Occasionally I run into the question ‘what is a copywriter?’, when I tell people what I do for a living. Most have some idea that writing is involved, but sometimes people assume I am in fact fighting piracy.
What is a copywriter? Nothing do with copyright
Although copywriters sometimes argue about exactly what their trade involves, one thing is for sure – piracy and copyright theft is completely unrelated to copywriting. So you don’t have to worry about me kicking your door in because of that MP3 you downloaded from Napster back in 2001.
What is a copywriter? Not a copier of writing
Copywriting also has nothing to do with copying writing. It is not being a paid plagiarist. Or a human photocopier.
Stealing content, including words, is wrong. Which puts us back into “copyright” territory.
So what is a copywriter? Someone who sells with words
At the most fundamental level, copywriting is the art of producing words that sell.
Traditionally, copywriting has revolved around sales letters, taglines, and upfront advertising. The age of content marketing however has somewhat changed the definition.
Any kind of article, including white papers and reports, which do not blatantly sell can still be considered as examples of copywriting. These articles may not be selling your products or services, but they are selling your brand as an expert in your field.
Even the About Us page on your website becomes a form of copywriting if it is designed to ‘sell’ your skills and experience. A bit like this blog post in fact.
What is a copywriter? My favourite question!
Having worked in IT for over 16 years, I used to dread the ‘what do you do for a living?’ question. Inevitably my answer would be followed up by a request to help troubleshoot some nagging computer issue. As a technical copywriter, I do still keep up to date with IT issues and technologies. But I no longer need to make house calls to fix dead PCs.
Instead I get to talk about the companies I have worked with, the exciting copywriting projects I have helped deliver and the amazing people I have met.
Image courtesy of FreePixels.net