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What’s a Copywriter?

A copywriter creates the written portion of advertising and marketing materials. This is not to be confused with copyright, which is legal ownership of a written publication. When I tell people I work as a copywriter, they say “Oh! So do you handle patents?” No. I write copy. In the advertising industry, the content that you create to market products is referred to as “copy.”

Now that we’re well into the internet age, “content writer” is also used to describe the work that copywriters perform. However, copywriting employs persuasion, while web content writing involves adding basic, common search terms (keywords).

  • A web article (blog post) that teaches the essential steps to refinance your mortgage would be written by a content writer.
  • A sales page that persuades people to refinance their mortgage with a particular lender, would be written by a copywriter.

Try to tuck in some exciting and energizing words (“copy”) into your web content, so that web surfers will decide to stick around and read more.

The term “copy” is used when discussing collaborative projects you’ll work on with a graphic designer. Examples:

  • “Email this to Dina so she can get going on writing the copy.”
  • “The client has asked to review the copy.”

Copywriting Project Flow

Here’s how creative projects flow in the world of advertising, and copywriters:

  1. Define the target audience (age group, gender, socio-economic status, values, other details).
  2. Name the project (example: “we’re creating a trifold welcome brochure for a landscape design company”).
  3. Outline the needed elements (cover art, logo, company overview, services, seasonal promo, contact page).
  4. The copywriter kicks things off. He or she outlines all needed elements.
  5. The designer gets going on his or her portion – creating the perfect visual presentation, choosing images, placing images, developing the layout.
  6. The copywriter supplies written content (typically an MS Word or Google doc) to the designer.
  7. Designer inputs the written words into the project layout, then kicks it back to the writer to tweak and edit so the words will fit the space.
  8. Next come a few review rounds involving other collaborators, like the marketing team.
  9. Proofreading goes for several rounds until all details meet expectation.
  10. Project goes to print, or is posted live on the web.

That’s it! Now you know what a copywriter does. Interested in becoming a copywriter? It’s a great profession. Learn more here.