According to its Wikipedia definition, copywriting is “written content conveyed through online media and print materials.” In order to make certain that such materials are created, a company must hire a copywriter. It’s not a bad gig for millennials, either—we’ve included it on our list of jobs you can land with an English degree. To get a first hand look inside what it’s like to be a copywriter, I spoke to Samantha Curra, my co-worker and the lead copywriter at the National Association of Professional Women—who is a fellow millennial. Here’s what she had to say:
Q: When did you first discover you liked to write?
A: When I was in elementary school, my favorite class was English. I loved to read, write and come up with my own stories—but it wasn’t until my teenage years when I discovered a true passion for creative writing. It was more than just a hobby; it was a way to express myself. Writing served as a therapeutic outlet during some of my darkest times.
Q: What made you decide to become a copywriter?
A: I had no idea what major to choose when I started college. I knew I loved to write and felt pressured to pick something, so I chose to major in journalism. I ended up dropping out after one semester because I knew right away that it wasn’t a fit for me—I didn’t feel the spark. After working full-time at dead-end jobs for a few years, I found myself bored and underwhelmed. I enrolled back in school and majored in English. I landed an internship at a small marketing firm, writing blogs and learning about marketing strategy. Lots of research and hours went into those blogs as I wrote about unfamiliar topics geared toward lawyers and dentists. But I loved it. That’s when I knew I wanted to be a copywriter.
Q: What type of projects do you work on?
A: As a lead copywriter, my role is to represent the organization’s voice throughout all communications. I work closely with a creative team to raise brand awareness and create content for editorial materials—including a monthly newsletter, blogs, email campaigns, event promotion and more. I also spend time editing my own work, as well as the work of my colleagues.
Q: Which software do you use on a regular basis?
A: I use WordPress for our company blogs—but I’d be happy with a pen and a piece of paper. Microsoft Word does that job for me.
Q: Describe your typical day.
A: I always have to be on my toes—by thinking quickly and working on projects as they are assigned. I have to switch from one thing to the other very quickly and structure my time well. My mind is filled with so many creative ideas, but you have to keep the good ideas and filter the bad ones. Bad ideas can be recycled.
Q: What are some of your favorite projects?
A: I really enjoy ghostwriting. Ghostwriting is a bit like acting. When you’re writing as someone else, you try to become that person by seeing what the person saw, feeling what the person felt and knowing what he or she learned. You get to become that person in your mind, through your own words.
Q: What have been some of your least favorite projects?
A: I’d rather steer away from projects that keep me on “autopilot.” I like my mind to be productive and creatively active when I’m working. Of course, there are always things that need to get done regardless of how much I enjoy them, but I always welcome a challenge—and the chance to learn new things.
Q: What makes copywriting different than writing for public relations?
A: I’ve written for public relations before—and at times, it’s difficult to tell the difference. But, copywriters are chameleons. It’s all about adapting depending on whom you are speaking to. When you write advertisements, you’re trying to build a relationship with your target audience. With public relations, it’s more about building your professional brand in the public eye through the press to spread positive stories about your company. Neither public relations nor marketing could survive without the other.
If what you’ve read here appeals to you and you’re interested in a career as a copywriter, check out Indeed’s listings featuring several open copywriter positions available in locations across the country. Don’t be afraid to intern first in order to learn the job. As copywriters, millennials get the chance to work with blog software and write copy for emails, but also get to stick to modern-day pen and paper.