Everybody Can Write, Right?
While faffing about rewriting my landing page (it's a case of cobbler's shoes), I started thinking about just what is the job of a copywriter? What skills do they need or possess, to get the job done?
I mean, most people leave school with some sort of writing and language experience or qualification, surely that qualifies them as a 'writer'?
I always had a reasonable understanding of the British language, (although if you ask my senior school English teacher, she'll tell you that I was unruly, uncouth and somewhat of a 'yob'), but as my professional career progressed, I picked up a better understanding of it.
Truth be told, I'm a bit of a Grammar pedant, or at least a language pedant - people that use incorrect words (they're/there/their) irk me. I can't help that.
Now, I know that some people have trouble with words, I also know that some people suffer with dyslexia, and I do try to remember that when I see a post on Facebook or insta (ooh, look at me getting all cool and down wi' da kids), but my brain's natural reaction is to be a ... difficult ... person.
But when it's done on a company page, or in a professional capacity ... (unfortunately, I can't find a .gif of a head exploding!)
Oh look, there I did ...
Business Writing for Professionals
Putting those aside for a moment, let's assume that you know the difference between break/brake, through/threw (and so on), or even that you left school, college or university with a degree in English, that still doesn't qualify you as a copywriter.
Writing copy and content is almost like a different language, of course the words are the same, but how you use them, where you place them and when you use them change the rules.
I recently wrote an article about my daily-wearer of a watch, I'd listed the tech specs with bullet points, it lays them out clearly, gives TGGoG (The Great God of Google) something to chew over and makes the information clear & concise.
The only problem was, my client wasn't keen.
To be fair, as soon as he mentioned it, nor was I! We both thought it could be done better, and so rather than just a list of specs, I created a new paragraph giving the specs in descriptive form. Much better.
I don't get it right 100% of the time, but I'm working with a number of different clients on a daily basis, each with their own 'voice' and style - I need to flip between them all and sometimes ... sometimes I get it wrong.
Don't worry ... I'm getting to my point ...
My point is that what I had written was technically and factually correct, it did what I needed it to, but it just didn't make me want to go and buy it, and that's the difference between a copywriter and someone that can write.