Ah, the question I ask myself on a daily basis as I strive to find the right words for the latest brief to land on my desk. Exactly what is copywriting?

In fact, copywriting is simply the act of writing copy, or words. 

Why does copy mean words?

Using the word copy to refer to words, or text, is a throwback to the early days of journalism. Originally, a reporter would write some words which would be copied into print. So, the word copy came to be used for written content produced by journalists.

Now, the word copy is used widely as an alternative for plain old words, and not just in journalism. Many businesses and marketers understand and use the word copy to refer to any kind of written content. 

What is copywriting used for?

Essentially, the act of copywriting usually refers to writing content for business use. Most copywriters produce text to be used by clients across print, web, email, advertising and point of sale.

If you need something written to explain or promote your business, it falls into the category of copywriting.

Why do businesses need professionally written copy?

Many business owners or employees feel they can confidently write their own content. However, it’s often difficult to find the time or direction to do it when faced with a jam-packed to do list.

A professional copywriter can step in to take the load off. Copywriting pros will produce persuasive, engaging and purposeful content for your project, whether that’s a website, blog, brochure or video.

In reality, a lot of people think they can write good copy. And while many can, it can be difficult for businesses to take a step back and write objective and powerful content.

Can businesses write their own copy?

Yes, business owners and colleagues are capable of handling their own copywriting in many cases.

Plenty of businesses have in-house marketers, content creators or bloggers who can manage all of the company’s copywriting needs without outsourcing it to a freelance copywriter. However, there are disadvantages to writing your own business content.

What are the disadvantages of businesses doing their own copywriting?

Businesses big and small can struggle to write their own content, for several reasons detailed below.

It takes too long 

Without a background in writing professionally, copywriting for your own business can be time-consuming and tedious.

It takes you away from other tasks 

If copywriting isn’t a key part of your job, producing all written content can detract your attention and focus away from core business objectives.

It’s hard to be objective 

Doing your own copywriting as a business owner or employee is often hard. You’re in the thick of it and your loyalties are firmly with the company. Hiring a freelance copywriter can help in this situation, as they bring a fresh perspective and clear purpose for your copywriting.

It’s not all about you 

Copywriting should be more about the customer than the company. And this is tough for many businesses to understand.

If you do your own copywriting, it’s tempting to go into minute detail about your business’s awards, history and achievements. Working with a freelance copywriter can lead to leaner, more customer-focused content that delivers real results. Copywriting experts can be more ruthless, which ultimately leads to better returns. 

Is copywriting expensive?

Using a professional copywriter does come at a price. However, it’s one that smart businesses see as an investment that can seriously pay off. With the right words, you’ll attract more customers, convert more leads, increase your visibility and elevate brand awareness. Ultimately, investing in professional copywriting is a relatively small price to pay when the benefits are taken into consideration.

Copywriting rates vary. I charge a standard fee of £40 per hour and quote every job upfront, so customers can budget accordingly.

If you require professional copy for your business, I’d love to help. Drop me a line and let’s get started.

If you’re not quite ready to invest in the services of a freelance copywriter, stick around for plenty of tips and advice on writing content for business.

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