Picture of a female copywriter using a typewriter in Derby

Who know’s what a copywriter spends their time doing whilst locked away in their secret lair.

It’s a murky world of grey, and it doesn’t help that there seems to be a never-ending supply of mistruths about what a copywriter actually is…

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A blogger typing an article on a typewriter about copywriting

Whilst we’re unlikely to be spending too much time locked in a ‘red room’ (well, maybe some of us!), here’s some clarification on what we’re more likely to be up to.

Let’s bust those copywriting myths that simply want to make writers tear their hair out

Copywriting is about product patents

This one is so common, and understandably so – copywriter does sound a whole lot like copyright-er (though I’m not sure that’s an actual job).

Sadly, we’re nothing to do with copyright, and that whole world of legalities confuses us just as much as everyone else.

Image of a copywriter writing on a notepad

Copywriter is just a clever name for a writer, right?

Not so.

Writing copy is a particular aspect of marketing – it’s the ‘sales speak’ you find on websites, business communications, and anywhere the target audience is expected to do something.

We have to be experts in a few factors to get it right:

  • search engine optimisation
  • market research
  • psychology
  • strategic planning and implementation
  • and a whole lot more!

Essentially, it’s impossible for us to sit down and just ‘write’.

We have to research, analyse, plan, draft, edit, optimise, revise, and so on. We have quite a few skills under our belts!

From SEO copywriting to market research and psychology – copywriters are equipped with a wide range of marketing skills

A brief isn’t necessary if I tell a copywriter what I need

We’re marketing professionals, not miracle workers.

The more information you can give us the better, and that’s everything from target audience, product design and planning, through to where you want your business to be in ten years’ time.

Effective sales copy is telling a story about you, your business and what you sell – so you need to fill in as many of the blanks for as possible.

A man holding a blank piece of paper ready for effective content marketing

Sure, we can crank out a standard blog about orthodontic dentistry, but it won’t help your marketing objectives if you don’t give us the background information we need.

Another aspect to this is when a client comes back to us with a complaint that the writing isn’t what they were expecting.

Whilst this isn’t unusual (we understand how to speak directly to your target audience and have the tools and experience you don’t, so it’s going to be somewhat different to what you’d write yourself); if it’s completely and utterly different chances are it’s due to a bad brief.

To discover the best way to brief your copywriter – check out my unconventional guide to outsourcing.

Pictionary of a thesaurus because copywriting isn't just about clever words

All copywriters have a perfect command of the English language

Yes…and no.

Y’see, we understand the English language, the grammar rules, and how to write an English essay – most of us are university graduates, or similarly qualified.

But, here’s the catch to that.

Copy is ‘sales speak’ – it’s a direct conversation with your intended reader. That means the writing is reflective of a conversation, and no one uses perfect grammar when they talk!

We’re more focussed on using the right words and getting the tone pitched perfectly for your target audience, than writing copy that will pass an English exam with flying colours.

Whilst there is much confusion about what we do, and how we do it, there’s one thing that everyone should be clear on – effective copywriting is essential for every business.

If you want to avoid any grey areas in your communications, get in touch today and discover how the right words can make all the difference to your business.

About the Author Zoe Hughes

Zoe is an experienced content writer specialising in the health and wellness sector. Zoe now combines her writing skills with marketing and search engine optimisation to provide a complete content marketing solution to her clients.

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