What is copywriting?
Copywriting is writing that’s meant to inspire something, such as a sale, a phone call, or awareness of a brand.
Copywriting can include the words on a website (a potential customer reads about your window washing company’s commitment to streak-free shine and books an appointment), product descriptions (a well-written paragraph on the side of a beer can leads to a six-pack in a shopping cart), and proposals (a nonprofit is awarded a multi-million dollar grant thanks to eloquent explanation of the organization’s impact and alignment with the granter’s mission.)
Ads, brochures, press releases, case studies, blogs, newsletters, and professional bios are other common copywriting projects.
Why is it called copy?
The word “copy” is rooted in the 19th-century newspaper and magazine industries. Copy referred to text that was to be printed again and again, or “copied.” The term applied to both articles and advertisements.
How much does it cost?
Before I can answer that question, I have many questions for you.
What am I writing? How long do you want it to be? Am I doing research, or are you providing all the information? Is this a rush order? Would you like supporting social media copy too?
Most writing projects are unique, and I come up with the cost for each based on the above questions and more.
I can also work for an hourly rate if the client prefers (starting is $100/hr), and sometimes my clients suggest a rate — for example, they’ll hire me to write X number of product descriptions at $X per unit.
What is the copywriting process?
1. The Brief
Most projects begin with a client meeting, either in-person or on the phone/Skype. This is where we iron out details such as style, tone, goals, and audience to create the project brief.
The meeting can also serve as a consultation to map out the project length, budget, and timeline if not agreed to beforehand. I take a 50% deposit with first-time clients.
This can include interviews with clients or others, market and topic research, and reading additional information supplied by the client.
3. Draft One
I sit at my computer for a length of time, make snacks, take walks.
Then, voilà! The client receives the first draft of their blog, newsletter, case study, etc.
4. Editing & Feedback
This is one of the most important parts of the copywriting process.
The client provides feedback and edits to what I’ve written, and we work collaboratively towards a final version the client loves. (Most word processing programs offer an easy way to make comments, edits, and then accept and reject those edits. I use OpenOffice. We can also utilize Google Docs.)
My projects always include up to two rewrites, and it’s totally fine if you don’t like the first draft. Seriously! Revision helps to align your vision with the words on the page. Edits and adjustments are simply part of the creative process.
5. The Final Document
I send the client the finalized version of their project, and they send me final payment.