Name: Rachel Kerr
Job title: Senior SEO Copywriter
Time in current role: 3 years
Rachel is a Senior SEO (search engine optimisation) Copywriter at digital marketing agency Bamboo Nine.
How did you land your current job?
I qualified with a degree in English Literature and then went on to complete a Creative Writing master’s degree. During university I took an internship with Virgin Holidays as an Editorial Assistant where I helped write and edit nine holiday brochures for print. After finishing university I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do so I freelanced for a little while by writing content for people I knew and outreaching to companies asking if they needed anyone to write their blog for them. It was during this time I started looking into copywriting as a potential career so I just did a job search on Indeed where a role for Junior Copywriter at Bamboo Nine came up.
I wouldn’t say I had a huge amount of ‘real world’ experience when it came to applying for the job. However, I had a hunger to learn and my university degree and internship experience certainly helped to push me above the competition.
As a copywriter I’m referred to as a ‘salesman in print’. That means I write to make my clients money.
What are the key functions of your role?
It’s my responsibility to manage all the search engine optimised content for Bamboo Nine’s clients. I basically write content that ranks in Google so that the websites I write for are accessible and visible to online customers, helping make my clients money. As Senior Copywriter I independently manage, write and edit all of the content for around 15 clients. In addition to this I help to manage and train junior copywriters.
SEO copywriting is essential for any business and organic SEO helps set your business up to succeed in an online world. As a copywriter I’m referred to as a ‘salesman in print’. That means I write to make my clients money. Whether I’m writing service pages, blog posts or articles for outreach, all of my content helps raise brand awareness, increase online visibility and sell the services or products my clients provide.
Talk us through your typical day at work
In copywriting, the days can look quite different. However, typically my day starts by carrying out keyword research for a client to find the top searches customers are making around their services. Once I’ve chosen a topic for an article, I thoroughly research the subject, ask the client any questions I have and write the article.
Once the article has been written and published I add it into our online tracking system so that I can track how many visitors and conversions it’s had. This means that I can go back and update the article or make any relevant changes that help the page rank better in Google or serve the need of the reader in the best way. Typically I write three to four detailed articles every day – so I try to be a pretty fast typist!
If a client is visiting me in the office I’ll be required in the meeting to answer any questions they have about the content and to report on the work I’ve carried out for them and how it’s performing. Meetings are a great opportunity to speak to the client and make sure everyone is on the same page and clear on the goal we’re all working towards. At Bamboo Nine we also have weekly team meetings to see how everyone is doing with their work.
I really enjoy how varied my job is. Every client I write for offers a service that’s very different from the next.
How would your colleagues describe you in three words?
Happy, funny and efficient.
Your favourite part of the job?
I really enjoy how varied my job is. Every client I write for offers a service that’s very different from the next. I honestly feel like I learn something new every day – particularly with all the research I have to carry out for my clients! Honestly, I could win a pub quiz with all of the things I’ve learnt after working here for three years.
I also like that we’re assigned ‘self-learning’ hours in the month. This is time that’s specifically set aside for each of us to develop our own skills. At the moment I’m using this time to read and do some research into the psychology of copywriting. Constant learning and development are very important to me and I think that if you want to be a great writer it takes hard work so never stop learning.
…and the part you could do without?
I’m sure there are many writers out there who appreciate the need for quiet time – particularly when they’re struggling with a hard piece of content that requires uninterrupted concentration. So I think it’s okay for me to admit that sometimes working in a busy office environment means lots of interruptions and this can make it hard to write a coherent sentence. But on days when the office is busy I find it helpful to plug myself into music and focus on my writing.
The most important thing you have to possess is a willingness to put yourself out there and work hard.
Plans for the future?
It’s not so much a career change as it is a future dream, but I would love to be a published author (just like every other writer out there). In my spare time I’m currently writing a number of children’s picture books that I hope to have on the shelves in the near future.
Do you have any advice for others aspiring to break into your field?
I think my biggest tip for people wanting to break into this industry is to stay inspired and work hard. At the end of the day it doesn’t matter too much if you don’t have qualifications in the relevant field. The most important thing you have to possess is a willingness to put yourself out there and work hard. So I’d recommend applying for internships, freelancing, starting a blog/podcast/YouTube channel or doing something that requires you to create content on a regular basis. The most important thing employers are looking for is someone who is passionate about what they do. There are plenty of people out there who are super qualified but that doesn’t mean they love what they do. If you have a dream, take small steps every day and start working your way towards it. LLY