What are the different types of copywriters

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When people think of the term copywriter they will often imagine someone sitting at home or at a caf, tapping away at a laptop and churning out good copy for their immediate employer whether it be a one-off project or a long-standing relationship between a publication (online or print) and the copywriter.

Now that might often be correct, but there are different types of copywriters out there. Lets have a look at the main types.

Agency Copywriters
Eat your heart out, Don Draper. Or perhaps Peggy Olsen would be more accurate? Thanks to the success of the drama series, Mad Men, in recent times the humble copywriter has been thrust into the spotlight. It was a tiny snapshot into the agency copywriters role at a corporate advertising agency and aside from it being the 1960s, there are some fundamental aspects of agency copywriters that remain to this day.

First thing is that the copywriter gets little to no control of its clientele and subsequently, its projects. Just like in Mad Men, the agency needed work and at times they had to make moral and ethical choices on clients and/or products they would be working for. There will be plenty of exposure to different brands, many of them being big name players with multimillion dollar turnovers, but the key is the lack of control agency copywriters will have.

On the other hand, they generally have relatively secure employment, steady workflow and the opportunity to work in what is likely to be an incredibly creative team strong positives!

Corporate Copywriters
Perhaps the least attractive type of copywriter is the corporate one. Someone who works in-house for a large corporation (multinationals) or maybe even a top tier law, accounting or financial services firm.

Having a job that is usually safe as houses can be appealing for some but there is a strong possibility of boredom given that corporate copywriters only get the opportunity to write for the products of the company they work for. Nothing more, nothing less and if your company happens to only have one product well, thats a lot of copy for a single product!

Most likely, corporate copywriters will be keeping the company websites content updated and relevant, in charge of writing any promotional materials (e.g. brochures, hand-outs) or even media engagement (if the company does not have a dedicated media/public relations person or team).

Freelance Copywriters
And finally, what was described at the start of this article is the freelance copywriter; a role that is fast becoming the new norm in copywriting in this online era. In the age of the entrepreneur and start-ups, there are increasingly greater numbers of small businesses who may have a valid, sellable idea but few of the many skills required to develop that idea into a viable business.

Enter the freelancer, and a good freelance copywriter can go a long way to assisting these start-ups to distinguish itself (and its products) from the rest.

There's a lot more that can be said about freelance copywriters but that's a post for another day, this is long enough already!
#agency #copywriters #corporate #freelance #types
  • Profile picture of the author desireedavid
    a good freelance copywriter can go a long way to assisting these start-ups to distinguish itself (and its products) from the rest.
    Thank you for this.
    I guess the "different types of freelance writers" is for another post. lol.
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  • Profile picture of the author angiecolee
    Your assumptions about the "types" are way off-base.

    Signed,

    A corporate copywriter who's not at a huge multinational firm or dealing with law, finance, or accounting.
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    • Profile picture of the author DABK
      Damn, Angie! You broke the system?

      My question, So what?

      Yes, much can be said about copywriters. Type of copywriters comments like those here are not high up on the list of things that need to be said about copywriters.

      How does it help anyone to know that you divide copywriters in 3 (flawed enough to leave out Angie and me)?

      DABK
      Accidental?/Occasional, agency-copywriter-who-chooses-clients-based-on-anything-from-logic-to-whims

      Originally Posted by angiecolee View Post

      Your assumptions about the "types" are way off-base.

      Signed,

      A corporate copywriter who's not at a huge multinational firm or dealing with law, finance, or accounting.
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    • Profile picture of the author Louise007
      Originally Posted by angiecolee View Post

      Your assumptions about the "types" are way off-base.

      Signed,

      A corporate copywriter who's not at a huge multinational firm or dealing with law, finance, or accounting.
      "Let's have a look at the main types (emphasis added)"

      I never professed to encompass every single type of copywriter out there. This post was meant to be introductory, as in, for people who don't know much (or anything) about copywriters...

      To DABK:
      Well, again, this was meant to be a 'general information' type post, for those who have little to no knowledge of copywriting. For me, if I was considering a career (whether changing careers or deciding upon one) I'd want to know what some of the main potential career paths may be? I could be wrong, of course, and I may be posting in the wrong type of forum too.
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      • Profile picture of the author angiecolee
        Originally Posted by Louise007 View Post

        "Let's have a look at the main types (emphasis added)"

        I never professed to encompass every single type of copywriter out there. This post was meant to be introductory, as in, for people who don't know much (or anything) about copywriters...

        To DABK:
        Well, again, this was meant to be a 'general information' type post, for those who have little to no knowledge of copywriting. For me, if I was considering a career (whether changing careers or deciding upon one) I'd want to know what some of the main potential career paths may be? I could be wrong, of course, and I may be posting in the wrong type of forum too.
        It's probably best to learn about the forum before trying to educate the people in it.

        And DABK has a point - if you are targeting newbs (I'm not sure who you're targeting or what you're aiming to achieve) - what does this info do to help move someone's career forward?

        You have zero detail, just high-level fluff. No mention of the types of marketing channels or projects, how to get your foot in the door, how this info gives you an edge.

        Just here's the info, you figure out what to do with it.

        Good copywriters think all the way through what they're trying to accomplish, including what the end user gets out of this and what action you want them to take. Good copywriters think about WHO they're talking to, WHERE they're receiving this message and when, WHY they're sending it out, and WHAT they hope to achieve, in addition to HOW to get the message out.
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