Careers in Copywriting

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Looking for an entry level job or internship in copywriting? This is an overview of how to approach the search and a list of companies that might have relevant entry level and internship opportunities.

Every summer when I was younger I would vacation for a week in Ocean City, Maryland. Inevitably, I’d eat too many crabs, win multiple rounds of mini-golf, and get sun-burned in ridiculous patterns. Another thing I remember were the planes that would fly over the beach each day marketing services and trying to capture the attention of all the sun-bathers and surfers. Copywriters are, in part, responsible for such signs, as they are the people charged with using words to get across a specific marketing message.

Copywriter Careers

Photo Credit: Flickr user thisisbossi

Copywriting Career Guide Overview

  1. What a Copywriter Does
  2. A Typical Day for a Copywriter
  3. Salary and Career Progression for a Copywriter
  4. Best Locations for Copywriting
  5. Pro/Con: Being a Copywriter
  6. What You Need to Know for a Career in Copywriting
  7. Copywriting Resources
  8. Careers Related to Copywriting
  9. Companies with Jobs and Internships in Copywriting

What a Copywriter Does

Copywriters help create marketing media which could be anything from direct mail, taglines, jingles, web page content, em-ail, television or radio commercial scripts to press releases, white papers, catalogs, billboards, and postcards. A copywriter has ultimate responsibility for the advertisement’s verbal or textual content. A copywriter tells a story, and crafts it in such a way that it resonates with the reader. The exciting news it that the Internet has expanded the range of copywriting opportunities available. For example there are now copywriting opportunities like writing web content, ads, e-mails, and even tweets or Facebook statuses.

A Typical Day for a Copywriter

On a typical day a copywriter works on a brief from a client. First the writer must learn what the client needs from the copy, for example who the audience is, and what benefits the client offers their customers. Then the writer researches the subject matter further and generally works with an art director within an ad agency to come up with a big idea concept. After that, the writer plans the structure and approach of the writing, and writes the piece. The client will review the work and let the copywriter know what needs fixing, until the piece is approved.

Salary and Career Progression in Copywriting

A copywriter makes between $26,000-$66,000 per year. And there’s plenty of room for advancement! As you continue to grow you can become a Senior Copywriter ($41,970 – $104,170), an Associate Director – Creative Services ($47,307 – $138,863) or Marketing Communications Manager ($38,762 – $97,886). There are also exceptional freelance and entrepreneurial opportunities for copywriters.

Best Locations for Copywriters

These hot spots have the highest salaries for copywriting:

  • Minneapolis, MN
  • San Francisco, CA
  • New York, NY
  • Seattle, WA
  • Baltimore, MD
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Madison, WI
  • Austin, TX

Pro/Con: Working in Copywriting

Pros
  • You get paid to write.
  • The Internet has made copywriting even more important.
  • Creativity is rewarded.
  • You can control people with your words.
Cons
  • Clients can be challenging to work with.
  • You must be able to defend and justify your work.
  • Last minute assignments or writers block can cause late nights.
  • Writing good copy can often be unintuitive.

What You Need to Know for a Career in Copywriting

Formal education is not required to be a copywriter (just ask Don Draper), but it typically helps a lot. You might consider attending a school like VCU’s Brandcenter or The Creative Circus to get a graduate degree in copywriting. But the most important thing is that a copywriter writes very well in many different styles, so do whatever it takes for you to develop those skills. Copywriters must also be able to cover a number of different subjects, like writing about anything from a toilet brush to the next Iron Man movie. And they need to have an eye for detail and an understanding of writing for different media and audiences.

Copywriting Resources

If copywriting still sounds like your cup of tea, here are a few things you should do to get started.

Required Reading

Key Folks to Follow on Twitter

Blogs and Websites

Networking Opportunities

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Companies with Entry Level Jobs and Internships in Copywriting

The Wirecutter Logo

The Wirecutter - The Wirecutter is a site that offers “a list of the best electronics and gadgetry" that will help you make the absolute best purchasing decision.

See the complete The Wirecutter profile


Huckberry Logo

Huckberry - Huckberry is a San Francisco, CA based company that “is like your favorite store, your grandpa’s favorite store, and your favorite magazine all rolled into one.”

See the complete Huckberry profile


Quarasan Logo

Quarasan - Quarasan is a Chicago, IL based “full service conceptual developer of content for publishers of educational materials and products.”

See the complete Quarasan profile


TuneIn Logo

TuneIn - TuneIn is a Palo Alto, CA based company that “enables people to discover, follow, and listen to what’s most important to them — from sports, to news, to music, to talk.”

See the complete TuneIn profile


Vince Logo

Vince - Vince is a New York, NY based fashion brand that offers a “collection of iconic essentials that women and men would want to wear every day.”

See the complete Vince profile


Filson Logo

Filson - Filson is a Seattle, WA based company that is “renowned for making products in the USA" for activities like hunting, fly fishing, travel, and even work.

See the complete Filson profile


Hayneedle Logo

Hayneedle - Hayneedle is based in Omaha, NE and “has become one of the nation’s largest online retailers, offering more than 3,000 brands and nearly 2 million products for the home.”

See the complete Hayneedle profile


American Conservatory Theater Logo

American Conservatory Theater - American Conservatory Theater is a San Francisco based non-profit that aims to "renew, and reinvent the rich theatrical traditions that are our collective legacy."

See the complete American Conservatory Theater profile


Amicus Logo

Amicus - Amicus is a New York, NY based company that turns a “nonprofit’s supporters into fundraisers and advocates.”

See the complete Amicus profile


Lyft Logo

Lyft - Lyft is a San Francisco, CA based company that offers “on-demand ridesharing” in nearly 20 cities across the country.

See the complete Lyft profile


ShopHQ Logo

ShopHQ - ShopHQ, based in Eden Prairie, MN, creates “the ultimate interactive shopping experience by uniting live TV, online and mobile shopping opportunities with social media engagement."

See the complete ShopHQ profile


Landor Logo

Landor - Landor is a global agency that helps "the world’s best brands stand up, stand out, and stand for something.”

See the complete Landor profile


Society for Science & the Public Logo

Society for Science & the Public - The Society for Science & the Public is a Washington, DC based non-profit that is “dedicated to public engagement in scientific research and education.”

See the complete Society for Science & the Public profile


Sterling-Rice Group Logo

Sterling-Rice Group - Sterling-Rice Group is a Boulder, CO based, food-focused “strategy, innovation, and communications firm that grows businesses and builds brands in considerable ways.”

See the complete Sterling-Rice Group profile


Arnold Worldwide Logo

Arnold Worldwide - Arnold Worldwide is the Boston, MA based ad agency behind Progressive’s Flo campaign. They've also done work for Jack Daniels, New Balance, and Volvo.

See the complete Arnold Worldwide profile


I Will Teach You To Be Rich Logo

I Will Teach You To Be Rich - I Will Teach You To Be Rich is a business that was started by Ramit Sethi to help people achieve their career and financial dreams.

See the complete I Will Teach You To Be Rich profile


MOpro Logo

MOpro - MOpro is a Los Angeles, CA based company that expands “the digital possibilities for small businesses" through video, social media, web design, and more.

See the complete MOpro profile


BitTorrent Logo

BitTorrent - BitTorrent is a San Francisco, CA based company behind a file sharing protocol that is responsible for moving 20-40% of the Internet's traffic.

See the complete BitTorrent profile


Capstrat Logo

Capstrat - Capstrat is a Raleigh, NC based ad agency that increased headcount 23% over the past year and is doing work for UNC, Cotton Inc., and the EPA.

See the complete Capstrat profile


Campbell Ewald Logo

Campbell Ewald - Campbell Ewald is a Warren, MI based ad agency that was founded in 1911 and continues to “create game-changing solutions that drive [their] clients’ business.”

See the complete Campbell Ewald profile


Platinum Innovation Group Logo

Platinum Innovation Group - Platinum Innovation Group is a Detroit, MI based company that is bringing new ideas to a number of industries that have been historically resistant to innovation.

See the complete Platinum Innovation Group profile


Rue La La Logo

Rue La La - Rue La La is a Boston, MA based e-commerce company that offers flash sales on "the best in women’s and men’s fashion, home, travel, kids, and more.”

See the complete Rue La La profile


HomeAway Logo

HomeAway - HomeAway is an Austin, TX based company that offers “the world’s leading online marketplace of vacation rentals."

See the complete HomeAway profile


Rainbow USA Logo

Rainbow USA - Rainbow USA is a Brooklyn, NY based retailer that offers an “assortment of clothing for juniors, plus sizes, and children."

See the complete Rainbow USA profile


90octane Logo

90octane - 90octane is a Denver, CO based online marketing agency that does online advertising, email marketing, microsite and landing page development, SEO, and PPC.

See the complete 90octane profile


Grouper Logo

Grouper - Grouper is a New York, NY based dating startup/social club “that sets up drinks between 2 groups of friends.”

See the complete Grouper profile


The Webstaurant Store Logo

The WEBstaurant Store - The WEBstaurant Store is a Lancaster, PA based company that offers an “innovative, easy-to-use website to meet the purchasing needs of food service professionals."

See the complete The WEBstaurant Store profile


Mullen Logo

Mullen - Mullen is a Boston, MA based agency that is “on a mission to work with the world’s most innovative marketers.”

See the complete Mullen profile


Sympoz Logo

Sympoz - Sympoz is a Denver, CO based company that aims to create “an environment where you can watch, interact, and learn from renowned experts on your own schedule.”

See the complete Sympoz profile


LION Logo

LION - LION is a Dayton, OH based company that designs, manufactures, and markets products “to ensure the health, safety and performance of first responders."

See the complete LION profile


160over90 Logo

160over90 - 160over90 is a Philadelphia, PA based branding agency that has done work for Audi, the Miami Dolphins, Michigan State University, Mercedes-Benz, and Nike.

See the complete 160over90 profile


SEER Interactive Logo

SEER Interactive - SEER Interactive is a Philadelphia, PA based online marketing agency that specializes in SEO, SEM, Analytics, and Conversion Optimization.

See the complete SEER Interactive profile


Edventure More Logo

Edventure More - Edventure More is a San Francisco, CA based non-profit that “inspires the playful pursuit of enrichment for the next generation.”

See the complete Edventure More profile


Clinton Foundation Logo

William J. Clinton Foundation - The Clinton Foundation aims to “improve global health, strengthen economies worldwide, promote healthier childhoods, and protect the environment."

See the complete William J. Clinton Foundation profile


Rocket Lawyer Logo

Rocket Lawyer - Rocket Lawyer is a San Francisco, CA based company that is “making legal work easier and more convenient for everyone.”

See the complete Rocket Lawyer profile


Zulily Logo

Zulily - Zulily is a Seattle, WA based company that offers “daily deals for moms, babies and kids.”

See the complete Zulily profile


Totsy Logo

Totsy - Totsy is a New York, NY based company that offers flash sales on products for new parents and parents-to-be.

See the complete Totsy profile


Sanky Communications Logo

Sanky Communications - Sanky Communications is a New York, NY based company that “has launched successful marketing programs for more than 100 nonprofit organizations.”

See the complete Sanky Communications profile


AmeriMark Logo

AmeriMark - AmeriMark is a Middleburg Heights, OH company that "is a leading direct marketer of women's apparel, shoes, name-brand cosmetics, and lots more."

See the complete AmeriMark profile


HSN Logo

HSN - HSN is a St. Petersburg, FL based company that built an amazing business by selling stuff to people who are sitting on their couch.

See the complete HSN profile


Betterment Logo

Betterment - Betterment is a New York, NY based company that is making investing frictionless for the average person, and they have a ton of job openings.

See the complete Betterment profile


Entercom Logo

Entercom - Entercom is one of the five largest radio companies in the U.S. and they have a ton of job openings for new and recent grads.

See the complete Entercom profile


HealthTap Logo

HealthTap - HealthTap is a Palo Alto, CA based company that allows patients to get free answers to medial questions from doctors online, and they're hiring.

See the complete HealthTap profile


GREE Logo

GREE - GREE is a Japanese mobile social game developer that is expanding rapidly in the U.S, and that means that they're hiring a ton of new grads.

See the complete GREE profile


mcgarrybowen logo

mcgarrybowen - mcgarrybowen is based in Chicago and New York, and they were just named Agency of the Year by AdAge. Sounds like a good place to land a job.

See the complete mcgarrybowen profile


Uncommongoods Logo

UncommonGoods - UncommonGood, based in Brooklyn, NY, is a great site for finding "unique gifts and creative design," and they have some excellent job openings.

See the complete UncommonGoods profile


AppSumo Logo

AppSumo - AppSumo is an Austin, TX based startup that offers amazing deals on software, and they have some really cool job opportunities.

See the complete AppSumo profile


Captains of Industry Logo

Captains of Industry - Captains of Industry is a Boston, MA based advertising and marketing firm that has some great job opportunities available.

See the complete Captains of Industry profile


OpticsPlanet Logo

OpticsPlanet - OpticsPlanet is a Northbrook, IL based online retailer of all kinds of optical equipment and they have some fantastic job opportunities for new and recent grads

See the complete OpticsPlanet profile


Travelzoo Logo

Travelzoo - Travelzoo is a travel deals site that is super focused on finding high quality deals for its users, and they have some really cool jobs for new grads.

See the complete Travelzoo profile


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