There are many different types of writing and writing specialties. There are people who write poems, text books, and advertisements. There are people who write newspaper articles, horror stories, and legal documents. One type of writing specialty or writing skill is copywriting.
Copywriting is essentially any content that promotes a product, service, or organization. An advertisement is copywriting and so is a landing page. Copywriting can be an email that you send to a list of subscribers or the opt-in that they download.
Most often, we think about copywriting as being specific to a sales page. For example, you want someone to buy your services as an accountant so you have a brochure or a sales page that promotes your services. Products have sales pages too.
Copy isn’t exclusively created to make sales. Copy has a goal, and that goal is to motivate the reader to take action. That action can be anything from sharing on social media, to subscribing or downloading, to motivating a purchase.
What Makes It Different From Offline and Print Copy?
The fundamental difference between online copy and offline copy (or print copy) is that online copy is exactly that…it’s online. While offline copy may be a flyer that you can hang in the local coffee shop, online copy exists online at a website address.
Offline copy may be mailed, tucked under porch welcome mats, or slipped under windshield wipers. Offline copy can be handed out at conferences or written on the side of buildings, packages, and even cars.
Online copy needs a website address. It can be emailed, shared on social media, downloaded, and visited. Online copy isn’t just different in where you find it. Online copy has a few special requirements. For example, it’s more challenging for people to read using a computer, cell phone, or other digital device, so online copy needs to be easy to read. That often means embracing formatting to help guide your reader’s eyes through the material.
Online copy also needs to be scannable – because most people don’t spend more than a few seconds deciding whether to read a page, and even when they do decide to read it, they generally scan the information and look for words and ideas.
There’s another difference that makes online copy much more powerful than offline copy, and that is the simple fact that all your reader generally has to do to take an action is click on a button or link. You can’t do that with offline copy.
Clicking a button means that you as a business owner may have the opportunity for higher conversion rates, and it’s easier to measure the success of your copy because you can track how many people read the material, how many clicked on your link, and how many took action.