Besides having to constantly explain that we’re NOT “copyrighters,” here are 3 common misconceptions every copywriter is tired of hearing.
If I had a dollar for every time someone thought I filed “copyrights,” I’d never have to write another word in my life. And as a copywriter, if you’ve ever tried to explain what you do for a living, you’ve probably had the same problem.
But, people don’t know what they don’t know, right? And unless someone is in marketing or owns a business, you might not understand what copywriting IS or what a copywriter actually does all day. I mean seriously, I’ve tried to explain to my Mom about 1 million times what it is I actually do for a living.
Let’s look at some agonizingly common copywriting myths and how you can explain to people what it is you actually do.
Myth #1: Copywriting is Blogging
MYTH BUSTED: Blogging is CONTENT WRITING, and copywriting and content writing are not the same.
This is the easiest way to explain the difference between copywriting and content writing to those not “in the know” of our industry:
Content writing: TELLS
Content writing is meant to develop the know, like, and trust of a brand through information, education, or entertainment. Copywriting is meant to make a sale. While one usually leads to the other (and every brand needs BOTH) copywriting is NOT blogging.
Myth #2: All Copywriters do is Write All Day
MYTH BUSTED: It would be SO great if this was true, right?
As copywriters, we know that SO much more goes into copywriting than the actual writing. In fact, I’d say that copywriters spend as much time on non-writing activities as we do actually writing.
ASIDE FROM THE ACTUAL WRITING PART, here’s the shortlist of tasks to show someone the next time they ask “do copywriters write all day?”
- Research. SO much research. Researching the industry, researching the ideal client, researching the business we’re writing for….it’s pretty time consuming when you have to become an expert on an industry you might not be in.
- Editing. The first draft is meant to be a first draft. Besides clients asking for tweaks, we also have our own (several) iterations to go through.
- A/B testing. Doesn’t matter if we think it’s the best copy ever written if it’s not selling. From testing headlines and titles to calls to action, we polish and tweak and twist and change until the sales are made.
- Managing clients. Freelance copywriters source their own work, which means not only do we have to FIND our own clients, we manage them as well. Onboarding calls, project check-ins, planning sessions…it all takes time!
- Sourcing images. Not every copywriter is tasked with finding images to go with our copy, but some of us have become experts in scouring Pexels for the best free images.
- Working within creative teams. Copywriters are only PART of a marketing plan! Graphic designers, web designers, developers, advertising departments, we work with ALL of them because EVERY part of a business needs copy.
Next time someone says something super crazy like “copywriting must be so easy, you just write all day” show them this list.
Myth #3: Copywriters Only Work on Websites
MYTH BUSTED: Trust me, I LOVE web copy, but if the only thing I had to work on all day was homepages or sales pages, I’d get pretty bored.
Copywriters are needed in every business in virtually every part of marketing, for example, here are just a FEW areas outside of websites where copywriters spend their time.
One of the most important assets a brand can have is their email list. Email lists are where trust is built and sales are made! Copywriters write nurture campaigns, transactional emails, newsletters, and more!
This is a big one. Facebook ads, Google ads, billboards, radio ads–copywriters behind the messaging that sells!
Social Media Copywriting
Not the same as social media content writing, social media copywriting is meant to push the audience to make a purchase. Copywriters often work hand-in-hand with content writers and content marketing teams to make all of this cohesive.
If you’ve been following me for a while, you know my obsession with the Starbucks brand copy. Copywriting is the LIFEBLOOD of branding, creating the emotions that encapsulate a company.
With the internet, as a whole, shifting towards video marketing, copywriters are becoming even more in-demand. Writing video scripts for brand videos, product videos, and other video ads are one of the most popular jobs for copywriters.
Copywriting goes far beyond our screens. Brochures, banners, product labels, coupons–anything printed that’s meant to sell has a copywriter working behind the scenes.
Copywriters: The Brains Behind The Brands We Love
No, we don’t work in “copyrights,” we do more than write all day, and copywriters exist beyond the homepage. Copywriters are (in my opinion) the unsung heroes of businesses. We make the show happen behind the scenes, even if no one can see us backstage.
I’d love to hear the myths you hear about copywriting. Drop ‘em in the comment box and let’s all laugh (or cry) together.