What is Copywriting?

An example of a product description I wrote for Swatch.

When I say I’m a journalist and copywriter, one of the most common responses I get is, ‘What is copywriting?’ The truth is, you probably know what copywriting is, you just don’t know that’s what it’s called.

Copywriting is all of the writing a brand communicates to its customers which, as you can imagine, covers a lot of areas. In the past I’ve been hired to summarise a brand and their USPs for an ‘about us’ text on their websites, turn visitors into buyers through enticing product descriptions and even increase footfall by creating snappy slogans for a retail window display. Whether it’s B2B communications such as press releases, media kits and internal company announcements or B2C communication such as social media posts, brand blogs and clothes label tags, it requires an on-brand message.

The cover of the Santamaria Shirt Makers’ e-book.

A recent copywriting project I worked on was for Santamaria Shirt Makers. We put our heads together to create an e-book for their customers on ‘the bespoke shirt rules every man should know.’ You can download the guide for free, here: http://bit.ly/1l3MM4g.

These jobs, especially in small companies, often get dished out to the marketing team or, at worst, an intern, because anyone can write, right? Sure, most people can write, but few people can write well. Copywriting is part of your public facing image and getting it right makes all the difference.

Meng about us

An ‘about us’ text I created for fashion and homewares brand Meng.

Here are some of the reasons hiring a professional freelance copywriter can boost your business:

  • It’s hard to talk about yourself. When someone asks you to describe yourself, it’s often hard to answer but if they were to ask you to describe your friend, it would be much easier. Having someone external with a fresh pair of eyes get to know your brand and then describe it to others can get the message out clearer.
  • Good spelling and grammar are imperative. Some studies have shown that a single spelling mistake can reduce online sales by half. In a virtual world, something as basic as good English use is an essential tool in portraying your company as reputable and trustworthy to shop with. Do you trust your team to know the difference between compliment and complement or where the apostrophe should go in two weeks’ notice?
  • We’re specialists. We know what works and what doesn’t work, we know what sounds clichéd, we know where to insert SEO keywords, we know how long someone will read text before they likely switch off and we know how your competitors are doing it. We write for different companies and write different types of copy every day so we can use our expertise to advise you as well as execute what you’re asking for.
  • We’re creative people. Your marketing team might have the best ideas and be able to seal the deal with your business associates but can they bring your message to life for your customers through words? People can smell from a mile off when a brand is trying to sell them something. A good copywriter engages your audience with a genuine and authentic tone.
  • Save time. You may not have copywriting needs all year round but when you do launch a project that requires strong copy, your team are already very busy with their day-to-day work. Get that project done faster by hiring a little extra help. An experienced copywriter can work with swiftness and accuracy to meet your deadline… without Tony from accounts interrupting us every 15 minutes to chase an expenses receipt.

If you’d like to discuss a copywriting job with me, or just ask me a question about copywriting, feel free to contact me here.

5 thoughts on “What is Copywriting?

  1. Thanks for the informative post, Olivia. Really interesting and to the point. I’m wondering, as a copywriter are you responsible for finding the images that are used Or where in the ad the copy will be located? Or are you just responsible for coming up with the wordery?

    1. Thank you for your comment. It really depends on each client and what they’re looking for. Most of the time I am just responsible for writing the copy. I generally find that the bigger the company, the less you are asked to be responsible for. However, smaller companies are often more open to asking for your opinion and asking you to do additional tasks such as finding images and I’m always open to that. It’s important to outline exactly what you want your copywriter to do for you in the briefing stage. Springing additional tasks on them once you’ve agreed a budget and a deadline is not a good way to do business.

      1. Again, very much depends on the job and what I’m looking for! Sometimes the client has a strong archive I can search through to find suitable images, other times I use stock imagery sites.

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