I am a copywriter, and along with my fellow copywriters, I write copy intended to communicate the benefits of certain products and services to people who will potentially use them. My logo is not a little ‘c’ with a circle around it, and my job has nothing to do with legal rights associated with creative works.
As someone who works with words on a daily basis, and pays special attention to their correct use, being referred to as a ‘copyrighter’ not only makes my blood boil, but it makes me wonder whether people really understand what it is that I do for a living. Don’t even get me started on the fact that not a single person in this discussion thread has pointed out the error in its title: What is a Good Copyrighter Worth? Surely, forum participants on Webmasterworld.com would know the difference between a ‘copywriter’, with whom web professionals work regularly, and a ‘copyrighter’, which, I’m quite sure, isn’t even a word. Maybe they’re just not as picky about correct wording as uptight, professional copywriters like me.
Perhaps this is the reason for the abundance of secret rant blogs operated by copywriters everywhere (see Copyranter, for example.) Are they frustrated at the fact that the general public has no idea they exist? We copywriters work really hard to make your plumbing company look so sexy people who don’t even know what a sump pump is are lining up at your store wanting to buy one like it’s an iPhone 5. All we ask is that you call us by our real name — it’s copywriter, not copyrighter, thank you.
Copywriter Goes to a Party
Often, when the popular social topic of what everyone does for a living pops up, I’m met with blank stares when I tell them I am a copywriter.
“So what, you’re like a lawyer? What do you think of illegally downloading music? Uh oh! I’m in trouble!”
Inspired by the frequent occurrence of this conversation, I’ve developed a go-to speech that, unfortunately, may lead my conversation buddy to paint me as a condescending jerk, preventing them from giving a crap if I’m a copywriter or copyrighter.
“Okay, so you know how a business has a website, right? Well, I write the words that fill that website and let the website visitor know that the business is the best choice.” (It probably doesn’t help that I speak loudly and slowly with many expressive hand motions while explaining this.)
Thankfully, the popularity of shows like Mad Men has left me with a bit more colourful material for parties that incites far less eye-glazing. “You know Peggy Olson? Yeah, that’s what I do, except mostly for websites, not TV ads for Lucky Strike.” When in doubt, always go with the pop culture reference (okay, maybe I am a condescending jerk).
I’m not going to continue bashing your terrible spelling, since, after all, you’re in the market for someone who knows how to write, for obvious reasons. And of course, I’m here to help. Just a small piece of advice: if you are searching online for someone to fill your website or brochure with high quality copywriting, you’ll get much better results if you search the correct term: copywriter. ;)
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As a copywriter, I’m not only impressed with this sharp yet witty explanation of the craft of copywriting, I can totally relate to the “what do you do”?” question and its inevitably confusing answer. Sometimes I would like to say I’m a Dog-Walker because it is so much easier to understand, it’s kind of charming to imagine, and it leads to a less irritating conversation.
I am searching for a copywriter and the author of this article would be my number one choice, but he remains anonymous.
Sorry, Sam, we missed this one. Reach out anytime and we’ll get you the right copywriter. ;)