What is copywriting?

What is copywriting?

If you google ‘what is copywriting’ on the internet, you’ll be able to find thousands of articles that often have vastly differing viewpoints. And this is not because the ‘experts’ are being dishonest or trying to trick you.

It’s actually hard to define what a copywriter is because copywriting encompasses so many different kinds of projects and tasks. So, if you’re trying to get a basic understanding of what copywriting is, how is that possible?

Distilling the information

One approach is to take all of the information that’s generally accepted as being valid and to put it through a distilling process – to reveal the essence or the most important part. Think of it like writing an essay for a university professor.

Students are expected to read thousands of pages and then use the information they have gathered to write a relatively concise answer to a question systematically. In the same way, this blog is going to examine the information out there and provide a succinct, easy-to-follow explanation.

A basic definition – and why it isn’t ideal

Let’s start with a basic, ‘dictionary-style’ definition:

                 Copywriting is writing text for the purpose of advertising or marketing.

Yes, this is a good starting point, and most people agree this is essentially correct. But there are many different kinds of text and there are many different ways in which you can advertise or market. So, this is nowhere near satisfactory on its own.

Using ‘Key Words’ as a definition

A much better idea is to isolate some fundamental ideas or concepts about copywriting – what I call ‘Key Words’ – and briefly discuss them.

Key Word List

o Call to Action: A device designed to get an immediate response or sale.
o Message/Story: The purpose is to make a connection with the reader.
o SEO (Search Engine Optimisation): If a copywriter is not an expert, they must at least have SEO familiarity.
o Offer: An offer should create urgency and focus on what worries clients, giving them a solution.
o Objections: Good copy addresses objections that a potential client has NOT to buy.
o USP (Unique Selling Point): Unique benefit exhibited by a company, service, product or brand that enables it to stand out from competitors.
o Relationship: People need to connect with you > know you > like you > trust you > buy from you.
o Value: Establish value through: Best cost, Best product, Best service.
o Features and benefits: Turn features of a product or service into benefits for a client.

Copywriting is basically combining these elements to create content uniquely suited to each individual client. Once you have had a chance to think about these Key Words, and how they interplay with each other, you will have a clear understanding of what it takes to be a successful copywriter!

If you’d like to read more about compelling copywriting, look out for more blogs in this series. Or if you’d like to share your thoughts, contact me at [email protected].