It seems like a no-brainer question, but understanding what a copywriter does comes with a fair amount of nuance (that’s my diplomatic way of saying it’s confusing as heck). In fact, as a person whose worked in the digital marketing space for the better part of a decade, I only recently discovered what it means to call myself a copywriter.
That got me thinking: if I’m confused about this, aren’t business owners also confused? After all, if you need outside help, it’s good to know that the person you hire is going to be a good fit for your project.
In an increasingly saturated market ranging from college students charging $.01 / word to slick ad agencies, finding the right copywriter is crucial to the success of your project.
When I first started out as a freelance writer, I knew I wanted to help businesses improve their online sales with copy and brand messaging, but I wasn’t sure what to call myself.
You see in my mind, a copywriter was an ad writer a la Mad Men, who worked in a New York agency and wrote snappy billboard copy for mega-brands. I knew that didn’t describe me or my skillset.
What I didn’t realize is that copywriting covers a broad swath of writing skills, niches, and services that go way beyond Peggy’s enviable swagger and attention-grabbing headlines (although those are pretty sweet, too).
Not all copywriters are created equal. In fact, the definition of a copywriter changes based on the kind of copywriter they are. Here’s a rundown on some of the most common copywriting job descriptions you’ll likely spot in the wild and when in the sales process they can help you improve your business.
These folks write long form articles and blog content on a range of topics. The more experienced writers can also plan your content and conduct SEO audits and research to map out your content into a content strategy or plan for your blog.
When do you need a content writer?
If you want a blog to bring fresh traffic to your site. When targeted correctly, fresh content in the form of blog posts can also result in meaningful leads.
An SEO copywriter is skilled in SEO first and foremost, and applies this expertise to your website copy and blog strategy with the intent of driving top-of-funnel traffic to your website. Some SEO copywriters may also dabble in SEO maintenance packages and offer to set your SEO up for you and monitor it on a monthly basis (some may do technical SEO, but most will probably be more into content and on-page optimization).
When do you need an SEO Copywriter?
If you’re looking to bring top-of-funnel traffic to your site to grab new leads and to ensure your site is optimized and readable to search bots and humans.
These writers are skilled in writing landing pages, core website content like About pages, homepages (those tricksy beasts), and product descriptions. They should be well-versed in site optimization, to boot, so that your site pages rank well on the right keyword phrases in your vertical.
When do you need a website copywriter?
Your website is your primary sales destination and online calling card, so if you’re launching or re-launching your site, it’s a good time to bring in a website copywriter. An optimized, thoughtfully written website will allow bots to properly rank your site and provide an optimal sales funnel for customers. If your website isn’t your primary sales destination today, a website copywriter can help you get there.
First coined by CopyHackers founder Joanna Wiebe, conversion copywriters are masters at the art of selling through copy, typically across digital mediums. Conversion copywriters use data, customer and marketplace data, a/b testing, and an in-depth understanding of the customer to craft compelling content that sells.
When do you need a conversion copywriter?
I’m admittedly biased here, but a conversion copywriter is among the most versatile when it comes to providing value to your copy and marketing strategy. Conversion copywriters help you optimize your lead-generation and sales funnels, addressing the problems in your current model to help you attract more customers.
These folks apply their conversion copywriting techniques to email, writing automated drip campaigns and email sequences that help engage customers. In other words, they can help you turn a warm lead into a customer, and a customer into a repeat customer.
When do you need an email copywriter?
A good email copywriter can not only set up solid sequences and drip campaigns, but they can also help you solidify your brand message and align messaging across all your marketing collateral and your website. Psst, think you need some email love? Let’s chat.
Launch copywriters are there to help you get your new digital product or service off the ground by helping you connect with your ideal customer and sell your course or service with sales pages, emails, and landing pages.
When do you need a launch copywriter?
If you have a new product or service launch, a launch copywriter provides a lot of value for marketing it; because they typically dive deep into creating brand guidelines and messaging, you’ll get the copy you need to serve up sales across all the mediums your customers care about.
If you need a sales page, brochure, or direct mailer, you need a direct response copywriter. These writers are highly skilled in immediacy writing and on-the-spot sales response copy.
When do you need a direct response copywriter?
If you need ads, fliers, brochures, or a sales page, chances are, a direct response copywriter can help.
If you like to write, majored in English, and are working on a novel, we should be friends, but chances are you’ll still need a copywriter at some point in the lifecycle of your online business.
Copywriters are objective and see the big picture: They can help bring consistency, clarity, and cohesiveness (The 3 Cs?….ok I’m running with that) to your brand and your product messaging. This gives your brand more depth, which makes you and your products both stickier and more compelling to customers.
Copywriters understand sales funnels: We’re trained to help you attract customers and make sales through copy. A good copywriter will help you transform a cold lead to a warm prospect to a sale.
Copywriters will connect you to your ideal buyer: Customer research and data collection are important starting points for any project. It helps us connect the copy to your unique ideal customer. Because who wants leads and traffic from people who won’t ultimately buy?
A freelance copywriter will save you money in the long run: A freelance copywriter can fix your sales funnel, set up your email channel, and improve your website rankings faster than you can say new employee training. Since you don’t need to worry about benefits, 401Ks, paid leave, or healthcare, you’re almost guaranteed to save both time and money with a freelance copywriter.
Copywriters are experts: Copywriters, particularly those who have honed their craft for some time, are highly trained in one niche or focus, and understand the problems associated with their niche.
So perhaps we copywriters have earned that Peggy swagger after all.
Are you looking for a way to stand out from the crowd? I help online entrepreneurs find their unique voice with stand-out, optimized website and email copy. Let’s work together to bring your project to life!
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