What is Copywriting?

That might seem an odd question to be asking in a post on a copywriting blog, but it does make you think.what is copywriting

Many people believe that copywriting is all about being a red-hot grammarian, speller and punctuationalist (made-up word, but that’s OK because I’m a copywriter), but that’s not strictly true.

Granted, the ability to spell and use grammar and punctuation correctly helps, but it’s not the be all and end all.

You see copywriting is all about getting your sales message across to your audience clearly.

The most important elements in your copywriting

There are 3 vital elements to any copywriting assignment:

  1. Your audience
  2. The words you use
  3. The offer – your message has to be a goodie

When those are combined, that’s when your copy is cooking with gas.

Get any one of them wrong and you’re in trouble.

Your audience

If you don’t fully understand for whom you’re writing, how can you make sure you use the right language, tone and approach?

After all, a sales message to teenagers will need a different style and approach to something that’s going out to CEOs.

That’s why it’s vital you spend time getting to know your audience, understand what it is they want and then deliver it in their ‘language’.


Using the right combination of words can lead to a powerful and effective message, but get them wrong and you’re left with a damp squib.

Think about what you’re trying to say and then make every word count. Keep your message active and punchy and make sure it really resonates with them.

Also, don’t be tempted to throw in an obscure word that you think makes you sound really intelligent because it won’t. It will just leave your audience bemused and they’ll wander off and find another message out there that tells them exactly what they want to hear.

The offer

The message is basically your offer.

You can hire the best copywriter in the universe, but if the offer isn’t what your audience wants, your campaign will fall flat on its face.

So think about your product or service and determine precisely what it is that will make your audience want to buy. Simply offering a free gift may not be enough to make them want it. The trick is to found the one major benefit will it bring that they’ll be desperate for – find that and you’ve got a campaign that’s ready to rock.

Arguably, you can add in a fourth element – timing.

When you launch your campaign will also have a bit impact on its take-up. If you’re looking for a seasonal promotion, it’s essential you plan well ahead – rushing something out at the eleventh hour is never going to work

All of these elements need to work together to make your campaign work. That’s why copywriting is such a collaborative process. Your client knows their company, products and services better than you, but you as the writer have more of an understanding of how the message should be conveyed.

So next time you embark on a marketing campaign think carefully about your audience, your message and how you’re going to communicate it to them.


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