Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Copywriting Vs Copyrighting - No, It's Not About Books

As a copywriter, I am asked all the time: "Do you work with books?" I actually did work in publishing many moons ago, but I don't "copyright" books. I write sales and promotional copy for websites, email campaigns, white papers, marketing/sales collateral, etc. I also write press releases, articles and blogs.

Just a quick lesson on copywriting and copywriters:

  • Wikipedia's definition - "Copywriting is the use of words to promote a person, business, opinion or idea. Although the word copy may be applied to any content intended for printing (as in the body of a newspaper article or book), the term copywriter is generally limited to such promotional situations, regardless of media."
  • A copywriter is hired to write advertising, sales or publicity-based copy.

A copywriter CAN write articles and probably knows AP-Style like the back of their hand. Like me, some of us copywriters have journalism backgrounds but that's not always the case. 

Don't assume that a copywriter also DESIGNS websites. Some freelance copywriters are knowledgeable in HTML and some offer two-fold services - copywriting and web design but that's usually not the case. Don't always assume a copywriter is a designer and vice versa - designers aren't copywriters either!

Before hiring a freelance copywriter, check out their writing samples and always ask for references. Be wary of hiring a copywriter through freelance bidding sites - you get what you pay for and content writers are NOT copywriters. There is a HUGE difference. There's a certain trick and talent when it comes to writing effective sales copy. 

If you hire a copywriter, please take their work and efforts seriously. If you think YOU can do a better job writing copy, then don't hire a professional copywriter. 

IF you want to increase sales and  profits, improve your branding, add SEO copy to your social media and websites or take your marketing campaign to a new level- think about taking the pressure off your shoulders! Hire marketing professionals and copywriters to do the hard work for you.

There's a reason why us copywriters are out there - it's our job to make you sound great without sounding too gimmicky or fluffy.

Don't pretend you're a writer when you aren't. We all have our strengths and weaknesses. If you are trying to save a buck and write the copy yourself - you actually could put yourself out of business. The written word sends a powerful message and your reputation is always on the line (especially ONLINE!)

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Therese Pope, Copywriter/Content Developer & Digital Buzz-icist

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