What are the different types of copywriter?

Nick Harland
June 2021
Creative copywriter

Whilst it is important for a copywriter to be adaptable enough to write in different styles and formats, some choose to classify themselves as a certain type of copywriter to appeal to a niche. Here are the main ones.

Copywriting can come in many forms. Whilst it is important for a copywriter to be adaptable enough to write in different styles and formats, some choose to classify themselves as a certain type of copywriter, such as a creative copywriter, in order to appeal to a niche. How they define themselves typically depends on the industry which they specialise in or the generalised type of copywriting that they do, such as SEO copywriting. Let’s take a look at some of the main types of copywriter.

Creative Copywriter

A creative copywriter uses punchy taglines and memorable language to sell products or services. They write the entertaining copy that you’re likely to see in adverts, social media posts and websites. It is not copy that is written with a search engine algorithm in mind, nor does it necessarily intend to explain complicated concepts, so in that sense a creative copywriter has a lot more artistic license than normal. However, they still have to deliver results.

SEO Copywriter

An SEO copywriter specialises in writing optimised copy that gets your website up the search rankings. They will target specific keywords in each piece of copy in order to get more visibility for your website. An SEO copywriter is less concerned with the creative aspect of writing and more with satisfying Google’s algorithms. It can sometimes make the finished copy a little more clunky and mechanical than that of a creative copywriter, but a skilled SEO copywriter is able to write creatively whilst staying within the best SEO practices.

Technical Copywriter

A technical copywriter simplifies complex ideas. They can take highly precise, industry-specific language and transform it into a digestible format. Some technical copywriters go further and classify themselves by industry instead, meaning they could be, for example, a specialist healthcare copywriter, legal copywriter or financial copywriter (more on that later). With this type of copywriting there is less pressure to sell things or convince the reader to take action, but you generally require a lot of industry experience to succeed as a technical copywriter.

eCommerce Copywriter

An eCommerce copywriter specialises in writing copy for online stores - things like product descriptions, landing pages and blog posts. They work with companies in many different industries and so they need a good mix of technical knowledge, creativity and SEO expertise to succeed. In that sense an eCommerce copywriter has one of the most varied skill sets of any copywriter. It’s a perfect example of how copywriting is expanding into more niche disciplines to cater for the demands of the digital world.

Social Media Copywriter

As the title suggests, a social media copywriter specialises in...you guessed it, writing the copy for social media posts and ads. Given that each social media platform has different requirements in terms of word count, format, tone of voice and formality, a social media copywriter needs to be highly adaptable in their writing style. However, what is arguably most important is for them to be on top of the latest trends in social media. Analysing what works and what doesn’t on each platform, and incorporating that into their writing, marks out a high-quality social media copywriter.

UX Writer

Although the terms UX Copywriter and UX Writer are used somewhat interchangeably, we believe the correct term should be UX Writer

We define copywriting as ‘the act of writing for marketing purposes’, and any form of writing that tries to persuade the reader to take action should be considered copywriting. A UX Writer’s role is to guide people through a digital product or interface using microcopy. They are not selling anything or persuading the reader to take action, simply improving their user experience, and therefore they do not fit into the definition of copywriting. 

However this is an interesting new branch of copywriting which is worth talking about because it is fast-growing and also one of the highest-paid roles in the writing world. A good UX Writer should have a good understanding of the principles of user experience, product design and user research along with excellent writing skills. Although recruitment of UX Writers was initially limited to tech giants such as Amazon and PayPal, they are now becoming an accepted part of any organisation that deals with digital products such as a website or app.

Nick Harland