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How to Become a Copywriter: 5 Soft Skills You Can Develop to Excel

Are you looking for new opportunities that could help take your career to new heights? A career in copywriting is an exciting opportunity to engage with a variety of companies. Many copywriters operate as freelancers, enabling greater flexibility to achieve work-life balance. You'll produce creative marketing, product, and brand materials. The copywriter job market will likely grow 7.6% from 2016 to 20261. Getting started may still feel daunting. Where do you start? What skills do you need? Take a look at the best way to launch your copywriting career. We'll show you how to develop the soft skills you need to succeed.

Illustration of a woman with short hair is happy to writing down a guide on how to become a copywriter

What do copywriters do?

Copywriters produce professional written materials, or copy, used for marketing and promotion. These may include:

  • Websites
  • Articles
  • Social media posts
  • Emails
  • Advertisements
  • Blogs
  • Product descriptions

Copywriters produce a great deal of the customer-facing content needed by a brand. Many brands will work with a team of writers. The team ensures that they have the content they need to operate. Great content improves the public perception of a brand.

Types of copywriters

Copywriters may wear many hats, including:

  • Technical copywriting, which involves producing content for technical documents.
  • Social media copywriting, which focuses on content for social media platforms.
  • Marketing copywriting, which involves producing marketing materials. You may write scripts for TV and radio commercials. You may also create flyers, online advertisements, billboards, and direct mailers.
  • Public relations copywriting, which includes preparation of the information shared with the media.
  • SEO copywriting, or optimizing content for search engines. Brands in America alone spent an estimated US$79.2 billion on search engine optimization services in 2020 (2)
  • Email copywriting for customer newsletters and emails.
  • Brand copywriting: producing taglines, brand values, and headers and footers for brands.

There are many distinct types of copywriting. Often, copywriters will need to wear many hats over the course of their careers. An agency copywriter can take on any type of writing, regardless of where they specialize.

What are the skills needed to become a copywriter?

Professional writers need many skills to excel in their chosen industries. Writing and SEO skills are critical. Less obvious are the soft (or human) skills you can develop to become a great copywriter. At F4S, we've identified 48 traits that influence your motivation and energy levels for tasks at work. Understanding these traits can help you choose a role where you can thrive.

An inquisitive nature

Writing copy requires learning more about the topic. You may need to do extensive research to inform yourself about the industry you're writing for. Furthermore, you may need to get to know your client's target audience. If you enjoy learning new things, you may find copywriting very rewarding. At F4S, we call this motivation Difference.

Attention to detail

You'll need an eye for detail to succeed as a copywriter. Successful copywriting often means editing, including:

  • Editing for spelling, grammar, and punctuation
  • Proofreading for errors in your work
  • Ensuring content accuracy
  • Fact-checking

You will also need to follow brand or editorial format and guidelines. Careful attention to detail can help you see out exactly what your client wants and apply it to your work. We call this motivation for detailed information Depth.

Communication skills

Affective communication skills allow you to take a close look at what the other party is saying. It's not only the verbal or written communication you receive. You also need to look at the things that people say without actually saying them. For example, you might need to look at things such as tone of voice and body language, intent, gestures, and more.

Communication skills help with two key details. First, they offer the ability to understand others. When you receive assignments as a copywriter, you must intuit your client's wants. Effective communication skills can help you understand their specific expectations.

Second, they allow you to convey the information you want to share in a way that your readers can understand. You must listen to your clients to interpret their vision. Then, you'll need to write for their intended purpose. This requires excellent verbal and written communication skills. Persuasive writing skills are a valuable part of your communication efforts. At F4S, we call this Affective Communication.


Creative thinking and problem-solving are vital skills for copywriters. You need to be able to produce content from the perspective of your clients. This is not always your own perspective. Furthermore, you need to be able to produce content that looks at elements that others may not see. You may have to find alternative paths around the challenges you may face as you write. You need to be able to look at situations from different angles. Your work may need you to pull together different pieces of information. Creative thinking helps guide these steps.

At F4S, we call this motivation Lateral Thinking. Lateral thinking helps you seek out more ways to approach a problem and deal with it.


As a copywriter, you will often need to work on your own. Copywriters often have to juggle deadlines and may work with more than one client at the same time. You may need to remain motivated to meet deadlines despite little oversight. At F4S, we call this Work Independently.

Develop these important copywriting skills

Soft skills, also known as human skills, are an important part of success in the copywriting field. With Fingerprint for Success, you can gain self-awareness of your motivations. We can also provide you with insight into your capability related to these skills. Take our assessment to get a better idea of where your soft skills measure up. You will also discover your blind spots and learn where you may need support to become an effective copywriter.

Once you have taken the assessment, you can set a goal. AI Coach Marlee will then provide you with personalized insights about your unique motivations related to your goal. Coach Marlee will also offer insights related to your blind spots. That feedback can help you achieve your goals as a copywriter faster. Smash your goals with Fingerprint for Success's free personal development coaching.

Devil in details

With your razor sharp detail oriented focus you know 'the devil is in the details'.

100% Match

You value verbal comms - in person meetings, phone calls, audio recordings, voice memos, podcasts etc.

100% Match
Pioneering new things

Bias and energy for being involved in revolutionary change from starting new projects and products to pioneering new industries, businesses and initiatives.

100% Match
Assessment Tile

Placeholder (Do not edit) You value verbal comms - in person meetings, phone calls, audio recordings, voice memos, podcasts etc.

100% Match
Chart showing rage from Average, High and Ver High.

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How long does it take to become a copywriter?

You can learn the basic skills needed to become an effective copywriter in around 3-6 months. You may also choose to seek out degrees and certifications that can help you develop your skills. You may want to consider:

  • A bachelor's degree in English, communications, or marketing. On average, it takes approximately 4 years to get a bachelor's degree.
  • A copywriting certification program. Depending on the program, it can take up to two years.
  • Courses designed to develop the skills you need to become a successful copywriter. The skills may depend on where you need to improve your soft skills or what hard skills you want to develop.

What licenses, certifications, and registrations do you need?

You do not need any specific license to get started in the copywriting industry. Many copywriters do find that licenses or degrees can help establish their knowledge. Consider a degree in writing or communications and how it may help you. You may also want to look at certifications that showcase your copywriting capability.

What on-the-job internships or apprenticeships are undertaken to become a copywriter?

New copywriters may work in a variety of internship positions. You may choose to work as a marketing intern, a content design intern, or as a copywriting intern. These positions help build on-the-job experience. They can also help develop your reputation in the industry.

How can you get into the copywriting industry with no on-the-job experience?

You may not need existing connections or experience to launch your career. Try these strategies.

  • Look for jobs on job boards. Specialty job boards can offer more options.
  • Take on freelance projects.
  • Work for a content production site. These sites may allow you to develop experience in several fields.

What advancement or specialization opportunities are there?

Many copywriters choose to focus on specific specialties. Some copywriters, for example, may be fantastic at writing blog posts. Others are great at writing product descriptions or creating content for websites. Still, others prefer writing marketing materials or scripts for video content. Copywriters may also choose to move on to other roles in the marketing and communication fields.

  • Marketing strategist
  • Social media manager
  • Content designer
  • Marketing manager
  • Production director
  • Chief copy editor

Copywriters often choose to focus on the areas that best align with their skills.

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Answer these questions to get a free report on what gives you energy and fulfillment at work. Find out if a role as a copywriter is a good career fit for your soft skills.

Where can copywriters work?

Copywriters can work almost anywhere. Copywriters with specific experience in a given industry launch career paths in these specialist areas. A former medical professional might write medical content for hospitals. Someone with experience in a legal field could write valuable content for law firms. Prospective employers include:

  • In-house marketing teams
  • Marketing agencies
  • Content production agencies

Many copywriters also choose to work as freelancers. Freelancers often have more freedom to choose their own clients and content. They can set their own hours and work from wherever they please. These benefits can be a compelling reason to consider a career as a freelance copywriter. Assess your soft and hard skills to decide where you may want to work. Often, copywriters start by selecting a niche they're good at. If you enjoy product descriptions, you may want to work for a business with a large product base. If you prefer writing legal content, you may find that working for a law firm is a good role for you.

How much can copywriters earn?

The median salary for a copywriter is US$55,0003 per year. The salary range for professional copywriters is generally between US$39,000-$78,000 per year. Technical copywriting can make a little more, at an average US$68,000 per year4. Salary for freelance copywriters depends on many factors. Clients, how often they work, and their preferred industry can all influence income.

What sector of copywriting pays the best?

The financial industry is booming. It offers the chance for copywriters to find content writing opportunities. The religious market is also a great place to stretch your skills.

How should you select niche or specialized writing opportunities?

Think about your knowledge of niche fields. You may choose to specialize in:

  • Long-form blog posts, which tend to have a higher value than short-form content
  • Scriptwriting
  • Technical writing
  • Specific industries (legal, health, education, etc)

How can I build my freelance client base?

You may need to:

  • Check out job boards
  • Work for content generation platforms
  • Connect with people in your specific industry
  • Advertise on LinkedIn
  • Create your own website to showcase your skills

Are there alternate ways to generate income as a writer?

As a skilled copywriter, you can build alternate revenue streams. These revenue streams can help increase your income.

  • Enter into an affiliate partnership with retailers
  • Monetize your personal blog
  • Post on sites that reward visitors, such as Medium
  • Partner with publishers to help edit or produce content

Frequently asked questions

How can I get started as a copywriter?

Learning more about copywriting and getting ready to launch your career starts here:

  • Get a feel for the basics of copywriting and business management. Check out copywriting books. Take online copywriting courses to help you develop basic copywriting skills.
  • Set established business goals and know how to build your business model.
  • Get help from a coach. An experienced copywriter coach can help you determine what soft and hard skills you need to improve for your career.
  • Start writing. Build your social media presence. Start your own blog that will help showcase your knowledge of the craft of copywriting. Guest post on other blogs to demonstrate your knowledge and experience. Building your copywriting portfolio is essential to success.
  • Set your rates. Keep in mind that rates can vary by industry and type of content. It's important to do your research and charge what you're worth.
  • Start looking for prospective clients. Even if you prefer to work for a content agency or marketing department, you may want to pick up freelance jobs. These jobs can start building your portfolio for potential clients.
  • Build your reputation and your skills as you increase your copywriting experience.
  • Keep networking. Networking is a critical part of bringing in new clients.

What do I need to become a copywriter?

To become a copywriter, you will need:

  • Effective writing and communication skills
  • An inquisitive nature
  • Creativity

It can help to have a degree in marketing, business, or English. You may also want copywriting certifications. Copywriters do not have to have these certifications to get started in the industry.

How can I be a copywriter with no experience?

It starts with effective coaching that can help you identify your strengths and weaknesses. A coach can fill you in on what skills you may need to develop to be a successful copywriter. Next, start writing! Generate a portfolio and build your online presence. Look for jobs on job boards. Keep writing as your skills and reputation grow.

How can a coach help me become a better copywriter?

By working with a career coach, you can start building a life you'll fall in love with. With a coach, you can:

  • Get a better idea of what motivates you and how you can fall in love with a potential career
  • Develop a plan that will help you reach your goals
  • Receive advice and motivation that can help you crush your goals on a daily basis

Coaching increases the odds that you will achieve your career goals. It can help you launch a career as a copywriter or improve your existing career. A coach can help make sure you get started on the right track and keep you motivated along the way.

Is the allure of copywriting for you?

Becoming a successful copywriter is an ongoing process. Do you want to work for a marketing agency? Do you want a job as a freelance content writer? It's important to keep building your soft, or human, and hard skills. You also need to network within the copywriting community. Are you ready to get started?

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Show References
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  1. Matthew C.  ‘How Many Copywriters Are There Around The Globe?’. Available at: Killer Copywriting (Dec. 2022)
  2. Danny G. Feb. 28, 2021 ‘71 Mind-Blowing Search Engine Optimization Stats’. Available at: Search Engine Journal (Dec. 2022)
  3. Copywriter Salary. Available at (Dec. 2022)
  4. Technical Copywriter Salary. Available at (Dec. 2022)
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