Copywriting is a behind-the-scenes act of writing a text for the purpose of advertising. Put simply: copywriting is persuasion in writing. It’s gained little attention over the years, but it’s become more and more important at the same time, evolving into a tool all businesses use. The question on everyone’s minds is: is copywriting lucrative?
Because of its importance; copywriting became very lucrative. So much so that some copywriters, albeit the best ones, make $47 000 dollars a year on average, with 80% of those copywriters earning between $35 000 and $65 000 dollars on average.
Copywriting is still in demand in today’s moving economy, and if you’ve ever wondered who were the people behind Nike’s “Just do it.” or McDonald’s “I’m lovin’ it.” – in this article, you’ll find out how lucrative is copywriting, how sought after is it, whether or not it makes a good career and how exactly do copywriters make their money.
Is Copywriting Lucrative?
As it’s said before in the article: the answer is yes, it is, but there’s a big hold-up that has to be taken into account. Although it’s true that some of the best copywriters in the world make six figures and receive numerous awards on a yearly basis, getting into those top spots is not at all easy. It takes a lot of dedication and unrelenting work from an up-and-coming copywriter in order to present oneself as a top prospect for companies that are looking to hire a copywriter. Most successful copywriters (whose portfolios and resumes can be found online) all say that it took years, and sometimes decades of dedication to get to where they are now. Copywriting is a difficult, frustrating, dynamic game, where one must keep up with the trends that are changing almost daily.
A copywriter (in the USA) makes $47 000 dollars a year on average, with 80% of those copywriters earning between $35 000 and $65 000 dollars on average, according to Jacob McMillen, a successful copywriter. This is considered to be well above the average American salary, but only the smallest percentage of copywriters earn six figures. As appealing as a career in copywriting may be (especially the part about being well-off financially), the difficulty of actually getting to that level of career development must be taken into account when making a drastic career choice.
Copywriting is a difficult business and the competition in it is fierce, and it’s especially been driven to this point by the evolving economy and globalization. There’s a reason the number of copywriters hasn’t increased throughout the years, despite there being more and more demand in the business.
Is Copywriting in Demand?
Yes, a thousand times yes. Copywriting has never been more in demand than it is so now. As more businesses are started and succeed in their respective practices – they also stimulate the generation of more related businesses. For example, the growth of the automobile industry directly impacted the growth of the tire industry back in the 1940s and 1950s. Or even more related to this topic: the growth and booming of the Internet in the twenty-first century directly animated more growth in the IT industry, graphic design, web design, etc.
The world of business is currently in the state of booming, and it has been since the 1980s (if we ignore the slight stagnation from 1993 through 1997), and since the Internet has almost completely taken charge of advertising since the late 2000s; copywriters’ field has been flourishing ever since.
Nowadays – copywriting is in high demand. People with the particular skill to grab someone’s attention in a record amount of time, with as little as possible, to prompt them towards a certain action (in this case – buying a product) should be on the lookout for trying themselves out in a field that still remains relatively unexplored and underappreciated.
Another reason there’s such a high demand for copywriters is the lack of people who truly understand what copywriting is, and also the lack of people who appreciate what copywriters do. As I’ve mentioned before; copywriting is still largely in the shadows of any business, and most consumers don’t even bat an eye at a copywriter’s product, completely unaware that they’re likely consuming said product because of a copywriter’s hard work.
Every single letter in the mail, every single TV commercial, every single ad on the Internet is a copy. Someone behind the curtain thought about the placement, the concept, the story of the brand, the message the product is supposed to send – and then they wrote it down and made it a reality. That’s what copywriting is.
Copywriting is, after all, a difficult skill to master. Just like any other complicated skill, it requires a lot of effort to get to the level where one can truly be called great at it. The good news is – even though it is sought after, not a lot of people become copywriters…somewhat due to its relative anonymity, partly because it really is a difficult and a curvy road one needs to walk in order to make it in the world of copywriting, and the third reason is that even people who know what it is and know of its existence rarely understand how important it is.
Is Freelance Copywriting a Good Career?
Freelance copywriting is definitely one of the ways of breaking into the corporate world. Following the success story of Dan Lok, it’s shown that copywriters have just as much chance as anyone else of hitting it big.
Gaining experience, developing professional relationships, and working on their own professional development should be everyone’s professional goals, and using copywriting as a solid foundation for gaining such momentum can be very productive in professional terms.
Writing copies (‘copy’ is slang for any sort of advertisement that prompts a consumer to explore or buy a product, a copy can be a motto, quote, jingle, title, etc.), be it for a specific company or as a freelance copywriter, spreading one’s copywriting skills in all directions – can be an intense course on learning all the niceties and tricks of the business, learning how businesses function and co-depend on one another. Market manipulation, consumer attraction, and corporate strategizing are just some of the skills a copywriter can learn in the business.
Formal education isn’t necessary to start a copywriting career, but it can be a huge asset. Obtaining an internship during one’s education and building a portfolio early on, as well as developing an impressive CV, will usually help when sending out offers to companies.
An absolute positive in a copywriting career is the fact that a copywriter is always their own boss. The majority of copywriters are self-employed (freelance), which means that they can take Friday off and enjoy a six-day-weekend, or work from very early in the morning every day. As long as they meet their deadlines there’s no real rule as to what rules must a copywriter follow in their work.
On the other hand, freelance work (in any area, not just copywriting) lacks stability. Since earning money relies exclusively on the writer – taking sick leaves, or leaves of absence can affect their financial status greatly. Copywriters are paid based on their own performance, and if they don’t perform – they might have a hard time making money.
How Do You Make Money as a Copywriter?
The answer to this question depends on whether it’s freelance copywriting (which most copywriting is) or working for a company as a copywriter.
Copywriters who work a regular time at companies are paid by the hour, and often receive bonuses if they perform well. If they create a good copy, which in return attracts a lot of consumers, bringing more traffic to the company, the copywriters earn a larger bonus.
Freelance copywriters, though – they don’t work by the hour, which is the aforementioned instability they face in their job. However, if they do their job well they can be paid very handsomely, especially if they were hired by a large company.
Most freelance copywriters also earn royalties, meaning that for a definite amount of time they receive a percentage from the sales the product they wrote copies for makes.
The size of the job doesn’t determine the value of a copywriter’s work. They didn’t pay the team behind Nike’s “Just do it.” only three dollars. The effectiveness of a copywriter’s work is determined by careful group testing and studies. The overall performance of a copy is determined by the number of sales it makes, and the increase (or if the copy is bad – decrease) of sales.