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Copywriters and Copywriting – The Key Types

If you are considering of utilizing a copywriter (or changing into one), it is vital to grasp that there’s a couple of kind of copywriting and a couple of kind of copywriter.

Different writing initiatives require completely different abilities, and writers evolve completely different skillsets, whether or not intentionally or just because the pure results of their working expertise. So the phrases ‘copywriting’ and ‘copywriter’, though simple-sounding, truly embody a spread of specialisations and capabilities. This submit lists among the most typical varieties of copywriting and copywriters.

Note that a few of these copywriting disciplines have parallel job titles/descriptions, and others do not. For instance, whereas ‘SEO copywriter’ is now a recognised job title, I’ve by no means heard anybody describe themselves as a ‘long-copy copywriter’. Also, remember that a few of these labels are versatile – whereas there are completely different strands inside copywriting, the distinctions between them aren’t at all times so clear-cut as my headings suggest, and other people might use these phrases in numerous methods.

The freelance copywriter

The freelance copywriter writes in any medium instantly for purchasers, often working as a sole dealer or one-person firm.

Businesses and organisations want a broad vary of issues written: web sites, brochures, case research, product descriptions, person manuals, press releases, displays, inside paperwork and extra. While many will merely use inside useful resource to get the writing achieved, many flip to a contract copywriter to assist them out.

Freelance copywriting is often managed on an advert hoc, job-by-job foundation, though some purchasers do strike retainer preparations or arrange longer contracts with freelances. Typically, the freelancer gives a value or proposal, does the work, revises the copy in response to suggestions, and submits their bill on approval.

Freelance copywriting usually requires ‘broad however shallow’ copywriting abilities. For instance, in the middle of writing a company web site, the copywriter may discover themselves writing lengthy copy for data pages, snappy promoting copy for high-profile pages and journalistic copy for information pages. At the identical time, they may throw in an organization tagline and maybe identify a product vary or two – in some circumstances, with out even being requested, because the shopper might not have realised that they even want this stuff.

As a results of working for a lot of completely different purchasers, the freelance copywriter additionally tends to develop broad however shallow information of various enterprise sectors, permitting them to get a deal with on new purchasers’ necessities in a short time. This is one space the place older freelancers can persistently outdo their youthful counterparts – expertise can’t be faked, nor purchased.

Conversely, some freelances concentrate on writing for a selected trade or sector – prescription drugs, charity and so forth. This could also be as a result of they beforehand held a salaried place in that sector. It could also be a deliberate selection, or it might simply emerge because of the roles and referrals that come alongside.

Since the freelance copywriter offers instantly with purchasers who might have little or no advertising and marketing expertise, in addition they want some abilities in venture administration, consultancy and diplomacy. Like enterprise information, these abilities take time to accumulate.

Freelance copywriters come from a spread of backgrounds. Some are ex-agency copywriters who wished a change of life-style; some have expertise in associated industries resembling advertising and marketing, journalism or publishing; some are simply folks with a expertise for writing who’ve determined to offer freelancing a go.

The company copywriter

Agency copywriters work in-house for graphic design studios, full-service advertising and marketing businesses, digital businesses, search businesses, PR businesses and copywriting businesses, the place they produce textual content to order for the company’s purchasers. They’ll often be briefed by an account handler, or maybe a designer, and can produce regardless of the shopper requires. In some circumstances, they could take care of the shopper instantly.

While freelance copywriters spend quite a lot of time on the nuts and bolts of their enterprise – advertising and marketing, accounts, new enterprise – the company copywriter will do hands-on writing for the majority of their day. Some writers choose this, seeing it as their true vocation, whereas others may fear in regards to the strain of delivering artistic concepts and high-quality content material beneath the strain of the clock – and the administration.

Agency copywriters, notably those that have labored in London or one other media hub, will usually have the ability to present some spectacular nationwide or multinational manufacturers on their cv. However, massive corporations require a spread of content material sorts, and the initiatives concerned might not have been high-profile advertising and marketing campaigns. Also, the company copywriter is given his purchasers and initiatives on a plate, whereas the freelancer has to exit and shut offers instantly with real-world corporations, all on their very own. Arguably, this offers the freelancer a greater grasp of economic realities.

The in-house copywriter

In-house copywriters are employed by massive organisations who’ve their very own advertising and marketing departments and wish the companies of a author, or writers, full-time.

The in-house copywriter, clearly, works just for one shopper, which can restrict their alternatives when it comes to promoting completely different merchandise or working in a spread of media. However, they could get the chance to develop a model’s tone of voice in depth, and they’re additionally more likely to get pleasure from a productively shut working relationship with their inside ‘purchasers’ – those that use their copy and transient them on necessities.

Advertising copywriting

This is probably the sort of writing that most individuals consider once they hear the phrase ‘copywriting’: writing the content material of press, TV and different types of promoting. Ad copywriting consists of the creation of memorable headlines, slogans and taglines that individuals keep in mind from broadcast media – but it surely additionally consists of the drafting of long-copy ads resembling typically seem in Sunday dietary supplements or on underground (subway) trains.

Since slogans are such a essential a part of any advert marketing campaign, the advert copywriter will spend a very long time getting them proper. The phrases in advert slogans are most likely probably the most time-intensive writing to be discovered anyplace.

In short-copy work, the precise phrases that lastly seem in an advert could also be much less vital than the central thought. So advert copywriters typically do ‘artistic ideas’ or ‘copy plots’ (transient outlines of what an advert will cowl) as separate duties from figuring out the precise content material.

Since an advert is a extremely concentrated format, the place phrases, photos and design work collectively very carefully, the advert copywriter usually works with a designer or artwork director to develop concepts that use each verbal and visible communication.

Ad copywriters who work on the highest degree have to be artistic, lateral thinkers who can give you very sturdy, unique concepts beneath strain. Further down the promoting meals chain, the copywriter’s work might contain slightly extra pragmatism and compromise. But whoever they work for, promoting copywriters want to have the ability to ship concepts and content material that promote merchandise.

Long-copy work

‘Long copy’ refers to any commercial (or different medium) that accommodates quite a lot of copy – no matter ‘loads’ means in context. For instance, a long-copy gross sales letter can be a number of pages lengthy, fairly than only one web page; a long-copy press commercial would have a number of paragraphs of textual content fairly than only one; and a long-copy web site may need longer articles (1000 phrases and up) fairly than the standard 100- or 200-word net pages.

There’s no such factor as a ‘lengthy copy copywriter’. I’m utilizing this heading to tell apart long-copy work from the form of extremely artistic, concentrated writing that goes into writing a shopper advertising and marketing slogan – as a result of the talents required for every are very completely different.

As famous, the advert copywriter is more likely to be a free artistic spirit who can give you an arresting, unique and memorable three-word slogan that may work throughout a complete marketing campaign. But they might not be the proper individual to provide all of the content material that is related to it – the web site, the packaging copy, the press releases and no matter else is required. Doing so requires abilities in structuring and planning content material, attaining a uniform tone of voice and sustaining a excessive linguistic customary – the important thing talents of the long-copy specialist.

The long-copy copywriter is much less of an artist, extra of a craftsperson. Rather than leaping to peaks of artistic brilliance, their work is all about sustaining the proper degree of high quality over lengthy wordcounts.

Copywriting for publishers

‘Copywriting for publishers’ is a little bit of a misnomer, since publishers don’t consult with those that produce their textual content as ‘copywriters’, however fairly ‘authors’ or ‘journalists’. However, many copywriters have all the talents required to jot down for on-line and offline publications: researching information and turning them into readable prose {that a} third get together then publishes, maybe for revenue.

Writing for publishers is often a case of working to a short. The shopper will want an article or e book a couple of explicit topic and can ask you to jot down it, both for a set price or a royalty (fee per copy offered).

One key distinction between copywriting for business purchasers and writing for (say) a newspaper is the extra degree of editorial management concerned with publishers. While a business shopper would count on their copywriter to submit editorially correct textual content (i.e. to proofread it, or have it proofread), reporters and journalists are extra accustomed to having their work rigorously checked, and sometimes rewritten wholesale, by sub-editors. Hence they will crank out the copy far more rapidly, for instance by dictating it over the cellphone (‘phoning in’ their copy).

Increasingly, nonetheless, as content material strikes on-line, publishers are additionally placing the burden of accuracy on their writers, in addition to trusting to luck by publishing unproofed content material within the information they will at all times amend it later. Sic transit gloria mundi.

Website copywriting

Website copywriting is solely producing textual content for web sites. However, the talents of the net copywriter do not finish at merely producing the copy. They’re more likely to become involved in structuring the positioning, planning the person’s expertise, setting tone of voice, guaranteeing usability and getting design and textual content to work collectively. As a outcome, the net copywriter wants an excellent working information of net design and value, and ideally technical elements resembling HTML, CSS and SEO (see beneath).

Although some copywriters do current themselves as specialist net writers, all they’re actually saying is that they are sturdy in these associated abilities and have expertise of writing quite a lot of websites. The core talent of copywriting is similar whatever the medium concerned.

SEO copywriting

SEO copywriting is the creation of net textual content with two goals: interesting to readers and attaining prominence within the outcomes listed by engines like google for explicit outcomes.

Views on SEO copywriting and its relationship to ‘unusual’ copywriting differ sharply. Some regard it as a very completely different self-discipline, whereas others really feel that writing sturdy, well-structured copy that works for customers will make sure that SEO takes care of itself.

My personal view is someplace within the center. While SEO copy must do all of the issues that each piece of copy does – have interaction readers, talk advantages, clarify data, immediate motion – it additionally must be written within the very particular means that signifies relevance to engines like google. And, crucially, which will require some compromise when it comes to phrasing and expression – for instance, through the use of a key phrase repeatedly fairly than various the utilization by synonyms as a copywriter usually would.

SEO copywriters want a broad vary of abilities, some aesthetic and a few technical. They want to have the ability to write fairly good net copy that appeals to readers and generates gross sales. But as a result of SEO is basically a operate of the way in which an online web page is coded, in addition to the content material it options, SEO copywriting shades into net design and net improvement. SEO copywriters want to know technical points resembling meta tags, heading ranges, anchor textual content, word-stemming and key phrase density. These ideas may be a very closed e book to an promoting copywriter.

Online article copywriting

On the face of it, writing on-line articles is similar as writing for offline media – there is a transient, maybe a phrase depend, and the copywriter produces the textual content. However, as a result of some SEO methods require the creation of enormous quantities of on-topic copy, there’s a big marketplace for mass-produced, comparatively low-quality articles and net pages which might be posted at article websites or used so as to add search-friendly content material to purchasers’ websites. Sometimes, on-line press releases are additionally used to construct search profile, and these are additionally churned out with an eye fixed on pace and amount fairly than high quality.

To fulfill this demand for content material, so-called ‘content material mills’ resembling Copify and Demand Studios have emerged. These act as middlemen between purchasers (usually SEO or digital businesses) and freelance copywriters, setting charges (often by the phrase) and taking a share of the price as their reward. It’s a high-volume, fast-turnaround enterprise.

Writing on-line articles could also be a great way to get began in copywriting, but it surely’s vital to maintain your eyes open. Because the content material could also be supposed extra for engines like google than human readers, you are not going to be broadly learn or construct up a profitable portfolio by creating it. And as a result of the charges are low, placing an excessive amount of care and a spotlight into your copy merely reduces your efficient hourly price – probably properly beneath the UK minimal wage.


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