Copywriting – what is copywriting?
It is a subset of content writing - text that informs. Copywriting ("copy") informs the reader by selling, promoting, marketing, or advertising.
Bottom line: copywriting is text that persuades.
And copy is everywhere. It’s part of a $2.3 trillion worldwide industry.
Academic writing: presents ideas, arguments, information, or research, based on analysis, for a specific and informed audience
Content writing: presents information the reader can use
Creative writing: communicates personal expression, human experience, or emotion through original or imaginative means
Editorial writing: presents an opinion on an issue, along with a summary of the issue and an explanation of the opposing view(s)
Journalistic writing: reports news, traditionally in an objective voice
Technical writing: educates or informs about scientific, industrial, or mechanical subjects
Good, basic copywriting doesn’t just “sell.” It gets the reader to take action, whether it’s to make a purchase, opt-in, respond, or engage with a product, cause, service, or company.
To get the reader to take action, the text needs to …
(Hmm … that sounds a whole lot like all of the other kinds of writing combined.)
Advertisements in magazines, newspapers, on billboards, television, radio – even on social media. Ad copy is typically short. One longer version is the advertorial, copy that looks like an article or information piece.
Letters, flyers, email campaigns, and appeal packages which are sent directly to a reader and ask for a “direct response,” such as a purchase or a gift (hence the name.)
Articles, brochures, case statements, e-zines, newsletters, PowerPoint presentations, and ministry summaries are examples of materials that seek to persuade by providing useful information with or without a soft sell.
Websites, blogs, e-books, online articles, and social media posts are among the different kinds of copy that appear online (often in the guise of providing information) but are optimized for search engines.
“Copywriting” can be confused with other terms.
The compound word: copy + writing = what students do when they plagiarize
The misspelled word: copyrighting = is a legal process in which you protect something you have created – a book, article, piece of art, or logo, for instance – through the good people at the U.S. Copyright Office.
More about Basic Copywriting
Content by award-winning content writer and author Kathy Widenhouse, who specializes in writing for nonprofits and faith-based organizations.
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