Writers have a long and varied history, but our traditional image of the literary recluse cooped with a biro and a bottle of brandy has long been replaced by the modern writer, complete with espresso and Macbook. The world of writing itself is also very different, it’s easy to produce lots of copy in a reasonably short time and many copywriters can write around 4,000 quality words a day. At that rate it would take just a month to put together something about the same length as The Sun Also Rises. Not bad.
On top of this, the quantity of writing we’re exposed to has grown enormously. Twenty or thirty years ago you’d have had to actively seek out a book or a newspaper to be exposed to thoughtful copywriting, but now you can’t even check your emails without coming across a well concocted strapline which will be the work of an expert copywriter.
As such, you might be forgiven for thinking that the value of good copywriting has gone down in recent years. It’s no longer necessary to have typists’ qualifications or a literature degree: with a WordPress account and a few opinions, surely, anybody could become the next big blogger?
However, just because it’s become easier to write good copy, it certainly doesn’t mean that good writing is any less valuable. In fact, given how much easier it is to access writing these days, the more important it is that your website, brochure or newsletter stands out from the rest.
A lot of the value of good writing comes from its SEO potential. Beyond the calculations and the keywords, a readable, topical and well written blog piece will draw in readers who are interested – not just those who have come to you by default of your top page ranking.
The type of customer which good content can bring in is one who already has an interest in your product or service and is willing to read up on it in their spare time. If the article sustains their interest, it won’t be too long before they’re browsing your online store.
Likewise, modern copywriting still needs to be sensitive to the tone and the character of the brand. Next time you’re online shopping, take a moment to think through the tone that store is generating. The chances are you’ll feel familiar and comfortable with some sites, but a little out of place on others. Of course, that’s exactly the point!
There is, of course, a negative side to content creation. Poorly written copy with bad grammar, weird punctuation or, worst of all, spelling mistakes will stand out as something which hasn’t been invested in. First impressions really count when the exit button is just a click away.
Think about it this way. Your classic writer deals with people, with stories and characters. They have to make these interesting, readable and lifelike, and many do so very well. On the other hand, your web copywriter has to personify intangible things: your brand, your attitudes and your values. Doing this well isn’t just about bringing in customers. As far as they’re concerned your content is your business: there’s nothing more than the words on the page!