Working for an SEO firm, I do sometimes get the feeling that the copywriter’s skills aren’t valued as highly as some other disciplines. Designers, developers – they do a difficult job that nobody else can do. Copywriters? Well we just play around with words.
Designers “create designs“. We just “churn out bumpf“.
Being the secure and well-adjusted human being that I am, I ran straight to Twitter this afternoon, hurled myself to the floor and kicked and screamed. Guess what? It turns out I’m not actually alone.
Are Copywriters Undervalued?
The YES Camp.
Funnily enough, Camp Yes is comprised of copywriters. Why? If you ask Theresa Summers, it’s because “copywriters are whingey“. She could be right. Maybe there’s something in the mind of the pen for hire that makes us more prone to a right old moan. Or maybe that’s not it. One recurring theme is something that I touched upon above. You see, if you ask anyone who isn’t a copywriter they’ll tell you straight.
Copywriting is easy.
We all get taught the basics of writing at school. So obviously we can all be copywriters. And unlike web design, great copy doesn’t make people go “wow” the moment they see it. So they assume it’s less important.
Everyone thinks that, because they can use a pencil or a computer, they are effortlessly fluent.
Because anyone can do it! My auntie’s neighbour’s dog once barked at a notepad so like, he can like, SO write web copy!
People think it’s about the ability to spell, not the ability to sell.
That sums it up quite neatly for me. We won’t wow an employer or a client with a striking website, and good copy shouldn’t let you notice you’re being persuaded to make an action. It’s a much more subtle art. What’s more, anyone who’s been within frothing distance of a keyboard or pencil thinks they can be the next Shakespeare. That killer combination means that we don’t always get the credit we think we so richly deserve.
But then again – are we right?
The NO Camp
Shut up and get on with your writing.
Maybe Matt’s got a point. It didn’t take much for a good half-dozen writers to down pens and get involved in a group whining session. Perhaps we do all need to shut up and just crack on. After all, angst is a great inspiration.
You f**king writers. You’re so bloody temperamental. You’re a genius. Now stop whinging. What are you typing about me?
Laura Wilde (the missus)
A sort-of compliment from the woman in my life. I have to agree with her (literally), but even a backhanded compliment is nice every once in a while.
So what do you all think? Is copywriting an undervalued skill? Are copywriters temperamental fops, prone to throwing a strop? Or do we just get too worked up, considering what we do just isn’t that difficult. Share your thoughts or throw a tantrum in the comments section.