Marc Alan Holmes, Word Sleuth
A copywriter is...

Copywriting is the craft (and sometimes art) of writing persuasive words. These are the words you see in brochures, catalogs, advertisements, even on cereal boxes.

What kind of writing does a copywriter do?

A copywriter hammers out the words that sell, promote, educate, and inform. 

This means a good copywriter is gifted in the craft of writing hard-hitting words.  These are the words that sell all types of products and services.  These words also inform and educate.

Put simply, a copywriter is an expert at successful persuasion. 

  1. The decal on your car's right side mirror: "Objects in mirror are closer than they appear" was written by a copywriter.
  2. The instructions on your dental floss: Okay, so there are no instructions on dental floss. But if there were, a copywriter would write: "Remove a length of floss, grab both ends, slide between teeth, saw back and forth until sink fills with blood.  Repeat."
  3. Unfortunately copywriting is also the words in those abominable instructions that came with your kid's swing set last Christmas. 

Humor aside, copywriters are also called upon to write audio visual scripts, magazine articles, speeches, newsletters, and infomercials.  Literally everything from annual reports to warning signs. The list is endless.

What a copywriter doesn't do.

A copywriter cannot copyright something for you. This is the process whereby you legally protect everything from a book to a slogan. A lot of the time this is done when you create something. But most times it's in your best interest to consult a copyright attorney.

Since WordSleuth is no lawyer, he'll stop right here. WordSleuth knows dispensing legal advice without attending the school that steals your soul might leave him vulnerable to litigation. 

But, because WordSleuth is a swell guy and doesn't want you stumbling around in cyberspace, here's a link to the U.S. Government's copyright site.

Why do you need
a professional copywriter?

You can always tell when someone's masquerading as a copywriter. Sometimes it's the owner of a business. Sometimes it's a friend or relative who got talked into it. The business owner writes about 45 years in the same location. Or about their family, or about their donations to the local scout troop. If it's the friend or relative, they write the same thing.  Poor saps, they're forced to do it. 

Some say who better to write about a business than the owner? That's like letting a death row prisoner decide on their execution date. Neither person has an impartial opinion. As a result, what ends up on the page is usually nothing the customer wants to hear.

And what do customers want to hear? Simple.  What's in it for them.

That's all any customer cares about. Like it or not most people are pretty greedy. So when they pry open their pocketbooks, their selfishness makes Stephen King's most evil antagonist look like Mother Theresa. WordSleuth isn't here to philosophize about the human condition. I'm simply informing you that a professional copywriter is the person best qualified to communicate with your customers.To get through to them and increase your business. No matter what you're selling. 

Copywriter Emeritus Herschel Gordon Lewis says we live in The Age of Skepticism. I'm inclined to agree.  If this is the case most customers are not only greedy, but they're skeptical of anything you tell them. I can't think of a harder sell.

"Why should I buy your widget?" "Down the street they sell something just like it for 20 percent less."  "Gimme a lifetime guarantee, and you got a deal."  "Gimme the kitchen sink." "Gimme your first born." 

The only way to handle demands like these is to educate. The customer needs to be schooled in your product's features, advantages, and benefits.  The features equal the advantages you have over your competition. The advantages equal the benefits your customers get from dealing only with you or your product. 

The words that do this most effectively are written by a professional copywriter.

Don't believe WordSleuth? Head over to the Copywriting Crimes page. You'll find an example of what happens when the wrong person writes copy.

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