Not to be confused with ‘copyright’, which according to the Collins English Dictionary is ‘exclusive legal right to reproduce and control a book, work of art etc,’ a copywriter, in its broadest sense, is a person who writes ‘copy’ – text or words – for the commercial market.
Traditionally thought of as advertising bods, creating text for billboards or TV ads, along with other PR communications, the word ‘copywriter’ is now more of an umbrella term that encompasses so much more. Also referred to as commercial writers or content writers, individuals who work in this field can be either full time employed or they work freelance.
The words written by a copywriter are designed with an audience in mind, but not all is dedicated promotional material for the purpose of direct sales and marketing. In addition to advertising copy and advertorials found in newspapers and magazines, plus direct mail, brochures and newsletters, copywriters are also employed to write website content, white papers and reports etc.
A copywriter needs to have a good understanding of general marketing practices in order to write successful copy that portrays the right message to the target audience. This is becoming increasingly important in the digital world, where knowing what people look for when searching the internet, as well as how they search, is crucial. Copywriters need to take into consideration search engine optimisation (SEO) when they write web copy, in order to improve the visibility of the content that they write.
If you think of a copywriter as a person who writes words for commercial purposes, you won’t be far wrong. Take in to consideration the amount of ‘words’ that a business has to produce in order to be visible to its consumers, be it digitally or in print and that someone has to write those words. You can begin to understand that the job of a copywriter is vast and varied, but that it can make the difference to have those words written properly by someone with writing expertise.