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What is copywriting

What is copywriting, & what does a copywriter do?

Copywriting is the act of writing a block of text that has one goal: to sell something to someone. That something can be anything, the next-gen product you didn’t know you needed, the fancy new diet that’ll change your lifestyle for the better, all of the reasons you need to pick them over someone else for a service contract, or a compelling speech to win some votes. In short, a copywriter is a salesperson.

There are many different types of copywriting. And while the goal is the same (to sell), the medium it’s delivered on (online, offline, website, magazine, etc.) shapes it’s length, tone and style. For example, the words you hear on radio advertisements are much shorter than the text you’ll read on a website landing page.

So what makes copywriting different from other kinds of writing?

I’m sure that my answer to this question will seriously ruffle some feathers, but, I don’t think copywriting is really all that different from other kinds of writing. That might seem strange at first, but think about it: when a poet writes prose, they’re selling you a feeling — their feelings; and if you read what they write and you feel something, you’re sold. That’s a sell. It’s as simple as that. The same applies to car manufactures, garage door installers, coffee shops selling mugs, etc. Sure, the format’s different. And sell is definitely more obvious with cars than prose, but the goal is the same: to sell.

I just said it’s all the same, now I’ll tell you why copywriting is different.

I know, I know. I’m contradicting myself a little bit. Sorta. Just stay with me a few seconds more!

I started out by saying a copywriter is a salesperson, and that all writers have the same goal (to sell). But copywriters are different from other writers in this way: we sell you. We always selling something: your products, your services, your ideas.

Copywriting, while it is writing, isn’t copywriting if no one’s reading it. Here’s another way of saying it: A poet can write prose and never show anyone — and that’s enough. Many poems and short stories are hidden in journals that no one other than the author will ever see; but a copywriter needs someone to read it and for that reader to be sold.

AZ Copywriting Ltd.

Vancouver web designer and philosopher.

paul@zimeras.ca
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