A new unique original word to replace copywriting

by Mark Andrews Banned 88 replies
"What do you do for a living?"

"I'm a copywriter."

"A what?"

What a strange word 'copywriting' is.

Tell someone you're a copywriter, your average man or woman in the street and you'll probably be met with a blank look or stare.

What a contradiction in words.

Here we are... Copywriters.

We tell others to keep their written language so simple a child can understand it. Yet the very word which describes our craft is a major cause for confusion.

Yes I know copywriting is salesmanship-in-print and it's a lot easier to tell someone you're a marketing consultant rather than a copywriter even if it's just to save the other person you're talking to some embarrassment to clarify what it is you do for a living.

Copywriting is a cold impersonal totally meaningless word which 99% of the population finds impossible to relate to. Telling someone you're a copywriter, dangling the hook right under their nose and still they don't get it.

"You're a copyrighter right? One of those people who is against freedom of speech ya mean?" As someone recently said to me. How jolly weird.

The very word in existence to describe what it is I do, what we do - most of the population don't understand what this is or from use of the word to describe us what this professional role encompasses. Go figure.

So, what I want for you guys to come up with is a brand new, original, unique word to replace the word copywriting.

A new made up word which instantly people can identify with so on telling them this word, what it is you do, they instantly get it.

What is that new word?

What word description (made up or otherwise) can you come up with to replace 'copywriting' with? Or indeed replace 'copywriter' with?

Hell, even when you type the damn word 'copywriting', it always shows up as a spelling mistake. Oh the irony!

Over to you guys...

A new completely unique and original word please to replace 'copywriting' which portrays us in the best light possible.

What can you come up with?

Answers on a postcard please below...


Mark Andrews
#copywriting #copywriter #copywriting #copywriting defined #copywriting definition #copywriting meaning #original #replace #replace copywriting #unique #word
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  • Profile picture of the author vgvetter
    I kind of like the term "Wordsmith"
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    • Profile picture of the author TerryAnny
      Originally Posted by vgvetter View Post

      I kind of like the term "Wordsmith"
      I have to agree with that! Or at least, that's how I identify myself- granted, even so , I often have to explain " I write web content" They get it then... mostly
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      • Profile picture of the author NickN
        When I say I'm a copywriter, people either...

        A) ...think of the legal concept of "copyrighting"

        or

        B) ...understand that I write, but don't know what kind of writing I do. That's when I say, "I write ads and stuff." Much simpler than trying to explain all that stuff Mark P. listed off.
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        • Profile picture of the author angiecolee
          Originally Posted by NickN View Post

          When I say I'm a copywriter, people either...

          A) ...think of the legal concept of "copyrighting"

          or

          B) ...understand that I write, but don't know what kind of writing I do. That's when I say, "I write ads and stuff." Much simpler than trying to explain all that stuff Mark P. listed off.
          Same here. I say copywriter and people ask me all kinds of legal questions about copyright law. I say writer and people ask if I do fiction or non-fiction.

          When someone asks, I typically say something along the lines of ad writer/brochure writer/finding the right words to sell your business to customers.
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      • Profile picture of the author Mark Andrews
        Banned
        Originally Posted by TerryAnny View Post

        I have to agree with that! Or at least, that's how I identify myself- granted, even so , I often have to explain " I write web content" They get it then... mostly
        Oh for petes sake Terry. We don't write ruddy content. We're not content writers. Your definition of what a copywriter is, is obviously vastly different to the majority of people here.

        If we were just content writers it would be easy to rebrand ourselves.

        If the problem were only that simple, do you honestly think, believe I would be asking this question here Terry? That others too would be discussing the issue?

        Why am I asking the question?

        Isn't it immediately obvious?

        Isn't it instantly obvious the question arises out of a need to repurpose, rebrand everything which being a copywriter entails?

        Or has this just, somehow, flown straight off over the top of your forehead?

        I mean come on man. Think for petes sake!


        Mark Andrews
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        • Profile picture of the author Alex Cohen
          I spent 30 years as a computer programmer (called "software developer" these days) and never could find the words to adequately describe what I did.

          The closest I ever got was to point to an application running on somebody's computer and say, "I write the computer instructions telling programs like that what to do."

          Still got puzzled looks.

          Anyhoo, no way do I want to get caught up in that vortex again, so now days, if someone asks me what I do, I say, "I write advertisements for business owners". Like Ewen's response, it works every time.

          People don't really care what you do. They just want to put the issue in a neat little box and continue down life's road.

          Alex
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        • Profile picture of the author TerryAnny
          Originally Posted by Mark Andrews View Post

          Oh for petes sake Terry. We don't write ruddy content. We're not content writers. Your definition of what a copywriter is, is obviously vastly different to the majority of people here.

          If we were just content writers it would be easy to rebrand ourselves.

          If the problem were only that simple, do you honestly think, believe I would be asking this question here Terry? That others too would be discussing the issue?

          Why am I asking the question?

          Isn't it immediately obvious?

          Isn't it instantly obvious the question arises out of a need to repurpose, rebrand everything which being a copywriter entails?

          Or has this just, somehow, flown straight off over the top of your forehead?

          I mean come on man. Think for petes sake!


          Mark Andrews
          Mark Andrews
          What is obvious is that you might need a Midol.


          Almost all the web content I see is marketing copy.

          Does the fact that I define myself as a wordsmith and explain that I write web content really bother you so much? Why? Do you find that personally insulting? What purpose did belittling me serve?


          The truth is that the job evokes as many different images as the word itself. Copywriters are a diverse group of salespeople who use different methods. Some use wit and humor, some are edgy and some strive for very GQ- trendy copy.

          You asked for a word- I like wordsmith. If you only wanted words that describe YOUR personal writing style, you should have put a disclaimer on your thread.

          According to the thesaurus, wordsmith is synonymous with copywriter but then again, so is huckster, hawker and humorist. Take your pick.

          My new bid: Web Hawker.
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  • Profile picture of the author DavidG
    Good Question...

    In a conversation I say something like...

    "I help business owners get more clients..."

    When it comes to finding clients, I don't go for people who need to be taught what a copywriter is or what he/she can do...

    I look for those asking for a copywriter, propose what I've done and give them a "snippet" on possible ways to increase their response.

    As a word though... that's a tough one.

    Maybe it all comes down to a thread that Gjabiz did recently on being a " Independent Marketing Analyst"... being a little more than a boring copywriter.

    Here's the link
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    • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
      I always use the term ad writer.

      Never got a misunderstood look from another.

      Not new, I know.

      Best,
      Ewen
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      • Profile picture of the author wrcato2
        I say "I am a copy writer. ie, I write letters and advertisements that forces my readers to unconsciously give me what I ask them to give me... no matter what.
        I am a writer.
        I am an ad writer.
        I am a "shit weasel"...
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        • Profile picture of the author mrdomains
          Understanding what Shepherds, Carpenters or Golf Pros do is easy because their professions are mainly physical ones. What you can see in action is easily understood.

          Copywriting ( I really hate that word :p ) is a more abstract activity where you only, if ever, see the end result.

          The problem for Copywriters is deeper though because in a world where most people can write, the definition of the trade and why it matters (and why it merits a price-tag) becomes more and more critical.

          The biggest problem is perhaps confusion: the public misunderstanding the meaning (can you say write and right differently?), and the Copywriter misunderstanding.. or perhaps misfocusing on, what the real core of the trade is.

          Why I find the subject of this thread so interesting is because the copywriting trade needs to redefine itself or risk devaluation.

          Above all, Copywriters need to redefine themselves because what you do (if you do it well), is so much more that what people who "know" what copywriting means normally consider you to be doing.

          I know, a convoluted and over-long sentence, but I hope it makes some sense
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    • Profile picture of the author Mark Andrews
      Banned
      Originally Posted by vgvetter View Post

      I kind of like the term "Wordsmith"
      Bland. No offense.

      'Wordsmith' does not by any stretch of the imagination truly encompass what a copywriter is or does. A wordsmith writes words sure. But would you automatically associate a wordsmith with being everything a copywriter provides? No, far from it.

      Copywriting by it's very nature includes marketing advice and consultancy, sales funnel creation, product or business branding, positioning, salesmanship-in-print not to mention advising others on the importance of placing their offer right in front of the target market, in other words laser targeted traffic generation.

      Calling ourselves 'wordsmiths' doesn't quite cut it. But hey! Thanks for the suggestion but try again...

      Originally Posted by DavidG View Post

      Good Question...

      In a conversation I say something like...

      "I help business owners get more clients..."

      When it comes to finding clients, I don't go for people who need to be taught what a copywriter is or what he/she can do...

      I look for those asking for a copywriter, propose what I've done and give them a "snippet" on possible ways to increase their response.

      As a word though... that's a tough one.

      Maybe it all comes down to a thread that Gjabiz did recently on being a " Independent Marketing Analyst"... being a little more than a boring copywriter.

      Here's the link
      Aye, I'm looking for a specific brand new original word.

      For example, if you tell someone you're a shepherd the person you're speaking to will instantly understand you herd sheep.

      If you tell someone you're a pilot the person you're talking to will instantly understand you fly a plane.

      If you tell someone you're a cleaner the person you're speaking with will instantly understand you clean things.

      Tell them you're a copywriter or that you do copywriting and most people won't have the foggiest idea what this label means. They won't understand in an instant what you do. Or how your craft, your profession will benefit them.

      When, like I said, as copywriters we advise others to keep their word choices extremely simple (so a child can understand it) isn't it ever so slightly weird that the very word which we use to describe ourselves is pretty much lost on near everyone else to describe what it is we do? (Rhetorical question).

      So yes, I'm looking for a brand new original made up word (or otherwise) which we can associate ourselves with which would make it easier for others to comprehend everything a copywriter does.

      Gordon Alexander's thread which you highlighted above, jolly good show! When myself and another top copywriter were discussing this topic on Skype an hour or so ago, we actually made reference ourselves to this exact same thread. And then lo and behold you make mention of it too. Good timing!

      *****

      A word suggestion please (if you don't mind).

      What can you copywriters come up with?

      Call this thread a bit of a fun challenge if you will. I've posted this up to get you all thinking.

      Thinking caps on, thinking outside the box... fire away!


      Mark Andrews
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      • Profile picture of the author JakeDaly
        A few possible suggestions:

        1) Thinkcap
        2) Capthink
        3) Copywriter

        ¯\(°_o)/¯
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  • Profile picture of the author Mark Pescetti
    As you pointed out, Mark, copywriters are much, much more than people who just write copy.

    We're capable of taking any viable product and communicating the emotionally-driven benefits of owning it.

    Or...

    Positioning and branding a service by communicating its mind-blowing value and being able to help our clients command top dollar for what they offer.

    Copywriting IS sales.

    Copywriting IS marketing.

    Copywriting IS branding.

    Copywriting IS conveying/eliciting emotion.

    Copywriting IS the art of psychology.

    Copywriting IS the art of seduction.

    Copywriting IS establishing a connection.

    Copywriting IS carrying on a conversation.

    Again...

    Copwriting is much, much more than just writing copy.

    It's not just Internet Marketing.

    It's not just Marketing Consulting.

    It's not just writing Ad Copy.

    So I look at your question as a challenge to re-brand copywriting.

    Pescetti ponders.

    mark
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    • Profile picture of the author Mark Andrews
      Banned
      Originally Posted by Mark Pescetti View Post

      As you pointed out, Mark, copywriters are much, much more than people who just write copy.

      We're capable of taking any viable product and communicating the emotionally-driven benefits of owning it.

      Or...

      Positioning and branding a service by communicating its mind-blowing value and being able to help our clients command top dollar for what they offer.

      Copywriting IS sales.

      Copywriting IS marketing.

      Copywriting IS branding.

      Copywriting IS conveying/eliciting emotion.

      Copywriting IS the art of psychology.

      Copywriting IS the art of seduction.

      Copywriting IS establishing a connection.

      Copywriting IS carrying on a conversation.

      Again...

      Copwriting is much, much more than just writing copy.

      It's not just Internet Marketing.

      It's not just Marketing Consulting.

      It's not just writing Ad Copy.

      So I look at your question as a challenge to re-brand copywriting.

      Pescetti ponders.

      Mark
      Precisely.

      You've got it.

      Bit of a problem huh?

      'Copywriting' as a word in it's own right simply doesn't convey all of this effectively. Yet, on the whole, it's the only word we can use. To date.

      Unless...


      Mark Andrews
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  • I rarely use the word "copywriter". I say - "I write Ads"

    Depending on the situation it might be "I write Sales Letters, Websites, Flyers" etc (often tagging on a benefit...that bring more customers, clients, sales, money, profits...).

    I've never been misunderstood, then I can explain everything else, marketing, branding etc. etc. in more detail.

    Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author laurencewins
    I went to the thesaurus and it spat out all these words.
    Some are appropriate and others are not.
    But there's no ONE word that seems to describe it.

    Word painter is interesting...although not accurate, as is wordsmith which has already been mentioned.

    I will also watch this thread with interest.
    copywriter Synonyms: advertising writer, annalist, art critic, author, authoress, belletrist, bibliographer, coauthor, collaborator, columnist, compiler, composer, creative writer, critic, dance critic, diarist, drama critic, dramatist, encyclopedist, essayist, free-lance writer, free lance, ghost, ghostwriter, humorist, inditer, literary artist, literary craftsman, literary critic, literary man, litterateur, logographer, magazine writer, man of letters, monographer, music critic, newspaperman, novelettist, novelist, pamphleteer, penwoman, poet, prose writer, reviewer, scenario writer, scenarist, scribe, scriptwriter, short-story writer, storyteller, technical writer, word painter, wordsmith, writer
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    Cheers, Laurence. Writer/Editor/Proofreader.
    Check out my site or Blog. Ask if you have questions.

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  • Profile picture of the author Pusateri
    Persuasion Engineer or maybe Persuasion Specialist. Persuasioneer?
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    • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
      I'm happy to start at a point where the other
      person understands first.

      Then let other people call me what they want.
      What others say about you is more powerful
      than what you say about yourself.

      Best,
      Ewen
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  • Profile picture of the author TerryAnny
    Of course, we could all just go the easy route and say "writer." period. just leave em' wondering ;-)
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  • Profile picture of the author Kneesmith
    I always just tell people "I'm a bad ass mothaf*cker" ...

    People usually "get it" without questions asked
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    • Profile picture of the author Mark Andrews
      Banned
      Originally Posted by Kneesmith View Post

      I always just tell people "I'm a bad ass mothaf*cker" ...

      People usually "get it" without questions asked
      And from your own understanding, what do you think this says about you?


      Mark Andrews
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      • Profile picture of the author Kneesmith
        Originally Posted by Mark Andrews View Post

        And from your own understanding, what do you think this says about you?


        Mark Andrews
        It says that I don't want to use euphemisms and buzz words to describe myself and what I do. I do not want to sound professional. I want my work to speak for me. If someone likes my style they will dig it, if they don't I wouldn't enjoy working for them in the first place. A bad ass motherf*cker doesn't do what someone thinks they should do, we keep our noses clean, and do what works PERIOD. Leave the ass kissing to the professionals.
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  • ...here's the thing.

    Very few people understand what a "copywriter" is or does. It's not a great word.

    No great point in trying to "rebrand" it with a new word, because people still won't get it.

    Scroll up, and you'll see many of the best writers on the forum try, but they know it doesn't work.

    So, just tell the people what you do - "I write (whatever it is you write) and tag on the (benefits)"


    Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author arfasaira
    hmmmm...

    Interesting challenge here! I can't think of one word to replace the word copywriter, but I always tell others I'm a marketing consultant.

    I once told someone that I write words that sell and another time I said I was a persuasive storyteller...

    But I normally say that I help businesses make more money by creating high-converting marketing materials. Most people get it - a few will ask more questions.

    As for a single word to describe it, I can't think of one...maybe for laughs we should make one up and coin our own term - if it goes viral, you never know, it may even get added to the dictionary.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mark Andrews
      Banned
      Originally Posted by arfasaira View Post

      ...maybe for laughs we should make one up and coin our own term - if it goes viral, you never know, it may even get added to the dictionary.
      This is the intention Arfa, the purpose of the thread.

      I know it won't be easy. At the best of times trying to come up with any new word is difficult enough, unusually so strangely enough. But as a challenge for us copywriters here, to coin a brand new original word, I think, will stretch our collective imaginations in many different directions at once.

      What's interesting (myself included and certainly no criticism) is that so far on this thread not one professional copywriter has really popped up with one meaningful new word which encapsulates exactly what it is we do which other people can instantly grasp. "Ahhhh I get it, so THAT'S what you do - cool!"

      Here we are, all of us coming up with words and phrases for all kinds of products, goods and services, yet to describe in a new way what it is we do, we can't find a new word to describe us perfectly. Weird.

      An interesting exercise.

      Keep the suggestions coming please...


      Mark Andrews
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  • Profile picture of the author ThomasOMalley
    I agree with Ewen, Alex and Steve...keep it simple...just say you write ads, sales letters websites.

    When you confuse your prospect or client, you have no work.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mark Andrews
      Banned
      Originally Posted by ThomasOMalley View Post

      I agree with Ewen, Alex and Steve...keep it simple...just say you write ads, sales letters websites.

      When you confuse your prospect or client, you have no work.
      This isn't the question though.

      This isn't the confusion.

      This isn't the point of the thread.

      I know what to say to other people to describe what it I do using words unrelated directly to copywriting. That bit is easy. A no brainer.

      The purpose of the thread was to try and find a new word to actually rebrand, encapsulate what copywriting is so the target audience to whom we're addressing at any one time instantly grasps exactly what it is we do. As Mark Pescetti instantly got above.

      It's an exercise for copywriters to rebrand the very essence of what copywriting involves so the new word one of us comes up with, resonates strongly with others not directly involved with our craft.

      When myself and another top copywriter were discussing this a couple of days ago we both knew full well the kind of responses this kind of thread would generate.

      We said to each other, it will be interesting to see which copywriters understand the purpose of the thread and which one's don't. No offense Thomas.

      Gordon Alexander on the thread highlighted at the beginning got it spot on but in this particular instance, I'm asking an entirely different question.

      A question to get you guys thinking outside of the box what it is (with one brand new word) what it is you / we / I do.

      Warmest regards,


      Mark Andrews
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  • ...good news we're going to stop using the word "copywriter"

    If you want to get a bit deeper in saying what you do.

    Have a look at this site - Discover proven marketing strategy to increase profits, How to change elevator pitch to get more customers


    Steve


    P.S. Don't fret, I'm not an affiliate, but the course is good - it gives you the best ways to "Speak Your Business In Under 30 seconds" making your prospects say "Will you please do this for us?"
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  • Yes, yes it's very interesting but doesn't have an good ending.

    We'll "invent" a new word.

    And clients will still say "What the F*** does that actually mean?"
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    • Profile picture of the author Mark Andrews
      Banned
      Originally Posted by Steve The Copywriter View Post

      Yes, yes it's very interesting but doesn't have an good ending.

      We'll "invent" a new word.

      And clients will still say "What the F*** does that actually mean?"
      All words are invented somewhere Steve, they don't just appear out of thin air.

      Each word in our language, each syllable started off in someone's mind long ago as they searched to add meaning or links to emotions, wants, needs, and desires.

      And over time, with more usage, this new word was accepted into common language.

      Wouldn't you want to be the first person to come up with this brand new word?

      Warmest regards,


      Mark Andrews
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  • The word "copywriter" has been in use for say 100 years. And very few people understand what it means.

    So, if I invent a brand new word to replace it, I'll be long gone, and people will still be confused. And as I'm gazing down from the heavenly gates (assuming I get there), I'll hear people say "What the hell did he do that for?"

    It's not quite the legacy I was hoping for.

    Steve
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  • Ethical Pickpocket

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  • Profile picture of the author laurencewins
    word magician? sales magician? copygician? I know that is not a word but it could be a new one? Unfortunately it also doesn't say what it means.
    Word Artiste. ideas flow but nothing that pinpoints the actual solution.
    Signature

    Cheers, Laurence. Writer/Editor/Proofreader.
    Check out my site or Blog. Ask if you have questions.

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  • Profile picture of the author WeavingThoughts
    Communication Engineer

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    Content Consultant

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    Content Marketer
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  • At last, the voice of sense and reason - thank you arfa.

    It's true we are just selling - writing with the phenomenal power of words (dammit - would "the "phenomenal power of words" be a better than "copywriter?").


    Steve


    P.S.

    Potential Client "Hi Steve, what do you do?"

    Me "I write using the phenomenal power of words, so I do"

    Potential Client "What the....

    and on it goes...
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  • Profile picture of the author Mark Pescetti
    "So, Mark, what do you do for a living - if you don't mind me asking?"

    "I'm a Marketing Rainmaker. I make other people rich."

    That's my typical response.

    No swiping.

    Mark
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    • Profile picture of the author Pusateri
      Originally Posted by Mark Pescetti View Post

      "So, Mark, what do you do for a living - if you don't mind me asking?"

      "I'm a Marketing Rainmaker. I make other people rich."

      That's my typical response.

      No swiping.

      Mark

      "So, Mark, what do you do for a living - if you don't mind me asking?"

      "What are you doing in my house?"

      That's my typical response.

      Please knock.

      Mark
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      • Profile picture of the author Mark Pescetti
        Originally Posted by Pusateri View Post

        "So, Mark, what do you do for a living - if you don't mind me asking?"

        "What are you doing in my house?"

        That's my typical response.

        Please knock.

        Mark
        Oh...

        ...I'm knocking.

        Call me opportunity.

        Too obscure?
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        • Profile picture of the author Pusateri
          Originally Posted by Mark Pescetti View Post

          Oh...

          ...I'm knocking.

          Call me opportunity.

          Too obscure?
          No, it's an image problem. People won't answer the door because you look like Hard Work. Try dressing like Guarantee.
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          • Profile picture of the author Mark Andrews
            Banned
            Originally Posted by Pusateri View Post

            No, it's an image problem. People won't answer the door because you look like Hard Work. Try dressing like Guarantee.
            ...and not a Jehovah's Witness.

            Vin Montello I think is definitely on the right path.

            Mark Pescetti too.

            Both good suggestions.

            But both still don't quite hit the mark.

            More brainstorming?

            Come on guys, we're copywriters for petes sake, oh f*ck, now I've gone and done it lol - back to square one.


            Mark Andrews

            P.S. TerryAnny there's a subtle distinct difference between being a general wordsmith and a copywriter. The two compared are like comparing oranges to fish riding on bicycles.

            No comparison.
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  • Profile picture of the author CopyMonster
    Entertaining.

    Why?

    People that put themselves out as communication experts can't even decide how to best express what it is they do. Hmmm...

    Ironic. But it also demonstrates how language is not a precise construct.

    For me, words are just containers of meaning. The problem is meaning often varies from person to person. Tell me you "love" me? What that means to me, will likely mean something different to the pretty girl staring from across the bar. That's right (so did I mean "right" as in correct or "right" as opposed to left?)

    I get it. You're saying that copywriting may not be the best word to describe the work, the process.

    Like Steve, I thought of "Word Alchemist".

    Ultimately what you use depends on context and intent.

    On a form which requests your occupation, do you enter "copywriter"? It probably does the job.

    When it comes to marketing and positioning yourself the job may require something a little more creative.

    I like to go back to Eugene Schwartz's idea and think in terms of word pictures. What picture do you want to create in their mind? Then it's simple. Use the words that best describe that picture.

    Don't ask me what I use..

    Okay, okay then..."Word Pimp" (jk!)

    PS. @ Montello, like your thinking.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mark Pescetti
    Pimpyourproduct.com - "Pimpin' Ain't Easy, but someone's gotta do it!"
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  • Profile picture of the author NadiaChaudhry
    How about: Persuasive writer for businesses.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mark Andrews
      Banned
      Originally Posted by NadiaChaudhry View Post

      How about: Persuasive writer for businesses.
      'Cos, just maybe, it's 4 words strung together not one?
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      • Profile picture of the author NickN
        Originally Posted by Mark Andrews View Post

        'Cos, just maybe, it's 4 words strung together not one?
        Your snarky quips are partly why I keep coming to this forum.
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        • Profile picture of the author mrdomains
          This is a excellent thread. A prospective client would do well to orchestrate a similar game.

          I find it amusing that members of a copywriting forum fail to supply a simple and descriptive word or phrase to adequately represent their trade, hopefully in a more descriptive fashion that "copywriter".

          For once, you do not need to research and reeducate yourself to gain an understanding of your clients and their markets (you do that, don't you?)... you are in the middle of it. And cooking broad concepts and ideas down into a convincing essence... isn't this what you supposedly do?

          It should be the easiest of tasks. Tell us what your trade is, in a word or at most a phrase.

          If you can't describe what you do and how your client can profit from it.... well,

          I see suggestions that feel like cobwebs and which cling to the concept of words being the core of the copywriter trade. That feels very, very old.

          This exercise should be the easiest of tasks. Show your trade skills.

          So far, the only one I see thinking outside of the box is Pusateri in one of his early posts.
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  • Profile picture of the author Steve Hill
    I have to agree with Copymonster - it depends on context, and what you actually do as part of your particular positioning as a copywriter.

    Mark Pescetti listed the things he does as part of his positioning as a copywriter, but a copywriter for an ad agency may only do a subset of those things. What about someone that specializes in white papers...is he/she a copywriter, even though he/she is not doing a lot of persuasive marketing?

    Or let's take the term "pilot" that Mark Andrews mentioned. All we know is they steer vessels. We've got a lot of different kinds of pilots - airplane pilot, harbor pilot, bar pilot, freighter pilot, blimp pilot. While "pilot" encompasses all of those types, it doesn't directly address what kind of pilot they are. And no one term would, unless they specifically say something like "I'm a bar pilot," which is a specialization.

    It would be like trying to come up with a single word encompassing the 60,000 possible combinations from the simple menu at Chipotle restaurant. Is it even necessary? Or we could just call it Mexican food, which obviously covers a lot of variations.

    I agree that many people don't understand what copywriter means, but perhaps that's because it could be a web content developer (and yes, that includes the persuasive and structural elements of copywriting), a script writer, an ad writer, a magalog specialist, a full-blown marketing, branding, and positioning specialist/business consultant, or any possible combination of specializations.

    So...a single word to cover every combination isn't really going to work, in my opinion. Oh wait...we have one already...copywriter, in its broadest meaning. Or better yet, specialized terms as appropriate...marketing consultant, ad writer, web copy writer, communications specialist, online marketing specialist, whatever applies.

    I'm sure everyone can come up with a term that works for their particular combination of skills and the marketing context in which it is needed.
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  • I sometimes just tell people I'm a "marketing writer" or "advertising writer."
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  • Profile picture of the author Wytnyt
    Why not just use the most simple combination of words that describe what copywriters do?

    Saleswriter.
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    • Profile picture of the author Steve Hill
      Originally Posted by Wytnyt View Post

      Why not just use the most simple combination of words that describe what copywriters do?

      Saleswriter.
      Hmmm...but I've heard that term applied to the clerical position for people that just write up orders. An example is where a car is purchased at a large dealership, a deal is struck, then the customer is handed off to the person that types up the contracts (i.e., the saleswriter) so the salesman can get back on the lot and sell more cars.

      I tried working with Latin word roots (venditiones is the Latin equivalent of 'sales', and scriba is the sense of a writer by profession), but any feasible combinations are even less recognizable than "copywriter."
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    • Profile picture of the author DanteRomero
      I remember Bencivenga putting it this way: "You know how businesses are always wanting new customers?" "Well, yeah..." "It's my job to know everything there is about getting a business new customers."
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    • Hi Mark Andrews,
      What comes across my mind just now is: Direct-sales-author!
      This is quite a challenging concept! Thanks. . . LLS
      By the way, compound word, used. Can't see any other way
      around it, MA.
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  • Profile picture of the author Pusateri
    This is a fun exercise, but the ambiguous nature of the word "copywriter" can be an advantage. When the person who has just asked what you do then asks what a copywriter is, you get to have a conversation.

    Still, I'm a bit ashamed that I can think of so few ways to say copywriter, while I can think of hundreds of ways to say breasts.
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    • Profile picture of the author CopyMonster
      Originally Posted by Pusateri View Post

      Still, I'm a bit ashamed that I can think of so few ways to say copywriter, while I can think of hundreds of ways to say breasts.
      Some success teachers say "You are what you think!"... are you giving yourself away here? :p
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      • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
        Here's a possible perspective of a marketer who invests in professional copywriters,
        and sees this thread...

        "These guys are spending all this time on what to call themselves,
        why aren't they talking about improving client ad performances?"

        "split test results and other performance numbers that I can transfer to
        my marketing?"

        Not a good look I think.

        Best,
        Ewen
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        • Profile picture of the author JulioMattos
          Wow, so many people in on this and I just had read all of the variety posts in this thread.

          Project Manager is the same as saying copywriting since you actually develop the same tasks as this and create the deadlines.

          Copywriter used to be use as Direct Response Salescopy, but then began to get broken down by so many names that its now just used as copywriter.

          Though I did get what Mark Andrews was saying because this is a great question as you can go into deep conversations which don't usually always bare fruit since most people analyze all of what you say.

          In summary we as copywriters we do work doing many different tasks and I had this question written down a long time ago, precisely may 23, 2006 and still even when you get asked what you do it really varies.

          I remember this then came across this below:
          “I’m a marketer!”
          “My specialty is attracting new customers … persuading existing customers to make ever-larger purchases … convincing them to buy more often … and making sure they keep buying from me forever.”

          This is what I go by now, even with this I still would've been interested in other types of names for copywriting but heh it is what is and I learned some valuable information from this thread and from all the posts.

          Sometimes it's just interesting to post things which you have on your mind for a while and see what all is said from others also in similar fields.

          Of course saying that, yes you could come up with some catchy to brand it and become a crusader who launches knew catch phrases from old catch phrases yet, I will still look in on this thread to see if anything else exciting becomes of this thread.

          Thanks to all who posted, its interesting to see how many people have similar things on there mind even if you do have a lot of work on your plate, sometimes taking time to post things could also help free up somethings which is usually occupying your mind space .
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          • Profile picture of the author Mark Andrews
            Banned
            Originally Posted by BrianMcLeod View Post


            Done. Next thread?
            ...is one about your family Brian but I've been wondering how to word it.

            Stay tuned.

            Originally Posted by ewenmack View Post

            Here's a possible perspective of a marketer who invests in professional copywriters,
            and sees this thread...

            "These guys are spending all this time on what to call themselves,
            why aren't they talking about improving client ad performances?"

            "split test results and other performance numbers that I can transfer to
            my marketing?"

            Not a good look I think.

            Best,
            Ewen
            Quite simply because everything starts with ideas Ewen.

            I wasn't looking to gauge what people might think of me when posting this thread up. It doesn't matter. Who gives a hoot? What some other people moaning behind our backs saying, "'ere look at this lot wasting time when they could be discussing more serious issues", is of no concern to me in the absolute slightest. Why should it be?

            We can discuss what we want here. We all have to let our hair down once in a while and bounce ideas around to help keep us on our toes.

            If you don't want to participate - don't.

            If you do - fine. Dandy.


            Mark Andrews
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  • Profile picture of the author gustoking
    GOD! but that might be blasphemous to some... lol

    Copywriter is not a good frame to keep yourself in anyway. Why describe your self as a one fixed thing.

    Giving yourself a title which also has what i call the 'spillover over' effect, which can be leveraged in many different ways.

    Strategic Content Developer, Creative Word designer etc

    The key is to be able to define yourself when and where you need it. Situations change all the time so try a few rather than one fixated view of whom you shall identify to the world as being.

    It is like putting a tag on a piece of cattle, or having a prison number!

    you be who you want to be when you want to be ....!!!
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  • Profile picture of the author Anthony Gibson
    value conveyor.
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  • Wow, Brian and Joe - 2 more Isle Of Skye fans.

    That makes at least 4 of us on the forum (I guess McAndrews is also one - he should be by now).


    Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author montero
    A definition doesn't have to cover everything a term implies but only what distinguishes it with some precision, or in other words, has to cover what is essential to the term's broader meanings or implications.

    I think writing the texts for the sales and marketing functions of a business covers the essentials pretty well.
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  • Profile picture of the author Marvin Johnston
    Well, I am generally taking the "road less taken" with my comments and would hate to break that string .

    Instead of trying to rebrand copywriting, how about using our copywriting/marketing skills to better inform people of what copywriting is all about. It seems to me that this is what the OP is all about, only with a different word.

    My gut feeling is trying to rebrand "copywriting" is something that would take many years to actually catch on since the word is pretty well ingrained in our culture.

    Another thought along those lines is the concept is more important than the actual word being used. Copywriting is a pretty succinct term that has been a part of the culture for a long time. And I really doubt anyone (at least on this forum) doesn't know exactly what copywriting is all about. And that leads us back to my second paragraph.

    Marvin
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  • Profile picture of the author 1robert
    Here's the best answer....Copywriter!

    Why? Because most people know what a copywriter is.

    Just look on the warrior forum and all the people asking for free copy critiques for their squeeze pages and sales letters.

    Do a Google keyword search for copywriter.

    How many searches do you see per month?

    You've made 2 mistakes here 1) assuming your client is stupid and 2) trying to reinvent the wheel, which are 2 things a COPYWRITER should never do.

    You can't invent another word for copywriter because copywriter, well, sounds right!

    However, a small portion of people just don't understand what copywriting is, so I would say something like...

    sales letter creator

    sales letter writer
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    • Profile picture of the author Mark Andrews
      Banned
      Originally Posted by 1robert View Post

      You've made 2 mistakes here 1) assuming your client is stupid and 2) trying to reinvent the wheel, which are 2 things a COPYWRITER should never do.
      Wrong on both counts.

      Why?

      First there is no client here so your assumption is completely up the creek.

      Your second point Robert, trying to reinvent the wheel. Question is: why not?

      Everything gets reinvented over time. There was / is no need to take this thread so seriously. It was just a fun exercise, nothing more, nothing less.


      Mark Andrews
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  • Profile picture of the author LasGeorges
    I feel copy writing is more than creating or writing sales copy.
    Copy writing is the art and science of persuasion and marketing.
    A copy writer is a professional thats consulted for his/her creativitiy and persuasive skills through text.

    When Im asked, I just say I am a sales copy consultant
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  • Profile picture of the author KaplanT4
    I don't think the word "copywriter" is the problem. It's simply that people aren't familiar with it.

    The word "shepherd" doesn't describe what a shepherd does at all, but we're familiar with it. Same for the word "pilot".

    The answers I can think of are all more than one word, more like a sentence, so I hereby resign from this challenge...

    ...farewell.
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    • Actually... a very bad example. Shepherd absolutely DOES describe what they do. It means, "herds sheep."

      Originally Posted by KaplanT4 View Post

      I don't think the word "copywriter" is the problem. It's simply that people aren't familiar with it.

      The word "shepherd" doesn't describe what a shepherd does at all, but we're familiar with it. Same for the word "pilot".

      The answers I can think of are all more than one word, more like a sentence, so I hereby resign from this challenge...

      ...farewell.
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  • Profile picture of the author KaplanT4
    Yes I know what it means, my point is, just like the word copywriter, it doesn't describe what a shepherd actually does so that someone not familiar with it could easily understand. "Sheep herder" would better fit the bill in this context.
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  • Profile picture of the author Johnphoto
    what's wrong with copywriter? I don't find. This word has been a popular one and it will go on itself. We can not control language, it goes itself.
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    • Profile picture of the author unglued
      I know the primary/overt intent of copywriting isn't to entertain, but its validity as an objective COULD be argued. So at the risk of being smacked by someone more knowledgeable than myself, how about..."Advertainer" ?

      Hope it helps,

      unglued
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  • Profile picture of the author Ronak Shah
    Interesting thread. Excellent challenge. Awesome question.

    I really like this challenge because most people kind of don't really know what a copywriter is & what exactly does a copywriter exactly do.

    Many times, people confuse copywriter with a person who protects copyrights. hehe LOL yeah...

    So I would like to help by giving some names:

    Sales-pitch Writer
    Persuasion Writer
    Attraction Writer
    Value Writer

    Actually, the first thing that came to my mind was Sales Writer but I would prefer to describe copywriters as sales-pitch writer.

    Best Of Luck. Sincerely.

    Warmest Regards,

    Ronak Shah.


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    Now, Here's The REAL DEAL:
    Either I make YOU at least 10 times of what I charge YOU OR
    I'll Write YOUR Sales Copy AGAIN Till YOU Make MUCH MORE Than THAT. Guaranteed*.
    *Terms & Conditions Apply. Email me at ronak[at]ronakshah[dot]name right now.
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  • Profile picture of the author Daniel Thomas
    Is the problem with lack of new word or the image current word entails?
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  • Profile picture of the author AnneE
    You are a writer who specializes in writing persuasively. You write sales letters for people, website content, etc.
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  • Profile picture of the author SergeyZ
    Mark, I've got a brand new original word for you that encapsulates everything that a copywriter does.

    Ready?

    Shmekvek.

    That's right. Shmekvek. The next time you're out at a party and someone asks you what you do for a living just tell them

    "I'm a Shmekvek."

    And if they ask (and they will ask) "What's a Shmekvek?" just tell them "It means 'copywriter'."

    When they ask "Well, what's a copywriter?" just kindly let them know that "It's the same thing as a Shmekvek."

    Most people talking to you will walk away at this point. For those that do stay, you can always follow it up with "I find out what people want and write ads letting them know they can buy it."

    After all, unless there's a gun to your head, you can actually use more than one word to describe what you do.

    And if there is a gun to your head?

    Just say "Shmekvek".
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  • Profile picture of the author contentist
    Wow, really old thread, I know, but I've enjoyed reading it.

    I've been toying with the whole copywriter thing for some time now as I'm always having to explain myself, and still people find it strange.

    My new words for a copywriter & copywriting are:

    Contentist: one who practices the craft of Contentistry.
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  • Profile picture of the author Brady Maijon
    Maybe email writers would do
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  • Profile picture of the author Diana S
    I've been referred to as a storyteller, which initially sounded strange to me. However, copywriting is indeed an art and requires creativity (i.e., storytelling) in order to reach real people and convey a sales message.
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  • Profile picture of the author NewEnglandah
    I usually say "I write ads for people" or "I write sales ads".
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  • Profile picture of the author jessegilbert
    Professor of The Noble Art of Marketing
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