Pattern of notebooks and writing instruments

From magazine ads to websites to huge digital billboards in Times Square, copywriters use these mediums to grab our attention and make us feel emotion. A talented copywriter can bring forth that kind of reaction in the span of just a few words or sentences, which is why they are in high demand.

How Copywriters Work

A large portion of copywriters work for creative advertising agencies or design firms, while others prefer a freelance capacity where they handle their own clients. Some may also specialize in certain types of copy like direct mail advertising, web copy, long-form pieces, brochures, scripts for TV or radio ads, or email marketing. Each discipline tends to have its own style and characteristics that come from experience and industry exposure.

At the same time, copywriters are highly creative and always searching for unique ways to catch their audience’s attention. For example, renowned copywriter Gary Halbert was known for creating such outrageous headlines that the reader couldn’t help but read the rest of the advertisement.

What Copywriters Do

In many cases, a large part of a copywriter’s day might be dedicated to researching a business and its products, discovering benefits, and thinking about unique ways to present those benefits in writing. There are many different processes for finding inspiration as well. For instance, some writers keep a “swipe file” of their favorite ads written by other copywriters.

Here are a few projects a copywriter might handle:

  • Writing sales letters, brochures, emails, and other types of ads
  • Communicating with clients to develop marketing strategies
  • Creating landing pages, banner text, and other copy for websites
  • Researching brands, products, and industries to identify advantages
  • Crafting long-form ad copy to highlight product benefits
  • Studying other writers and marketers to gain additional insights

Additionally, a seasoned copywriter will have experience in marketing and collaborating with other creative professionals such as graphic artists, website designers, producers, and videographers. This helps copywriters to envision the layout of the final advertisement and decide how to gain maximum exposure—and impact—from their writing.

What to Look For

An experienced copywriter will have an extensive portfolio of past projects to show their abilities. One with relevant industry experience may also be beneficial to your project. Sending invitations is a good way to ensure that top professionals will be interested in sharing proposals.

Sample Project Description

Below is a sample of how a project description may look. Keep in mind that many people use the term “job description,” but a full job description is only needed for employees. When engaging a freelancer as an independent contractor, you typically just need a statement of work, job post, or any other document that describes the work to be done.

Title: Seeking Copywriting for Marketing Campaign

We are a lifestyle brand that creates rugged gear for outdoor adventurers and sports enthusiasts, and we are currently on the lookout for a world-class copywriter to help us write a series of product ads. The copy will highlight the toughness and dependability of our product line while making the reader feel like they are on an adventure, so we are very excited to see what the selected candidate is able to come up with.


  • Work alongside our marketing team to conceptualize an ad campaign
  • Write copy for two printed ads, a 60-second radio spot, and a 30-second TV ad
  • Perform a round of copyediting based on client feedback

Skill Requirements:

  • Copywriting expertise
  • Great creativity and ability to conceptualize
  • Familiarity with outdoor “extreme” brands

We are planning to have a round of interviews via video this week and select a freelancer by next Monday. To submit a proposal, please share a brief summary of your experience and tell us about your most successful copywriting project to date.

Read this article for more tips on how to write a great project description.

Selecting the Best Professional

A great copywriter is not only confident in their abilities but also a strong team player. This balance may not always be obvious within an initial proposal, so it’s always a good idea to conduct interviews over the phone or through video conferencing.

Do not hesitate to ask each copywriting professional about their approach to your project. While they may not have a complete answer, it helps to see how they think on their feet under pressure. How quickly and eloquently they respond in email and written chat is also a great indicator of their professionalism.

Finally, if you simply cannot decide between two or more outstanding copywriters, it may be wise to engage each of them for a smaller, paid project to showcase their abilities. This takes the pressure off having to make a spontaneous decision and it also allows ample time to judge each professional’s overall talent.

Get more work done, faster with freelance help. Post your first project today!