In my first semester at my University, I took a career exploration class to help me pick a major (parents forced me to take the class–you know how it is). Despite my best efforts, I actually enjoyed it, and can still remember the first time I encountered the term “copywriter.” I thought copywriting was some boring thing lawyers had to do (oh how foolish I was). As a full-time copywriter at Penna Powers, I can tell you that copywriting has nothing to do with lawyers (that’s copyright not copywriter).
Put simply, copywriting is the art of writing content for websites, ads or promotional material. As all copywriters are essentially full-time writers, you shouldn’t be surprised to learn that there’s actually a massive dump of information online about copywriting. I mean, if you write all the time, why not take a minute or two to write down why your job is so awesome?
And let me tell you, my job is awesome! You see, a copywriter is charged with so much more than just putting words on a page. A copywriter is a conceptual thinker and an idea machine. We have to pluck disparate strings of characters out of the air and arrange them together in a way that not only makes sense, but also captivates. Sometimes it’s easy and the words simply fall into place. Other times I bang my head against the wall for hours.
When I start talking about the specifics, however, things get a little murky. You see, not only am I tasked to do significantly different things every day, but every agency is going to treat the position differently. Let me illustrate this point visually (which is weird, since I’m a word guy, right?). When I do a quick search for “copywriter’s desk” online, I find images like this:
Now obviously, no one in their right mind would limit themselves to that kind of phone or typewriter. But the point is that some agencies will hire copywriters to do one thing and one thing only: write. As far as I can tell, the general perception is that a copywriter will spend all of their time pumping out ad prose like their life depends on it. And in some cases, it probably does. The above desk represents this school of thought. Now here’s a picture of my desk:
My desk is a little busier. I wanted to contrast these two images to show that a copywriter doesn’t have to necessarily be just a copywriter. At Penna Powers, I do everything from implementing SEO into our websites to writing that next hit radio spot that you can’t wait to hear (because everyone loves radio spots, right?). Sometimes I write brochures and other times I’m the grip on a video shoot. On the rare occasion, they even convince me to write a blog post.
In the end, a copywriter does a lot of different things. Don’t believe me? Just check out this sweet word cloud that I found online. Need I say more?