What is copywriting?

What is copywriting?

By Andrew Teoh

Since the first day when I choose to take up the career to become a copywriter I’ve been asked countlessly these few question.

” So what does a copywriter do?”

“Why would people want to hire someone just to write a content?”

“Can’t they themselves write these kinds of content?”


My parents would ask me the same questions above every time I visit them and every time it’ll take me hours to explain to them. But through that conversation, I just know that I just have to make a post explaining what is this all about. What is copywriting and what do copywriters do.

But before I begin just let me clarify one thing, for people that might not know copywriting and copyright are two different things. What I specialize in is copywriting which is creative content writing on all kinds of advertisements, whereas copyright is about obtaining the exclusive legal rights to your own creation, brand, design, name, logo and etc. This is to prevent illegal usage from third-party. The owner designates the material is copyrighted with the symbol ©.

Both of them might sound similar but they are different in every aspect.

So, what is copywriting?

‘COPYWRITING is the art and science of strategically delivering words (whether written or spoken) that get people to take some form of action.’

In layman terms, we are individuals that are good at using our words to promote, influence, persuade or provoke people into responding to our cause, motive or agenda. Some people refer us as ‘salesman in print’. As most of the copywriters write content to sell either a brand image, a product or an idea to the targeted audience.

Just a very common example that I can give is; you know those promotion emails that you receive from some of the brands of products that you’ve subscribed? (I know, I know I do find some of them annoying as well) That’s one of the jobs of copywriters. We strive to create contents that are short, simple, and interesting so to assist our clients to gain more interest from their targeted audience.

Let see whether I  can paint you a better picture,


Andy is a marketing executive that was just recently hired by LALALA company.

He is good at marketing analysis and strategy planning, but not very good in writing good content.


One day he was given the task to take up a project which requires him to write an email to each of his clients to market his company’s latest product. But Andy wasn’t good at it AT ALL, those emails that he sent out were generic, long winded and not interesting.


Hence, a majority of the emails were not being responded by his clients.


Struggling to meet his deadline and getting the job done right, he approaches Greg, his freelance copywriter friend.


Greg is a freelance copywriter, he has experience in writing interesting content and knows how to make it short and simple. With Greg’s help, Andy manages to produce good content on his marketing emails and gain a fantastic response from his clients.

Here’s the sample of how Andy wrote his email previously and after he asks for Greg’s help.

Andy’s original email version.

Hi Sir/Mdm,

My name is Andy, I am the marketing executive from LALALA company. Today I am here on behalf my company to promote this AAA product of ours. As you know our company has been on the market for 29 years and soon it will be our 30th year in the market. In light of the celebration for our 30th year in the market, we would like to offer you an early preview of our latest product which is the AAA product. Our AAA product is by far the best product in the company, and the price is certainly competitive with the product outside.

The AAA produce is created with our best R&D team and it has gone through multiple test run to ensure it’s peak performance. We really hope that you can attend this event and take consideration to purchase this product of ours.

Date: 30th August 2017
Venue: ABC Hotel Ballroom 3
TIme: 7 PM

We hope that you will look into this offer and reply us soon.

Thank you very much

[As you can see the email is typical & rigid, although Andy try to emphasize on the product performance he fail to attract his client as the content felt more like a typical promotion piece.]

Greg’s amended version

Greetings dear sir/madam/miss XXX, [if possible always refer the email to the right person]

First of all, we would like to thank you for your constant support all these years. In light of our coming 30th anniversary, we exclusively invite you to the premier of our latest product launch.

With your constant support to our company, we are able to produce a better version of product to cater your company needs, which is the AAA product. It will be an honor to have you as a guest in this launching event.

Here are the details of the event as followed.
Date    : 30th August 2017
Venue : ABC Hotel Ballroom 3
TIme   : 7 PM

Attach along is a copy of our latest product info in PDF format. [Never ever promote your product entirely on the email, it’s long winded and people tend to get bored and not interested.]

Thank you again, and we look forward to your attendance this coming 30th August.

[Greg’s email is more organize and simple. The information is given directly and he made an effort to let the clients felt important and appreciated. Along with the product attachment, it enables them to view a product separately and they can even make copies for future reference]

Copywriting is all about using the right words and pitching the right angle to engage with the targeted audience. It’s a fun & interesting job, it’s like you’re a magician but using words to stir feelings, senses, emotions, and thoughts of the reader to make them respond towards the content.

That’s all for me today about what I do. If you have more questions about copywriting or you’re interested in being one you can always connect with me and we can share and exchange ideas.

And since I’ve been using a lot of memes in this post here’s another one.



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