• Abigail Dillon

What is a copywriter? And why do you need one?

I would say a good 50% of the time, when someone asks what I do and I reply, “I’m a copywriter”, the response is “Oh, and what does a copywriter do?”. As a general rule, people tend to overlook the importance of content and copy, assuming that if you can speak English, spell quite a few words and know what to do with a comma, then you’re good to go. I even get a few eyebrow raises every now again, representing the opinion of “Wow… people pay you to… write?” Well yes thank you very much, they do!

Studies show that you have between 5-15 seconds to convince a visitor to stay on your website. 1 Mississippi…2 Mississippi…3 Mississippi…4 Mississippi…5 Mississippi - not a lot of time is it to convince, is it? Of course, website user-friendliness, design, layout, attraction and existing brand awareness are all factors of that, but so is content. Visitors expect to have to read something when they land on a page, and so that first sentence, or even first few words, are incredibly important for capturing your visitor’s attention, persuading them to stay and, ultimately, hitting that ‘call to action’ (aka the persuading nudge to make your visitor do what you want them to do – sign up, request more info, request a sample etc.).

All too often, a company or brand will start a new website project, invest in the hosting software, website designers and developers, map out their site and decide how they want it to look then, at the last minute, remember that they also need some words on the website and turn to someone in the team (who already has a full-time job) and offload the work onto them as a ‘side project’. It’s such a shame to spend so much time and money on other (key) aspects of website creation, however dismissing the content is a serious business error. And it doesn’t just apply to websites. Company literature, press releases, social media posts, advertisements, product descriptions, blog posts… they all require skillful copy in order to effectively sell your product or service – which is ultimately what every company needs to survive.

5 reasons to turn to a copywriter:

1. It can be hard to write about yourself, or something that you are invested heavily in. Either you are too modest and find it difficult to talk yourself up, or conversely, you can’t help but go over the top when selling yourself. An impartial, third party is more likely to accurately and appropriately write about you/ your business.

2. Frees up your time to focus on what you are good at. Particularly applicable to start-ups and small businesses, it is more than likely that you are already splitting your business attention in too many ways – sales, accounts, marketing etc. The last thing that you need is to be staring at a computer screen at 3am trying to write your new website content.

3. Spelling and grammar are not your strong points. In a previous blog post, I’ve written about the importance of good spelling in business. If you don’t know your ‘you’re’ from your ‘your’, or your ‘which’ from your ‘witch’, hire a copywriter. Please.

4. Well written content should be an essential part of your SEO strategy. Beautifully crafted sentences with discrete, qualified keywords woven in like silk – that’s what’s going to get you the search engine ranking you’re after. You want Google (other search engines are available) to be your best friend, and a copywriter can be the matchmaker.

5. As a general rule of thumb, and definitely applicable to me, copywriters enjoy writing! Just like anything else in life, if you enjoy it, you’re likely to do it better / commit to it more. Copywriters are in the field because they’re good at it, and they enjoy it. This will be evident from the words they masterfully create for you – which are more likely to make an impact on your audience.

If any of the above has sparked a thought in your head that you may need some support when it comes to the content on your site or the copy of your press releases, then please do get in touch with me to see how I can help.

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