What exactly is copywriting?

Copywriting writing for websites Writing Tips

It may seem obvious what a copywriter does but you’d be surprised the number of people who ask me this question at networking events.

The Macquarie Dictionary definition of a copywriter is “a writer of copy for advertisements or publicity releases” which is too specific.    Wikipedia has a better, broader definition.

Today, a copywriter’s skills extend beyond writing just advertisements and press releases.  Although traditionally the objective of a copywriter is to write copy that persuades a target audience to take a form of action (eg for adverts and other sales material), the range of tactical devices that can be used to do this has changed significantly since the arrival of the internet.

A copywriter could be asked to write content for anything from an eblast to a a Facebook message.  Some copywriters have expanded their skills to write web content that is search engine optimised, ie it is written in a way that will help a website to be found by google and achieve a high page ranking. 

Copywriting can appear in a wide range of written collateral including direct marketing material, websites, social media, advertisements, press releases, letters, catalogues, posters, brochures and radio and TV scripts.

Regardless of which format a copywriter uses to convey a message, a copywriter still needs to research and have a thorough understanding of their client’s business, products and services before starting to write.  It can be a lengthy process but is worth the effort to produce satisfactory results.

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