This writer loves to write humorous articles and has answered these interview questions that will take you through the ups and downs you can expect in this career, what it takes to land the job, what you can expect to earn and more.
What is your job title and what industry do you work in? How many years of experience do you have in this field?
My name is Khris Talbot and my job title is copywriter. The industries that I work in are mostly education and entertainment. I have a grand total of five years of experience as a copywriter.
How would you describe what you do? What does your work entail? Are there any common misunderstandings you want to correct about what you do?
I would describe what I do as translating the ideas of other people into words that everybody can understand. Copywriting entails a great deal of different skills. Most of the time, the process involves researching a particular topic after receiving directions from the client. After researching the topic, what a copywriter must usually do is draw up an outline to show the client what he is planning to write. After that comes the first draft, and then a series of back-and-forth edits in which the client and copywriter will collaborate to create the most commercially viable precise piece. A common misunderstanding that I would like to correct about what I do is that copywriting entails only writing - that is actually only about 30% of the job.
On a scale of 1 to 10 how would you rate your job satisfaction? What might need to change about your job to unleash your full enthusiasm?
I rate my job satisfaction at a six, and it's not because I do not like to write. Most of the topics and clients that I write about/for are not in industries that I would write about unless I was getting paid. For me to unleash my full enthusiasm, the main thing that would need to change is the consolidation of topics. Basically, I would only write about industries that I enjoy.
If this job moves your heart – how so? Ever feel like you found your calling or sweet spot in life? If not, what might do it for you?
This job is my heart, because I like to bring understanding to new subjects. I love when, because of my writing, someone is able to understand a topic that they would've normally had no interest in. This job is close to my calling in life, but maybe it is not my final calling. When I'm writing about industries that I actually enjoy, some of the professions that I write about actually seemed more conducive to my happiness than writing.
Is there anything unique about your situation that readers should know when considering your experiences or accomplishments?
One unique thing about my situation that readers should know when considering my accomplishments as a writer is that my parents valued education above most things. It did not matter how I did in sports or music; if I was not bringing home top grades in school, the other activities that I was doing would be stopped.
How did you get started in this line of work? If you could go back and do it differently, what would you change?
I got started in this line of work through freelance opportunities. I actually was quite dissatisfied with my previous employment and quit. I had always been a good writer, and so I began freelancing search engine optimization writing for online businesses. This expanded eventually into a full-blown business. If I could go back and do it differently, I would probably have written more earlier on in my career.
What did you learn the hard way in this job and what happened specifically that led up to this hard-learned lesson?
One thing that I learned the hard way in this job is that there is no room for error. Most people hold hired writers to a higher standards than they hold themselves. Nothing specific happened to have me learn this lesson the hard way; this is just the general nature of clients who hire me.
What’s the strangest thing that ever happened to you in this job?
Nothing strange has really happened to me in this job; that is part of the reason that my job satisfaction is at six.
Why do you get up and go to work each day? Can you give an example of something that really made you feel good or proud?
I get up and go to work each day because I do enjoy developing topics. I just hope that one day I can use my abilities in a more creative outlet. One example of something that made me feel especially proud is when I was asked to write a humorous article for Joan Rivers; she liked it and used it in her website. This is more the type of writing that I would like to do.
What kind of challenges do you handle and what makes you really want to pull your hair out?
The biggest challenge that I handle is writer's block. To maintain my lifestyle, I must write a certain number of articles per day, come rain, sleet, or hail. This means that I really cannot afford to have writers block. And so when it comes, it is a huge annoyance.
How stressful is your job? Are you able to maintain a comfortable or healthy work-life balance?
My job actually does have a lot of stress because of the time constraints. I am constantly on a deadline. However, I can take breaks and vacations whenever I want, and so if I get ahead of my work load, I think I'm in heaven. Therefore, I would rate my work life balance at pretty healthy, but it could definitely be better.
What’s a rough salary range for the position you hold? Are you paid enough and/or happy living within your means?
A rough salary range for the position I hold is anywhere from $20,000-$40,000 per year. I do not think that this is an appropriate salary for a talented writer. People make much more money off of my writing that I make writing it.
How much vacation do you take? Is it enough?
I don't really take vacations. I just take off work when I get tired.
What education and skills do you need to get hired and succeed in this field?
The education and skills that you need to get hired and succeed in this field are writing ability and patience, both with clients and with yourself.
What would you tell a friend considering your line of work?
If I had a friend that was considering this line of work, I would tell him or her to consider outsourcing the actual writing. I feel that a great way to make money in this business is to crowd source the actual task and become more of an agent who finds work for others than if you were a pure copywriter.
If you could write your own ticket, what would you like to be doing in five years?
If I could write my own ticket I would have a business where writers wrote for me and I simply served as their agent. I would also have an entertainment component in the business - in which I somehow got to rub shoulders with popular writers and celebrities. I would also have a book of my own turned into a movie.
This featured guest post, written by Gaby, is a true career story as told to DiversityJobs.com and is one of many interviews with professionals which among others include a Software Engineer and a High School English Teacher.
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