When you’re on a website, perusing a brochure, or reading any piece of writing that’s come from a business, you’re unlikely to find the name of the copywriter who wrote it.
It’s not like writing a book or making art. Copywriters tend to work in the shadows (honestly, if you knew they were there, they probably didn’t doing a very good job).
So what is copywriting exactly?
That question gets asked a lot. When I first started out as a copywriter, I was surprised by how many times I had to explain the difference between copywriting and copyrights (to be clear, we have nothing to do with the legal protection of your intellectual property).
Put simply, copywriting is the art of selling with words, and it’s a vital part of both online and offline business marketing.
A copywriter writes the text that advertises businesses and charities. The words that you read in websites, blogs, sales letters, brochures etc. are known as ‘copy’.
And it takes a professional to write it well.
What copywriters are not
Copywriters don’t build websites (apart from writing web copy and metatags). We don’t do layouts. And we don’t deal with pictures.
Those jobs belong to photographers, web designers and graphic designers, (though some copywriters also offer these services, or are happy to refer you to someone who will).
What copywriters are
Copywriters deal with words. It’s our job to craft the words that sell for you.
These days, copywriting is as much an art as it is a science.
It takes creativity to come up with engaging content that readers will love.
But knowing the formulas that sell best, learning what your target market will respond to, advertising without coming off as ‘salesy’, and learning the keywords and phrases that will get your website seen; that is equal parts science, maths, psychology, and pure gut instinct.
The day of ‘salesy’ copy is coming to an end, and with it, the role of the copywriter has become more important to small businesses now than ever before.
We live in a world where customers want to understand things, they want to learn, and they want to know about the businesses they’re buying from (which is why blogging has become such an important part of running a business). Copywriting is a direct line of communication between you and your target market, so it’s important that you know what to say.
The job of the copywriter is to write mutually beneficial copy that will provide valuable information and entertainment to the target market, while also raising awareness of your brand or business.
It’s selling without selling.
This is the fine line the copywriter must walk, and it can take many years of practice to perfect the art.