have authority and a strong following.
C O F F E E
11:05am – 11:30am This time is reserved for more research, more learning and more analysing – except not for a specific article or subject – this research is to broaden my knowledge of the content on the web currently, and familiarise myself with various channels that can be used to outreach my articles, and mediums that I can use to present my content – other than through written posts. I make notes, both written and mental, and share my epic findings with my colleagues.
C O F F E E
11:35am – 14:00pm I get stuck into improving the on-site copy of our clients’ webpages. This should be quick and easy, seeing as it doesn’t demand a lengthy article of 1000 words, however, careful thought, planning and research goes into this. Writing copy for a website landing page, for example, calls for copy that’s persuasive, but not obviously so. It needs to be short, sweet, to the point and captivating. It needs to ignite something within the reader and it ultimately needs to translate into a sale or conversion. If I’m honest, this is the most difficult part of my job, because there are so many moving parts to this task.
14:00pm I run out of the office, in search of food and human interaction. And coffee.
15:00pm – 16:30pm I begin my next article, repeating the process mentioned previously. I map out my plan of action, delve into the subject and begin writing. Sometimes I liaise with the outreach team to ensure that the headline we’ve settled on for an article has a place on the blogs that they’re looking to outreach to.
C O F F E E
16:30pm-17:00pm On the last Friday of a month, this time slot would be allocated to a content meeting. This is where content ideas are generated for the upcoming month. We sit with our list of clients and come up with article ideas that have a place for their links. These articles are distributed amongst the copywriters, and we begin working on them as soon as we can. On a normal day in the office, this time slot will be yet another opportunity to research for the next article, or the company whose on-site copy needs to be written the next morning.
The role has helped me to grow, both as a person and a writer. I get to work every day, on my skill, and better it with each passing day. I get to live out my passion and offer something to the world, that wasn’t there before. I am a Copywriter, and I love what I do.