Copywriters are professionals whose job involves creating powerful, compelling content to market products, services, and ideas. Their primary goal is to influence the reader – their target audience – to undertake a specific action, whether it’s clicking on a link, purchasing a product or service, or signing up for a newsletter.

Here’s a step-by-step breakdown of what copywriters do:

Step #1: Research

After receiving the content brief, copywriters take a deep dive into researching their target audience, competitors selling the same (or similar) products or services, and the product or service they are marketing. As you might guess, this process is long and exhaustive. So much so that the best copywriters – whose copy has sold millions of dollars worth of products – spend as much as 60% of their entire time on this part. That is because they know that unless they are an expert on their reader’s preferences, their competitor(s) strategies, and the product/service they’re marketing, their copy won’t be able to sell.

Step #2: Ideation

Once they have gained a complete understanding of the target audience, copywriters employ various strategies to come up with ideas that will distinguish their copy from the competition’s. Unless they are working in a one-person team, ideation kicks off with copywriters brainstorming ideas with designers, marketers, and strategies. The goal is to come up with ideas that are unconventional and exciting. The brainstorming sessions focus more on quantity than quality, as sometimes the wildest, most outlandish ideas can spark inspiration for writing killer copy. This is why the most successful copywriting teams I have worked with suspend criticism or judgment during the brainstorming phase, allowing for a safe space where ideas can flow without fear.

Step #3: Writing

After completing the first two steps, the copywriter sits on their desk and comes up with the first draft. However, instead of just diving in and writing aimlessly, the best copywriters follow a strict content hierarchy while working on the first draft. One that guides the reader through the various stages of interest, starting from grabbing their attention to holding interest, building up the desire for the product or service they’re marketing before ending with a specific call to action (CTA). Throughout the entire process, the main goal of the copywriter is to write in a language that keeps the reader hooked. This may involve employing relatable anecdotes and success stories as relayed by previous customers.

Step #4: Revising

Once they are finished with the first draft, most copywriters step away and do anything that takes their mind away from work, whether it’s taking the night off, planning a get-together with friends, or simply watching Netflix. This is done to make sure that by the time they are ready to revise and edit their copy, they have a fresh perspective. This fresh perspective is crucial for eliminating bland words and replacing them with powerful language. Revising serves another goal that most copywriters deliberately ignore while they are writing the first draft – aligning the writing style with the identity of the brand whose product or service they are marketing.

Step #5: Getting feedback

Once copywriters have researched, written, and revised their copy, they take the most dreaded step – presenting their work to relevant stakeholders to listen to their feedback and refine/improve the copy as needed. I call this the most dreaded step because most copywriters I know hate seeing the face of the person who is reading their copy for the first time. That’s because they are unsure of the kind of remarks they will get. A good piece of advice I have received to overcome this dread is not to take the feedback as an attack on your personality. Just because someone doesn’t like your work doesn’t mean they don’t like who you are. If you could see things in such a positive light, it would be easier for you to carry out the multiple rounds of revisions it takes most copywriters to take their copy from where it’s at the first draft to where they want it to take.

Step #6: Final delivery

After revising the copy to everyone’s satisfaction – including the stakeholders’ – the copywriter is required to submit the final version in the agreed-upon format. However, before submitting the copy, the copywriter must carry out a thorough overview for any last-minute typos, grammatical errors, and formatting inconsistencies. Think of the review as checking every room and corner of your home for dust or misplaced items a few hours before guests are due. That’s because no matter how careful you were during the entire past week, most of the time, a few things escape your attention, requiring urgent redressing in the final minutes. These last-minute revisions are necessary to ensure that the final product not only meets expectations but also exceeds them.