What is a copywriter?

Copywriting confusionWhen people ask me what I do for a living and I tell them that I’m a copywriter, I typically receive the same confused response…

“Oh right, great”, they’ll say, pretending to know exactly what it is! Two or three seconds will pass before their curiosity gets the better of them and they enquire a little further…

“So what does a copywriter do then?”

When I first set up my business and started telling my friends about it, I assumed that most people knew what copywriting was, and what a copywriter did. I’d previously worked in the publishing industry as deputy editor on a number of magazines, so I’d understood and used the term for years.

And because I knew what it meant, I rather naively assumed that everyone else did too!

But many people either don’t know what a copywriter is, or confuse it with the term “copyright” – which is about protecting the physical expression of an idea, such as a piece of writing, film, music or photograph, for example.

So to clarify, I’m a copywriter, not a copyrighter!

Essentially, my job is to create sales material, or “copy” for businesses, with the sole aim of convincing as many people as possible to purchase a particular product or service. This sales material can take many forms, such as sales letters, website content, email promotions, articles, blog posts and press releases.

And although I do write articles, press releases, email promotions and blog posts for a wide variety of clients, most of my time is dedicated to constructing sales letters and website content, as this is where the real money is generated.

As a result, I typically target the keywords “copywriter” or “website copywriter” in the search engines, as these terms are most relevant to what I do, and most importantly, what I like to do.

The psychology of copywriting

As well as having a penchant for the written word, the very best copywriters also possess a highly evolved understanding of human psychology. After all, a person’s decision to buy a product is often based on emotional factors, rather than logical reasoning, and an experienced copywriter will be able to tap in to those emotional triggers.

Good copywriting, therefore, is all about identifying what people want, and how a particular product is able to give it to them. It’s about pushing the reader’s hot buttons, and focusing on the benefits of the product, NOT the features, and demonstrating to the prospect how that particular product will make their life better.

Whether your product is about making money online, health improvement, muscle building or weight loss, a good copywriter will be able to deliver your message to the consumer, and convince them that the product they’re looking at is the solution to their problem.

Nick Cobb – Freelance Copywriter

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