“Copywriting… hmm, I’ve heard that word before”
Maybe today was the first day you’ve heard the word “copy” or “copywriting” used, but felt a little clueless about what it really means.
No worries, we were all in the same boat at some point in our lives – after all we weren’t born knowing these things at birth (except for Chuck Norris).
Let’s quickly look at a few official definitions and then I’ll give you my personal definition of what copywriting is.
“Yay! Definitions”, said… no one
According to “all-knowing” Wikipedia, copywriting is:
“…content conveyed through online media and print materials. Copy is content primarily used for the purpose of advertising or marketing. This type of written material is often used to persuade a person or group as well as raise brand awareness”.
What does the good old Oxford Dictionary say?
“…the text of advertisements or publicity material”.
And just for the heck of it, the Urban Dictionary says:
… Well they actually say nothing about copywriting; just a wisecrack entry about copywriters (doesn’t surprise me).
The art of sales on paper
Here’s how I define what “copywriting” or “copy” is:
Copywriting is selling in a written form, or can also be known as “sales on paper”.
You can recognize copy when its primary goal is to sell something to the reader – it could be a product, service, brand, experience, etc.
The recipe for good copywriting
It’s also important to mention that writing copy requires these three main ingredients of skill and knowledge:
- Knowing how to sell
- A talent for expressing creativity through words
- A solid understanding of the language being used to write copy
Some might say I forgot to mention marketing knowledge, but I honestly wouldn’t consider that an essential ingredient. Knowing how to sell already proves that a writer grasps the marketing essentials.
Now that you’re equipped with this knowledge you can feel a little more confident the next time you talk with your freelance copywriter, or creative advertising agency.
I would like to hear your two cents
What’s your definition of copywriting, and what skills do you need to write copy?