Before the Interweb, when the world was but a wee bairn, copywriting looked a lot different.
Freelance copywriters would mercilessly call up their local ad agencies for regular work. This would be largely composed of creative print ads, outdoor stuff and glossy direct mail. The really big boys and girls got the TV work.
In those days, there was no need for ‘content’. There was no requirement to climb the search engine league tables. Or keep your website ticking over with blog fodder so Google knows you’re still alive.
Two copywriting camps
The result is what are commonly perceived as two commercial-writing camps: copywriters and content writers. In fact, the really creative chaps and chapesses get very uppity when content writers (blog writers) have the temerity to call themselves copywriters.
These distinctions are largely true. But I’ve always felt there’s a middle ground. So let me introduce the semi-creative copywriter.
This third wheel is the long-copy copywriter. The ones who get called up to write persuasive website copy, brochure work, banners, eshots and the like.
Writers such as, er, me.
This isn’t the ultra-creative concept work that you’d associate with TV, print ads and billboards. But it’s not rehashing blogs, either.
As a semi-creative, you’d still be expected to deliver clever (or preferably hardworking) headlines, to write with brevity in a specific tone of voice, to stay on-brand and to create compelling calls to action.
You might think: so what? But bear with me. I’m definitely going somewhere with this. Promise.
Looking for a freelance copywriter? There’s a cost implication here, because you don’t want to be booking an out-and-out creative for a semi-creative project.
Let’s imagine you want a hardworking website or a corporate brochure. You consult Google for freelance copywriters. You’re going to get a huge variety of results.
Call up a London freelance who works with Abbott Mead Vickers and you’ll be looking at a day rate north of £750. Icelandicly far north, in some cases. But this is the classic sledgehammer and nut scenario.
Check copywriters’ online portfolios and client backlist. If they’re semi-creatives, they’ll have a solid back catalogue of web and brochure work for a bunch of reputable clients, with no hint of excitable dragons or Robert De Niro’s bagels.
Get it wrong and it’d be like hiring a Maserati to drive to the shops. Get it right and you’ll pay less.
I suspect that’s the kind of creative work you like.
Need a semi-creative copywriter? Call Nigel on 07745 092037.