What is a Writer, Copywriter, and Editor?

A writer, copywriter, and an editor all have to do with the text on the website. Almost everything we read is either written by a writer or a copywriter – except, of course, things like Twitter or comments on a YouTube video. Some websites are more professionally written than others. They can range from blogs to informational online classes.

Anyone can be a writer, copywriter, or an editor. But it takes a special type of writing skills and motivation to be successful in the career.

Job Description

The jobs of these people are to create and refine the textual content on a website. Every word you read has been curated by the writer (or copywriter) and the editor.

A writer creates content for all things text, ranging from ads, to books, to magazine articles, to movie scripts, and far more. Everyone has experience writing or reading, but when it is your job, it is more serious to pay attention to what exactly you’re saying. There are different tones a writer can take when creating content. For example, it could be humorous, serious, informative, sarcastic, etc.

A copywriter writes the promotional material for ads. Specifically, brochures, billboards, websites, emails, and again, far more. When you see an ad with a catchy slogan or a website with an eye-catching motto, typically it is written by a copywriter.

Lastly, an editor is responsible for planning, coordinating, and revising. They look at the materials written by the writers for publication. They choose what material will and should intrigue the readers. They go through the grueling, repetitive process of reading and rereading everything written. 

Another task of the editor is to add a "Voice" to the content. They can modify the text in such a way as to make it sound professional or casual, friendly or straight-forward. 


What does a writer, copywriter, or editor really do?

A writer writes, duh! As a writer, you would write fiction or nonfiction scripts, books, etc. In order to create authentic and factual pieces, you must consider doing your due research. After you compile your first draft, you take it to your editor for feedback. You continue to write and rewrite until you have compiled the perfect composition.

A copywriter is responsible for getting the reader to take action and engage with the product or service or company that they are writing for. You are considered to be the “salesman in print”. You can use the ethos, pathos, and/or logos that we learned about in school. That is, using professionals to endorse it, appealing to the readers’ emotions, or using logic.

Editors don’t always write, but rather edit the writer's writings. An editor reads and corrects the writer’s spelling, punctuation, and grammar. You could also rewrite the content in order to make it easier for readers to understand a concept. You verify facts and refine what to publish. If we see a typo in print, it’s either because the editor simply missed it or it’s possible there was not an editor at all!


How to become a writer, copywriter, or editor

To be a writer, it is most common to have a college degree, at least, for a salaried position. Typically, a bachelor degree is preferred. You should get experience any way that you can.

Experience makes you more qualified and better at performing for a client. Whether it is freelance or professional, experience is key.

To be a copywriter, there are no necessary qualifications to be successful. Typically, copywriters begin and spend almost all of their time freelancing. You should read as many books and blogs as you can to learn how to be the best. Here is a website you can use to order a book with the tips and tricks to a successful career.

Last, but certainly not least, to become an editor experience is preferred. You typically begin as an editorial assistant, a writer, or a reporter. For a salaried position, most companies prefer a college degree, but you don’t necessarily need one for freelance work.

Below I have added a few websites that can get you experience through freelance work.


What is the salary for a writer, copywriter, or editor?

On average, the typical writer makes about $55,940 a year. However, the range is from $28,000 all the way up to $118,000. The salary you make depends on the quality of your work and you experience.

The average salary for a copywriter is approximately $47,000, with the range being $32,000 - $69,000 a year. The max salary is lower than the other two simply because you don’t write as much in one project. In reality, how much you make depends greatly upon who you work for.

For editors, the salary range is anywhere from $29,000 all the way up to $104,000. Editors, on average, earn about $54,000. The huge range is all based on experience and the type of job you have. For example, freelancers earn less than big-time editors.


What software does a writer, copywriter, or editor use?

All three careers can easily use Microsoft Word and/or a pen and pencil. All you really need is a means to write words down.

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