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what is a copywriter?

As much as this freaks me out, it’s true. Some people don’t know what a copywriter is. Some people think I’m a ‘copyrighter’ – which I’m not. Not knowing what a copywriter is, means that they likely have no idea what it would be like to use one or how. So in this post, I’ll tell you what a copywriter is. Then, on Monday, I’ll tell you how to work with one. Sound good? Okay, here we go.

1. A copywriter, or ‘officially’ a freelance commercial copywriter, is someone who writes words, content, copy, text for companies, businesses, individuals.

2. Commercial copywriters, like myself, generally write content for marketing materials such as: websites, blogs, advertisements, brochures, sell sheets, annual reports, articles, sales letters, direct mail and the like.

3. Copywriters get paid for this work – some handsomely, some not so much – by the hour or by the project.

4. Some copywriters like to work collaboratively with designers, marketing directors, printers, etc. While others prefer to work alone.

5. A copywriter is different from a freelance journalist in that a freelance journalist writes for newspapers, magazines and web journals/zines while a copywriter writes content for see #2 above. The only similarities are that we both write, and we both wait around to be paid by busy people not thinking about us all day long like we think about them.

6. Copywriters are great tools for businesses because they lend a fresh perspective to your message and because dentists are good at teeth, realtors are good at real estate and writers are good at writing. It is always best to stick to your expertise and let the other experts take care of the other business.

7. Copywriters can focus on specific industries or work as generalists. Either way, a good copywriter should be able to change their writing style, tone, rhythm, personality to match their client’s message and identity. Acting provides a great example here: think of Dustin Hoffman in Tootsie, then think of Dustin Hoffman in Rainman. Capiche?

8. From what I hear, good copywriters (who do good work on time) are hard to find…the profession is not quite as popular as graphic design or web design – hence the raison d’etre for this article.

See you Monday…have a great weekend.

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