I was four years old, and sitting at the table outside the kitchen door where my mum was preparing vegetables. I knew the alphabet, and that you put letters together to make words. Mum had told me there were not many two-letter words, so I combined three random letters and ran into the kitchen asking: “Is that a word? Is that a word?” She said no. I tried again, and again, until I wrote my first word – ‘cat’.

As a qualified journalist and professional copywriter, I’ve written hundreds of thousands of words since then (and been paid for most of them).

I’m a freelance copywriter based in Beckenham (between Bromley and Croydon). However, there are not many searches for ‘copywriter Beckenham’, ‘copywriter Bromley’ or ‘Croydon copywriter’, because not many people know that what I do is called copywriting.

I’ve been a copywriter for so long that I forget some people don’t know what copywriting is.

Copywriting is writing to influence, writing to persuade, writing to change behaviour.

Writing is only a small part of the job. Usually, the first task to ascertain the objective, then to conduct online and telephone research, and finally to put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard to craft compelling words that work. The resulting copy will usually include a call to action, which tells readers what they should do, in a way that stands out from the competition and with a tone of voice that’s unique to the client.

Good copywriting pays for itself in increased conversions.

Like any writer, a copywriter should have an extensive vocabulary, and the ability to write simply and clearly using language that flows. They should also be able to use correct spelling, grammar and punctuation (or know when and how to break the rules for effect).

I sometimes meet people who confuse copywriting with copyright (the first is about writing copy that is then printed or uploaded, the second is a legal right that protects creative materials from being copied).

These days, I write web copy more than anything else. I also write blogs, newsletters and social media copy, and train people how to write their own.

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