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WTF is copywriting anyway?



It’s the job you didn’t know existed.


Think about it. It’s career day in high school, and you’re being forced to fill out a ‘five year plan’ whilst your parents’ sobering advice to “just get a sensible job” echoes in your head.


As someone who liked writing, your options were laid out something like this:


  1. Teacher

  2. Journalist

  3. Author


Pretty damn limited if you ask me!

And for the essay aficionado or tween wattpad writer? It was the end of the line.

Author or nada. Teaching or tapping out.


So you stew for a few years, maybe pick up a degree in something or other, and give suitably vague responses anytime you’re asked “what’s next?”.


Trust me, I've been there.


Tragically, it wasn’t until my second degree that copywriting came onto my radar.

And thank god it did. On a Wednesday evening, the stars aligned and my instagram explore page was blessed with a Word Tonic post. After a stalk that would’ve made an FBI agent proud, something clicked.


This was it. I wanted to be a copywriter.


And the funny thing was, I'd already been doing it.


My quirky Instagram captions for a local vintage store? The bio for a travelling hairdresser? An Alt bands’ website content?


All copy!


It’s simple. Copywriting is essentially just punchy, persuasive writing with a sales focus.

Making products, brands, or people sound fancy, if you will.


And it’s EVERYWHERE.


It’s the promo emails from Urban Outfitters. It’s the back of an Oatly carton.


It’s the difference between scrolling past an ad about scented soaps you realllly don't need, and buying out the store.



Long story short, everyone needs copywriting. Businesses, NGO’s, government organisations, start ups…


Why? Because, my young Padawan, copywriting is pretty great all round. It improves the image of a company, and helps it build up a relationship with its audience. It humanises brands, and boosts their sales and rankings. Finally, it makes customers take action, whether that call to action is to “subscribe now!” or “buy in bulk and save money!”.

At this point, you might be thinking, blimey, this sounds kinda difficult. It sounds like you need…. *cue ominous music* qualifications.


Well, good news. Ya don’t.


Sure, a degree or a fancy copywriting course helps, but when it comes down to it, all you really need is:


  • Creativity

  • Research skills

  • Attention to detail

  • Sick communication abilities


That last one doesn’t just mean being able to have a good ole’ chin wag. Communicating well means working with your clients to get a real sense of what they need. Who are their customers? What makes them tick? And what tone of voice works best for them?


For example, if you’re writing email copy for a classy, luxury watch brand, you miight not wanna litter it with swear words and references to obscure memes. Save that for your blog (if you don’t have one, make one!).

Alrighty, all clear so far?


Good. Here’s a rundown of the kinds of copywriting out there:


  • Social media

  • Adverts

  • Email copywriting

  • Landing page copywriting

  • Direct response copywriting

  • Brochure copywriting

  • White paper copywriting

  • Product descriptions


And the list goes on. Unfortunately, this article doesn’t! So allow me to bestow you with a final nugget of wisdom.


Start now.


I know what you’re thinking. “But Maya, I’m inexperienced!” or, “I don’t have a proper portfolio yet!”, or even “I’ve never had a client before, let alone pitched to one!”.

I hear ya. But even the best copywriters had to start somewhere- and as cheesy as it sounds, you’re as ready as you’ll ever be.


So hop to it buster. Make yourself a portfolio, join Word Tonic, and I'll see you on the other side.

 

Maya Devincenzi


Hiya! I’m Maya. Coffee drinker, copywriter, and casual user of words like frolick.


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