Copywriting may seem like a narrow field in the world of marketing and advertising. In reality, it is actually much broader than people think, and copywriters have to be a jack-of-all-trades of sorts to be successful.
Many people outside the world of advertising are unfamiliar with the term “copywriting” and either think of the term “copyright” or that copywriters simply copy other people’s writing. I hadn’t even heard of the term until a year or so ago when I studied it (briefly) in a marketing class. But copywriting really encompasses several aspects of business and marketing. Copywriters have to be able to write in several different mediums: from print ads to emails to TV and radio spots to social media posts. In a nut shell, most every form of advertising involves a copywriter.
Personally, I think it’s quite an important job, and it’s a job that oftentimes goes unnoticed (at least by the general public). It’s made even tougher now that we’re living in the digital age of information and ads are everywhere. Consumers are bombarded with advertisements, and very rarely does one “stick” with a reader/viewer/listener. On the bright side, the increase in advertising could mean more job openings for copywriters. But on the down side, it also makes the field much more competitive.
I think copywriting is also a tough job because writers need to know about several different fields. First, they need to know how to write well (and they need to love to write). But they also need to have some general business (and maybe even psychology) skills to be able to sell their writing. It’s not enough to simply write a sentence telling a consumer to buy a product. Copywriters need to know why that sentence will sell, and what feelings it evokes in consumers that will make them want to buy. And they need to be able to put themselves in someone else’s shoes to determine how people will react to new advertisements.
Copywriting is such a diverse field within advertising, and I don’t think copywriters are given enough credit for what they do on a daily basis. They have to be able to write TV scripts, slogans, email ads, etc., and think about the reasoning behind each and every word (not to mention, some of the best ads are wordless photos) to make sure their message is reaching the right audience, and that the audience will feel inspired to take action. And despite its difficulty, it’s a profession I would love to have.