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What Copywriting Is and What It Isn't

What Copywriting is:

Copywriting is the practice of using persuasive writing to write ad copy. Ad copy can mean a number of things. Copywriters can write commercials, direct mail advertisements, white papers, blogs, online advertisements, brochures, and a number of other marketing materials. Copywriters are excellent technical writers, but their overall goal is to sell a product. Copywriters traditionally write advertising materials for companies hoping to sell a product. If you’ve ever seen Mad Men, the characters writing the materials for advertisements are copywriters. Copywriting takes a creative mind, but it’s not the same as other types of writing.

What Copywriting Isn’t:

Copyright Patent Registration
Although they are pronounced similarly, “copyright” is not the same thing as “copywriter.” A copyright is a kind of patent that allows companies to have certain rights over products, names, or ideas. Many copywriters often feel like they constantly have to explain what their job is, because many people get confused and think copywriters are in charge of registering patents. Copywriting is a completely separate thing from copyright, but both words involve products. The difference is that copywriting is an actual profession. A copyright is an intangible asset for a company.

Content Writing
Content writers are the people behind much of the informational content on the web. Content writers produce relevant informational content for a company. Some content writers write directly for one company that specializes in products by writing blogs or other content to promote the company as a whole. Other content writers work for content marketing agencies that produce informational content in mass form to support advertisements. Web content writers specialize in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and work to include keywords in the content in order to draw consumers to a page. Although content writers support the advertising of a company, the style of writing is different than that of a copywriter. Copywriters use persuasive writing to sell a product; content writers tend to focus on creating easy-to-read material that is largely informational or entertaining.

Although journalism has taken on many forms within the media, journalism, at its core, is not intended to support a company or product. Journalists write about currently relevant material for the purpose of informing and entertaining the general public. Journalists write about current news events, sports, relevant feature pieces, local events, etc. Journalists may review companies and products, but they are not supposed to be attached to a company other than the media outlets for which they work.

Creative Writing
Although copywriters are creative, they aren’t creating content based on the creation of their own art. Copywriting is an art of persuasion, but the copywriter is writing to help companies create a profit. Creative writers write various pieces for the sake of art, not commercialism.  

Last Updated: June 12, 2015