What is Copywriting?

Posted on April 17th, 2020  •  by Jonas Gagnon


An illustration to clarify copywriting and how it can help your business

Copywriting, simply put, is selling through the written word.

That seems pretty simple from the outset, but let’s take a moment to really break it down, so you can better understand if hiring a copywriter is right (I’m maintaining some decorum here by not making an absolutely terrible pun) for you.

An illustration to clarify copywriting

My go-to illustration when explaining my profession to those who look quizzically at me when I tell them what I do is that of a store.

When you run a brick-and-mortar business having the storefront is only half the battle. You have somewhere to put your wares, but if you have no sales team, your customers are less likely to buy your products (or they’ll steal everything that’s not nailed down and leave you crying in your beer). Properly staffing your business is key to getting people who walk through the door to interact with, and purchase what you offer.

Now, let’s get back to copywriting, specifically the online copywriting we specialize in. If your website is the store, then the words on the page are your staff. That means, getting that website up and beautiful is really only half the battle. However, for many people, the copy (or text) on the page remains a secondary concern.

We make sure your website is properly staffed, so when traffic starts showing up (and good content is important to bring that traffic in as well) they know what they should do and why they should buy from you.

What kinds of copywriters are there?

We are primarily (but not entirely) online content copywriters, also often known as conversion copywriters. That means on any given day we’re working on one of the following:

  • Website content
  • Blogging
  • Sales or landing pages (sales funnels)
  • Email newsletters

We’re focused on creating content that people want to read, and writing copy that encourages people to buy (and is also fun to read).

However, there are many different types of copywriters – after all, copywriting is just sales through writing.

It can include:

  • The witty slogans you see on billboards or in magazine ads
  • The text below Instagram or Facebook posts
  • Google Adwords or Facebook ads
  • SEO-focused copy
  • Press releases
  • TV ads
  • Product descriptions
  • et cetera, et cetera, et cetera

How hiring a copywriter can help your business

Now comes the real meat of the matter: what can we do for you?

I can talk about myself all day, but that doesn’t help you at all. You, like almost everyone whose glazed gaze flits about a website, want to know one thing, ‘how does this help me?’

To make sure this is all bite-sized and skimmable so that you’ll be able to read it quickly and then decide to give us a call, let’s try to keep this in bullet points.

We can help your business through:

  • SEO – Good copy isn’t the only way to bump your business up on Google’s (or Bing’s or Duck Duck Go’s) search engine results page (SERP), but it is one piece of the puzzle. A combination of good copy that people read, and a blog that offers really good info will help you start climbing those SERPs.
  • Trustworthy copy – Ever been on a website with glaring inaccuracies? It doesn’t exactly inspire confidence. Typos, grammatical mistakes, and rambling sentences put people off, even though they’re easy mistakes to make. A good copywriter should be a good editor or at least work with one (that’s why there’s two of us).
  • Sales – Just like a good salesman, a good copywriter will know how to create a report with visitors. Reputable copywriters will always be learning how to properly engage readers and guide them along the path from onlooker to evangelist (or simply purchaser). 
    • Copywriter top tip: Every person who reads your literature wants to know what you can do for them. Once they know the benefits of your service/product for them, they’re much more likely to walk further down the path to actually buying something from you.

Is hiring a copywriter right for you?

Dodged that pun for the second time in one post, so good job me. Can’t promise I’ll have the wherewithal to avoid it again, though. Especially since they’re Jordana’s favourite thing in the world.

Let’s do another quick bullet point list (a trend you should pick up on if you’re doing your own writing) to see if you should tackle a blank page (or a blank screen) on your own, or get someone to take that burden off your chest.

Ask yourself…

  • Do you like writing?
  • Do you have time to beat your head against the wall?
  • Do you enjoy researching for hours online?
  • Are you straining to head up every. single. project?
  • Are you a masochist?

If you answered yes to only the last question, go ahead and tackle copywriting. If you answered yes to all but the last question, you should also give it a try. If it’s a mix of yeses and nos (weird words but my spellcheck has my back) then things get a little more complicated.

We did, also, miss one question because we don’t like talking about money, and it wrecked the masochist joke:

  • Do you have the budget for hiring a copywriter?

The truth is, copywriting can get pricey, and you should know that before you make your choice. Good copy costs.

However, good copy also gets results, which means a return on your investment, in more ways than simply money.

In our opinion, and we may be a little biased, a good copywriter is one of the first investments you should make when you decide to spend on advertising, because if your website copy doesn’t convert then your website isn’t worth having there at all. And then, all those funnels you’ve aimed at getting people to your website, well, they’ll fall flat.

(BTW, a good copywriter can help you write every piece of content in those funnels as well)

Let’s sum it all up to keep keywords in their place (copywriting)

By now, hopefully, you’ve found all the information you need to answer the question ‘What is a copywriter? And how can they help me?’ So we’ll end this blog post here to make sure Google knows that this blog post is about why you need a copywriter.