Copywriting is a word all too often confused with copyrighting. We see inquiries where a potential client would like more information about our copywriting services, but somehow the word copyrighting gets into the mix. A sizeable chasm spans the rift between the act of copywriting and copyrighting. Just what is copywriting and how does it differ from copyrighting? Let’s find out!
Copywriting vs. Copyrighting: A Look at Definitions
According to Wikipedia, “Copywriting is written content conveyed through online media and print materials.” It is created by a copywriter who writes copy, or content primary used for marketing and advertising purposes.
The goal of copywriting is to produce written material designed to raise brand awareness and persuade. It can be educational or salesy. What you’re reading right now is a piece of copy I (the copywriter) am writing (copywriting) to educate my audience about copywriting.
Copyrighting may share the majority of letters of copywriting, but it is a very different thing. According to Copyright.com, copyrighting is all about legal protection.
“Copyright protection exists from the moment a work is created in a fixed, tangible form of expression,” says Copyright.com. “The copyright immediately becomes the property of the author who created the work. Only the author, or those deriving their rights through the author, can rightfully claim copyright.”
At its core, copyright is legal ownership. It’s like writing your name on your property and saying, “See this? It’s mine!” In contrast, copywriting is the act of creating a specific type of written material.
Copywriting 101: Understanding the Basics
The dawn of the Internet ushered in a new day for copywriting. Before businesses and brands went virtual, copywriting was very much a tangible thing. It was the written word that occupied magazines, journals, newspapers, billboards, and other advertising venues across the nation and around the world. And it wasn’t cheap.
In the days before cyberspace, copywriting was a premium. Not only did it require the expertise of skilled writers and editors with sales and marketing knowledge, but also the resources of print and distribution. Nowadays, the process doesn’t always need to leverage hard print and tangible distributions; it’s all e-print and e-distribution, which speeds up the rate at which audiences receive new content.
Today’s copy is made of un-ignorable elements. Just as a gaping chasm lies between copywriting and copyrighting, so too does a great divide exist between high and low quality copy:
Copywriting is Compelling
Copyblogger says it best: “Copywriting is one of the most essential elements of effective online marketing.” It is both science and art. It required strategy. It leverages marketing, and it cannot stand completely alone and be successful. It demands visual aids and sharing, and thus needs to be shareable.
Copywriting isn’t haphazardly thrown together words. It is a calculated and carefully structured piece of art. Much like a Picasso, it is compelling in both technique and appearance.
Copywriting is Technical
Here’s the truth: Less than 5 percent of the global population have what it takes to write compelling copy. One of the necessary elements is sound technical writing.
One typo or a single misplaced (or missing) comma can kill the effect of an entire piece of copy. How many times have you been in the throes of an outstanding article, only to be let down when a glaring typo or grammatical error seemingly grabbed you by the throat? To err is human, and to find an error or two in any piece of copy reassures the reader the writer is human. However, painful errors coupled with a large volume kill the technical value of any piece.
Copywriting is technical. It adheres to the rules of English but breaks them (when acceptable) at the same time. It’s ample with proper grammar and spelling. It’s well formatted and clean. It’s a tribute to all the English teachers and professors who worked so hard to imprint the right and wrong of the English language on us.
Copywriting is Art
Have you ever listened to a storyteller and been so swept up in their artful talent that time left you? Storytelling is an art. It’s like looking into an art gallery of words instead of paint. It drawers in onlookers, inviting them with an irresistible whisper to stay for a while. It memorizes, entertains, imparts lessons, and leaves lasting impressions.
The best copy is written by the skilled copywriter. They know how to make their words technically sound so as not to detract from the art of telling a great story. And they manage to balance the two no matter how the copy will be used, from written display to the script of a video or play.
Copywriting is Crucial to Online Success
It doesn’t matter who you are, from indie author to business owner, copywriting is crucial to online success. The Internet has become a resource. People use it to research, learn, and buy. Your ability to present both real people and search engines with well-crafted and high-quality content will determine your overall cyber success.
Copywriting includes everything from web and landing pages to blogs and articles. It encompasses scripts for video clips, manuscripts for marketing e-books, and nationally distributed press releases and articles. When properly planned and produced, copy is the secret to growing a brand, gaining exposure, and turning the value you offer into the income supporting your livelihood.