Why I Write Copy

 

I never intended to become a copywriter. I wanted to write fiction for children, to publish novels, and to be the next J.K. Rowling. I’d already sold stories to Highlights and Clubhouse. I could make money writing fiction, so why should I write anything else?

I fell into copywriting while working on the first drA fountain pen on paperaft of my first novel. (There have been others since. I haven’t published any of them. If I ever take a vacation, I may try to transform them into e-. books.) I needed money to buy my husband a Father’s Day present. I wanted it to be a surprise. Our household budget was fairly tight at the time, and if I wanted to buy him something nice, I’d need a way to earn money. I registered with one of those internet content mills, and worked until I had enough money to buy a copy of Dominion, which, at the time, was the newest, hottest game on the market.

In the process, I discovered that I was really good at writing SEO-oriented blog posts. I was surprised to discover that I actually enjoyed SEO writing. While it’s not the same sort of fun as writing fiction, I enjoy the challenge of researching a topic and condensing it into a blog. I like helping other people build their brand. I enjoy seeing my posts rise to the top of the Google results pages. It turns out, Copywriting is my dream job. I had avoided it for years because I didn’t know what it actually entailed.

It turns out that copywriting and fiction writing aren’t that different after all. Copywriters have to master many different voices. Understanding a client is a lot like the brainstorming that goes into creating a really great character.  A copywriter gets to research a myriad of topics and to write in a variety of forms and styles. Best of all, writing copy for advertisements, websites, social media, and direct mailings, you’re creating a character – or, in this case, a brand- and crafting a narrative to communicate with an audience.

I still write fiction, but I’m no longer a novelist who dabbles in copywriting to earn a bit of extra money. I’m a copywriter who dabbles in novels as a form of relaxation and stress relief.

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