• Anna Milward

So What Does a Copywriter Actually Do?

If You Don’t Know What A Copywriter Does, You’re Not Alone

Copywriter typing on typewriter
Typewriter with hand typing

I was at a copywriting conference last month, and one of the presenters stood up at the beginning of the session and asked “does anyone outside this room know what a copywriter actually does?” Needless to say we all laughed. And cringed just a little bit inside.

You might be familiar with the term copywriter, but do you know what a copywriter actually does? There’s a surprising amount of confusion about what the term means and what kind of work you can employ a copywriter for. Here’s a quick rundown on the term and a bit more detail on what us word nerds actually do all day.

Copywriting vs. Copyright

To start with, copywriting has nothing to do with trademarks or copyright as so many people seem to assume it does. Copywriting is the act of writing ‘copy’ - advertising or publicity material text. Copywriting is often referred to as sales by text but the reality of what a copywriter does actually goes a lot further than this.

What sort of things does a copywriter write?

Back in the day, copywriters like Peggy in Mad Men, wrote adverts, slogans and brochure text but these days when so much of marketing takes place online, most copywriters tend to focus on writing online marketing materials like websites, blog posts, social media text, and online ads. We also write other forms of text like Annual Reports, Product Descriptions, Sales Letters, Emails and pretty much anything else that your business might need that uses the written word.

Content writing vs. copywriting

You might see people advertising their services as a content writer rather than a copywriter. While these terms are often used interchangeably, generally a content writer will take a more digital focus and create online copy like blog posts and website copy. Sometimes a content writer will also do video scripts and infographics and other forms of visual content.

Who needs a copywriter?

Most copywriters work with businesses, agencies and other organisations to help them reach customers and persuade them to do something, whether it’s to buy a product, sign up for a newsletter, or get in touch for a quote. If you use the written word to promote yourself in any capacity, a copywriter can help you.

Even if you’re a good writer yourself, you might still want to consider hiring a copywriter. When you are working to convince your customers to do something, it's not enough to have well-worded copy. There are various persuasive sales techniques that a good copywriter will be able to implement to make your business not only sound great, but also to get results.

Time is another reason to think about outsourcing your writing to a copywriter. Many business owners are flat out running their business and simply don’t have the time to produce regular content for their website or social media platforms. If you want to grow your business but don’t have the time to do it, you need a copywriter.

What is an SEO copywriter?

SEO copywriting is a specialised form of copywriting that’s geared at building online visibility by appealing to Google as well as to audiences. The higher you appear in search engine rankings once people look for relevant keywords, the more successful you are likely to be. Getting to the top spots on Google is a highly competitive business and there are dedicated SEO agencies and professionals who spend their entire time optimising websites to improve rankings (and often charge an arm and a leg for the privilege).

SEO copywriting usually focuses less on the technical side of website optimisation and more on the placement of certain keywords within the headers, descriptions and text of your website. This is part art and part science as you want to make sure the right terms are in the right place while also making the text sound appealing and interesting to readers.

Do you need a copywriter?

To find out more about what a copywriter does and to get some help, get in touch with me today.

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