Web Copywriter

Andrea, 28, is a Web Copywriter for a telecommunications company. After completing a three-year media studies degree at the University of Western Ontario, she went to Sheridan College to take a one-year post-graduate program in new media journalism. Her writing and media background allowed her to get a job on a news Web site, from which she was hired for her current position.

Sarah: What made you decide to become a Web copywriter? How did you become a Web copywriter?
Well, I kind of just fell into it. After school, I got a job editing and updating content on a news Web site, which helped me to develop both technical and creative skills. From there, I applied for a job as a copywriter / copyeditor for a telecommunications company's Web site.

Sarah: What exactly does a Web copywriter do?
Basically, I write and edit copy for my company's Web site and e-mail communications. I'm also responsible for a monthly employee newsletter. For our e-mail communications, I usually write the copy from scratch (using my keen journalistic skills!). Content for the Web site usually comes from offline communications / ads and requires a lot of editing to make it work for the Web.

Sarah: What do you like about what you do?
I like that I'm always working on something different - a new promotion, a description for a new product or service, etc. I also like that I get to be creative with words. I have to figure out how to get my message across in a clear, concise and interesting way.

Sarah: What is your least favourite part of your job?
Last-minute changes! When you work with the Web, things tend to change really quickly. People expect up-to-the-minute information so you have to be flexible and ready for anything. It's really not that bad if you know what to expect!

Sarah: What advice do you have for someone considering becoming a Web copywriter?
The one thing I recommend is that you really get to know who your audience is and what works best for the medium you're writing for. Writing for the Web is very different than writing for print. Copy needs to be clear and concise because people tend to scan Web pages rather than read them from top to bottom. You really have to grab their attention and not bore them with too much text.

Sarah: Do you have to go through post-secondary education to do what you do? What kind of education did you get?
I think you definitely need some kind of education … you need to be a good writer! I took Media Studies in university and then did a post-graduate journalism program with a "new media" twist. We learned a lot about online communications including writing for the Web and Web design.