In my last post I talked about how (in my strongly biased opinion) I felt the web copywriter has descended to be lowliest position in online marketing. In this post I’ll consider some of the reasons why that might be the case, despite web copywriting of all kinds being such a crucial part of Internet marketing.

Web copywriting requires no fancy software

What’s interesting about design, development and, to an extent, the newer professions of search marketing or social media marketing – is that they are perceived to require some kind of specialist knowledge.

With design and development there are computer software packages that you need to acquire and learn. In the case of search marketing and social media marketing there is software that analyses keywords, shows who is linking to your competitors’ sites or creates a fancy graph to show in what parts of the world people are tweeting about you.

As a web copywriter, the only software you need to use is a basic word processor. There might be a few clever copywriters out there who “add value” by using fancy metrics, keyword tools or other analytical wizardry but essentially the actual work of copywriting is ‘just’ about words on a page.

Everyone speaks the language of web copywriting?

With design, development, search and social media marketing comes a whole new professional language that you are required to speak. In the case of developers this is literally true. With search marketers and social media marketers there is a huge lexicon and a barrage of acronyms to learn – CTR, CPC, latent semantic indexing, PageRank etc

These strange words and phrases can make these web professions seem intimidating, inaccessible and in the case of SEO quasi-mystical even. They use complicated jargon so they must be doing something hard, right?

As a web copywriter, the only language you are required to know is your own. And to be a good web copywriter, you are required to communicate as simply as possible. Benefits stated in human terms. Conversational tone to open a dialogue with the reader. No obfuscation with jargon. No long words like “obfuscation”.

The very nature of web copywriting – that it should be clear, understandable and engage with the reader – means that it lacks these two factors that “add value” to the perception of other Internet marketing professions.

In my next post I’ll talk about the naked web copywriter and how the SEO copywriter came to save the day.

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