“So what do you do exactly? You… write?”. Ladies and gentlemen, please meet: every person I’ve ever had a conversation about work with. From Uncle Dave to Boris at the bar – everyone has been scratching their heads trying to solve the biggest mystery since Area 51: what does a copywriter do all day?
Lucky for you, I’m here today to lift up the veil of mystery and welcome you to the world of the mythical copywriter. Are all the rumours true? Does their life really just revolve around writing for days on end?
What’s the reality – and what’s pure myth?
Copywriters write – and that’s all they do
I’ll admit it. When I get asked what I do for a living for the fourth time at the family gathering, I’ll gladly say: I write! Nobody bats an eye when that’s the answer (“I can write too!”, my 5-year-old cousin replies).
Luckily, I’m in a safe place where I can tell my truth. To uncover the secret that I have been carrying with me for years. The truth is… copywriting is more than writing. There’s research, brainstorms, meetings with customers, interviews, competitive analysis, proofreading. A day in the life of a copywriter knows more variety than the coronavirus.
Copywriters know what they write about
The most interesting part of being a copywriter? The amount of stuff you learn on the daily. I even spent more than one hour of very interesting research on this blog article – about my own job!
What is the competition writing about? Which title will get me a higher spot in the Google Search Results? Hey, uhm, WHAT DOES A COPYWRITER ACTUALLY DO? These questions guide you on your search for the subject’s core. Skip these, and you’ll be left with a spineless story. An invertebrate text. Mollusk copy.
Copywriters have to be creative
Conclusion: REALITY, kind of
Creativity takes on many shapes and forms. With my job, creativity lies in its straightforwardness – better said, simplicity.
An article like this one gives me space and freedom to experiment with words and concepts. But as a copywriter, you often get briefed by a customer with a clear vision. And a 40 character limit. Conjuring up the most appealing headline takes some puzzling (the title of this article counts 47 characters, by the way).
Easy reading is damn hard writingNathaniel Hawthorne
So when talking about creativity, I’m not saying we are writing whole fantasy books. But we do have the creative insight to transform complex ideas and concepts into clear, inviting language.
Copywriters write for themselves
A copywriter aaaaalways writes for their audience or end-user. One way is to base their tone of voice on fictional personas.
What’s even better than guessing what your target audience wants? Diving into their world. Neil Patel even made it his job. Thanks to keyword research, a copywriter knows exactly what the end-user wants to know. The exact phrasing. The exact search combinations. The type of content they have liked in the past. This helps the copywriter create valuable content, that satisfies the needs of their target audience.
No guesswork involved – just interesting copy based on reliable data.
Is it a bird? Is it a plane?
Maybe the life of a copywriter does have a mythical side to it. Like a shapeshifter, they take on the form of their reader. They’re a time traveler – looking into the past and the future to write copy that resonates in the now. A superhero that puts aside their ego to deliver a product to the customer that fits perfectly within their briefing.
So Uncle Dave, Boris: you can go ahead and delve deeper into the theories on Bigfoot and pigeons that work for the government. Case closed. This Supercopywriter has yet another assignment to teleport to.
That’s enough writing, for today.