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English Copywriter in Paris: What exactly is a copywriter?

The words “copywriter” and “copywriting” pop up time and time again in articles, websites and conversations. And, hybrid terms like “digital copywriter”, “SEO copywriting” and “freelance copywriter” are thrown around as if they’ve always existed.

Image of people writing on their computers

But, what exactly is a copywriter? And, what do they actually do with their days? Do you really need to pay for a copywriter to create your content?

Phew! That’s a lot of questions in one go (takes a deep breath).

Let’s start at the beginning:

Defining what a copywriter is (and isn’t).

So, there’s obviously writing involved. But, unlike novelists (who create imaginary worlds) or journalists (who describe reality), copywriters hone the art of persuasion.

Image representing the art of persuasion

Can you make someone change their made their mind? Influence their choices? Create positive associations?

They will try to promote a product, service, company or cause with the aim of getting you to do something, often very concrete, e.g. read, buy or click.

Here are a couple of definitions I found on the web that may shed a little more light:

Copyblogger:

COPYWRITING is the art and science of strategically delivering words (whether written or spoken) that get people to take some form of action.

Good old Wikipedia:

Copywriting is the act of writing text for the purpose of advertising or other forms of marketing. The product, called copy, is written content that aims to increase brand awareness and ultimately persuade a person or group to take a particular action.

The next step:

Understanding what a copywriter does.

So, a copywriter spends every waking hour writing and then writes some more, right?

Not exactly.

Increasingly, copywriters also undertake a wide range of other tasks related to writing such as:

  • Background research
  • SEO & keyword selection
  • Editorial strategy
  • Social media
  • Some html
  • Basic design
  • Web content

+ communicating with clients (phone, meetings and email)

If, like me, you’re a freelance copywriter, you can add admin, accountancy, marketing your services and prospecting for new clients to the list.

The big question:

Why do you need to hire a professional copywriter when you can create content yourself?

This is a (very justified) question that’s always lurking in the background.

You may think that anyone can do your copywriting and that hiring a professional is (at best) an indulgence and (at worst) a complete waste of money.

But, here are 6 very good reasons to make the investment:

  1. Spend more time doing other activities that add more value to your business
  2. Draw on years of experience to capture & communicate the essence of your services
  3. Portray a professional image to your clients (grammar errors just look sloppy)
  4. Stand out from your competitors by being more persuasive and more original
  5. Get an outsider’s view of your business (it can be hard for you to take a step back)
  6. Keep up to date with the latest content formats, SEO advice and trends

What does all this really mean for you?

More visitors, more traffic, more sales and more notoriety!

Image illustrating

How can you hit your targets, time and time again?

For deeper insights, check out this amazing infographic.

Do you agree with my definition of a copywriter? Feel I’ve missed out some important aspects of the job? Not yet convinced that you need a professional copywriter? Let me know!

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