In this chat with the copy team, our wordsmiths talk about the importance of quality content and their journey into copywriting. Meet the team!
From left to right: Lee Dover (Web Copywriter), Nikki Chapman (Head of Copy), Autumn Wiberg (Web Copywriter), Rachel Handley (Web Copywriter)
First things first…what’s copywriting?
R: Traditionally, copywriting means crafting text that persuades readers to take a desired action. Whether your aim is selling a product or driving newsletter sign-ups, we know the words for the job.
However, web copywriting is increasingly merging with other writing styles. Google rewards websites that deliver value to readers, so we’re spending more time producing content that informs or entertains — and doesn’t explicitly sell.
What does it take to be a copywriter?
N: A successful copywriter can anticipate how the reader will interpret their copy and tailor each piece of written content to the audience. You need to be a master of language and flexible when it comes to subject. If you’re creative minded, skilled with words and good at thinking on your toes, you might just have what it takes.
R: Unsurprisingly, a strong grasp of grammar, punctuation and spelling is a must. But you also need a flair for writing: a talent for composing sentences that flow and engage. Reading your copy should be enjoyable and effortless.
L: Being a copywriter isn’t a job that involves writing all the time: we also proofread to ensure that there are no mistakes, every sentence makes sense, the facts stated are correct and the content fits with the audience most likely to read it. That means copywriters also need to appreciate constructive criticism and not be demotivated when edits are made.
How did you get into copywriting?
A: After graduating from my English Literature degree at Northumbria University, I began a six week internship with Mediaworks. Needless to say I fell in love with copywriting and was offered a permanent position with the company.
L: I have had a passion for writing for many years, which was one of the main reasons I studied journalism at university. When I was job-hunting towards the end of my degree, I was intrigued by the fact copywriting allows me to showcase my skills writing all kinds of content on a wide variety of topics.
N: Following university, I landed myself a career history that’s pretty wordy. Being Assistant Publisher and then Managing Editor at a publishing house, writing lifestyle features at a magazine, and proofreading in my free time all lead me towards copywriting.
R: A love of language prompted me to take linguistics at university. After graduation, the opportunity to merge my passion for writing and interest in marketing led me to a copywriting career.
What types of copy do you create at Mediaworks?
L: In an average week, each copywriter could end up writing copy that sits on the homepage of a client’s website, how-to guides and news-based articles which feature in online magazines and news portals, and press releases which are picked up by numerous publications.
N: The copy we create can be applied to wide spectrum of projects. As well as the above, we produce content for our own communication and social media channels, and copy for content marketing campaigns that has to be expertly researched.
What tools are in your copywriting arsenal?
L: To ensure I cover the latest news, I will often use Google News to see what is going on in a certain industry. The Sky News and BBC websites are also great places for finding article topics, as are company press pages.
I also have a copy of McNae’s Essential Law for Journalists, which is a great resource for ensuring that everything we produce is safe from a legal standpoint.
R: Oxford Dictionaries’ word is final when I’m choosing between spelling conventions.
What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?
A: For me, it’s seeing a project through to completion. From deciding on the concept to seeing the finished product, creating content that is beneficial for our clients is incredibly rewarding.
N: The copy team are all creative people who take great pride in crafting something that our audience will like and appreciate. Whether that’s working with a client or writing for ourselves, a truly rewarding aspect of the job is being satisfied with what you’ve written.
From a manager’s perspective, I love seeing the team grow and adapt to new copy challenges. It’s not only rewarding to foster a supportive atmosphere, but educational for you too — your team are often the best resource for innovation and enthusiasm if you give them the right tools.
Why should I hire a professional copywriter?
R: Copywriters know how to create a strong brand voice that speaks to the right audiences. It’s not just about getting words down on a page: it’s about communicating messages effectively.
I’m also a firm believer that good English is good business. Customers can question your credibility after spotting one simple mistake, and spellcheckers aren’t always reliable.
A: Sites with little or poor-quality copy place a seed of doubt in the user’s mind. If the brand can’t make an effort to get their copy right, what other aspects of their services will be lacking? If this doubt is left to linger, users can quickly move to a more informative competitor’s site.
Professional copywriters can craft on-site copy that gives users what they want, resulting in happy customers and improved sales.
Got more questions for our copywriters? Leave a comment below and someone will get back to you!