Though i’m technically a ‘digital PR executive’; copywriting has been – and still is – a big part of my job.
When I started interning at Tecmark last year, I began with writing blogs and articles for some of their smaller clients. I didn’t know it at the time, but this was the start of my copywriting journey.
Now, around a year on – i’m a little more clued up about writing copy.
I know how to make a post ‘SEO savvy’, have got my readability scores on lock and am generally just a better writer than I was 12 months ago. A bit of this came through reading up on content marketing and copywriting and then getting qualified in it. For the most part though, my skills developed naturally over time. I’d mainly pin this on a lot of practice along with a good old bit of trial and error.
So, though I’m technically not a copywriter (I just like to throw you off with the title), I do know a lot about it and writing copy ‘per se’ is a big part of my job role.
The truth about copywriting and the trivial problems
Thesaurus.com replaces your best friend
Though i’m pretty ‘wordy’, sometimes when i’ve been writing a lot of similar content I can find myself becoming really really repetitive.
You’d think there’s only a certain amount of ways to say something, but you’d be wrong. Input just one word or phrase in to Thesarurus.com’s ‘synonym finder’ and you’ll be met with a wealth of alternatives – a copywriters dream!
But it’s also worth mentioning that the golden rule of copywriting is not to over complicate things. Your copy should actually be fluently ‘readable’ (and yes there are softwares to measure these things) by anyone aged around 13 and over. So don’t go overboard with the synonym finder. A fancy word here and there is fine to complete a sentence, but don’t do a Joey.
We have to become mini-experts
I read this in an article about PRs not long ago and it couldn’t be more true so I keep repeating it in my blogs (sorry).
PR people often end up with a lot of in-depth knowledge about their clients. But copywriters, well, they could probably end up writing a book.
Writing a piece is so much more than putting a pen to paper (or fingers to a keyboard). You have to do a lot of research in to your content audience and then on the subject matter. There’s no point writing about something unless it sounds like you know what you’re talking about. Repurposing Wiki pages doesn’t add value and therefore there’s really no point of you writing the copy at all.
Therefore, copywriters are literally likely to be micro-experts in a lot of different fields. My clients include scrap metal specialists, lawyers, security experts, shopping centres, tax advisors, insurance providers and even actual retailers. Ask me a question about any of those and i’m likely to know the answer. (All of this means of course, i’m becoming a very valuable pub quiz team asset).
Writers block is so so real
Bloggers will know writers block all too well but copywriters could marry it they’re so well acquainted.
Writers block is literally that. A mental block which stops you from thinking of new content ideas and that can sometimes even put your actual writing to a halt because you just cant get words down on a page. The good thing about writers block is that it often doesn’t last long. If you’re having a moment when writing then a Thesaurus can put you back on track, or if you’re having a visionary blackout then just make sure you’re getting as many ideas down on paper when your creative juices are flowing.
You sometimes feel as though you’re back in education
Conducting research and then writing up what you’ve found. Now, what does that sound like?
Sometimes, because of the nature of it, copywriting can sometimes feel like you’re back in education. Especially when you’re writing about topics that you’ve once studied (like Law for me). It’s a lot of talking about a topic matter in a conversational yet informative way which is often the way my old university assignments were structured. Not only this, but with the amount of copy you’re writing daily – sometimes it can feel as though you’re back in a classroom or lecture hall. My panic over my 10,000 word dissertation is kind of endearing now, I sometimes write the equivalent to that or even more in a single day in my job now – so you can see where the ‘school-y vibes’ come from.
Luckily for me though, i’ve always been a big education-bod and I loved my many years studying. Working in a job which still allows me to learn and write is actually great for me; so this trivial problem isn’t so much of a problem at all.
Sometimes it’s tough – but you wouldn’t change it for the world.
Deadline panics, mixed in with a good dose of procrastination and 2 cups of inspiration block really does sound like a recipe for a sh*tty job. Nonetheless, it’s not.
Though copywriting does have its ‘trivial problems’, you’d do well to find a job that doesn’t. Sometimes the tasks can be tough, especially when your creative flare has took a turn for the worst. But in the grander scheme of things – it couldn’t be a better job for me. I love to write and ramble, and I also love to learn. The copy duties in my job role allow me to do all of that – while getting paid at the same time!
If that doesn’t sound like the dream to any budding writer, then I don’t know what would!
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