Some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about copywriters and copywriting
Some people are puzzled by the word ‘copywriter’. What is a copywriting? What do copywriters do? I’ll attempt to answer your questions here but as ever, if you’d like to ask me something else, do get in touch.
Q: What is copywriting?
A: Copywriting is written content that is used in online and print media. In other words, it’s the words! As a copywriter, my clients ask me to write words that are warm and welcoming, descriptive or technically correct, depending on the context they’re meant for.
Q: What is copywriting used for?
A: A copywriter produces copy that is used
- To persuade the reader (often to buy something)
- To advertise or explain a product or service
- To form a contract
- To bring news
- To make the reader aware of a brand
Q: Is copywriting the same thing as copyright?
A: No. Copyright is a way to protect work that has been created from being copied without permission. It applies to art, photography and many other media, as well as the written word. The copyright of copy belongs to me, as the author, but once I have received payment, it transfers to you.
Choosing a copywriter
Q: I need a copywriter in Cheltenham. How do I find one?
A: Well, look no further: Sue Kelso Ryan Copywriter at your service! Many business owners have asked me to work with them because I’ve been recommended by satisfied clients. Sometimes I reply to requests on social media. I also work with clients further afield, which is made easy by Skype, email and the internet.
Q: How do I know which copywriter is the best for my project?
A: Sometimes it’s just a feeling you get but there are checks you can do, too. I’d suggest asking to see examples of a copywriter’s previous work, such as my copywriting portfolio. It will give you an idea of how versatile the writer is.
Q: Should I look for qualifications?
A: I think a good general education is important – I have a BA (Hons) in English and trained as a teacher. While qualifications aren’t essential, quality is. A copywriter who has gone to the trouble of getting qualifications and experience is likely to be better than one who hasn’t.
Q: Won’t that make it expensive to work with you?
A: As with most things, you get what you pay for. My pricing structure is quite reasonable and I’m prepared to justify my charges. After all, you only want the best, so you might as well get it first time.
Q: How important are spelling and grammar, these days?
A: Informal writing is much more common than it used to be. It’s used where once only formal copy would have been acceptable. The key is to know your reader and to choose the correct ‘register’. I would still suggest that most situations require consistent spelling and use of grammar. It just makes your copy easier to read and it reflects better on you and your business.
Q: What do you mean by ‘register’?
A: If you need copy for a legal agreement, the register you choose would be formal and the language might be quite complex. Writing a blog is very different and the register would usually be informal and conversational. A copywriter chooses an appropriate register, depending on the purpose of the text.
Q: What’s the difference between copywriting and content writing?
A: They’re the same. The term content creation is often used to mean writing for the web. An example might be writing the copy that makes up a website, or an online advertisement.
The copywriting process
Q: How do I brief a copywriter?
A: I accept written and verbal briefs. Usually I find it’s best to discuss the brief at an early stage in the project. My experience means that I can make suggestions to ensure we get everything right first time. Let’s meet for a coffee and informal chat to start with.
Q: How many drafts will you write?
A: I will send you a first draft and then you can request one set of amends. I will do these as part of our agreement. Should you change your mind about the brief, any further amends would be charged at my hourly rate.
Q: How will you deliver the copy?
A: This depends on what you’ve asked me to write. I can send you the completed copy in Word format. I can also write directly into the CMS and am experienced at working directly into WordPress websites and blogs.
Q: Can you design a website for my business?
A: I have built up partnerships with some excellent website and graphic designers. They design the website and I write the content. I can put you in touch with a couple of companies and you can choose the one you’d like to work with.
Q: Why shouldn’t I do the copywriting myself?
A: You know your business better than anyone and that makes you the best person to run the company. The good news is that I know the business of copywriting, so I can save you time and let you get on with growing your business. If you prefer, you can write an outline of the copy and I’ll copy edit it, or you can write the copy and I’ll proofread it for you. Naturally, these options are less expensive than writing from scratch.
Hopefully this FAQ has helped to demystify the process of copywriting and given a little insight into what I do all day. If there’s a copywriting project you have in mind and you’d like to discuss how I can help, please get in touch with me for a no obligation chat.
I very much enjoyed working with Sue Kelso Ryan while she was writing copy for a new website and I’m delighted with the end result! … I would highly recommend Sue and indeed, I hope to work with her on further projects in the future.Dr Mike Crisp – Jan 2016