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Sales and marketing writing, mostly


Desktop Publishing Terminology

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The person who writes copy, such as the written content of print ads and marketing materials, is a copywriter. Small business owners may wear many hats, including copywriter, however copywriting is a specialized writing field typically associated with writing sales copy for ads although copywriting can be other short-form content including brochures, scripts for TV commercials, and content for the Web.

"Copywriters develop written content for websites, sales letters, articles, books, and the production of other verbiage for information, entertainment, education or any other outlet known to man. The products from copywriters touch our lives constantly." -- J.R. Hafer, What Exactly is a Copywriter? guest column for About.com Freelance Writing
"At advertising agencies a copywriter is known as a “creative” because he or she makes up the slogans, or copy, that drive ad campaigns. This Bud’s for You. BMW – The Ultimate Driving Machine. Just Do It. Those famous phrases are all the work of a copywriter." -- Rachel Deahl, former About.com Media Careers Guide, Copywriter Profile

Graphic designers and desktop publishers often work closely with copywriters or work with the material written by copywriters while designing advertising materials, brochures, and Web sites. They are part of the creative team that may also include illustrators, photographers, editors, and copyeditors.

Copywriting for Designers and Non-Writers

As small business owners or independent contractors, freelance graphic designers and desktop publishers may be their own copywriters, creating the content for the brochures and ads written to promote their own design services. And when working with some small clients with limited budgets, the designer may be called on to contribute some basic copywriting skills by writing or editing some copy for client materials.

If you're a small business owner who has decided that you don't want to do your own copywriting or graphic design, here's How to Hire a Freelance Copywriter or Graphic Designer.

Working as a Copywriter

Just as designers may work in-house or freelance, so do copywriters. Like design, writing offers creative career opportunities for the word artist.
  • While designers may specialize, most do work with a variety of documents and may mix print and Web design. These documents generally include at least some of the 5 Materials Every Copywriter Should Know How to Write such as print ads and brochures.


  • Explore the typical hours, pay, and other differing job environments for Ad Agency Copywriters vs. Freelance Copywriters


  • Is a Career in Advertising Right for You? explores the creative department -- where you'll find graphic designers specializing in ad design -- as well as the writers who create the copy for ads. You can also explore other options at the business end of advertising.


  • In some ways preparation for a career in advertising is like a career in design, you'll need to decide if you want to work for a boss or do it on your own, you'll need a portfolio, and you'll have to get out there and look for a job or for clients. Here are 5 Ways to Jumpstart Your Copywriting Career.

Copywriting vs. Copyrighting

Copywriting is about writing. Copyrighting is about protecting rights to writing or other intellectual material (including music and artwork). While the work of a copywriter is protected by applicable copyright laws, the copywriter may not be the copyright holder because copywriting is typically done as work for hire. The writing produced by the copywriter usually belongs to the employer or client.
"A copyright protects the form of expression of a creator against copying. … Copyright protection is given to the authors of "original works of authorship," including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works." -- Mary Bellis, About.com Guide to Inventors, What is a copyright?


Also Known As: ad writer | commercial writer

Alternate Spellings: copy writer

Common Misspellings: copyrighter

Terms Related to Copywriter

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