According to the late, great Nora Ephron, “Everything is copy.” As a writer, I love that; as a sometimes copywriter, I know it’s true. The phrase, which is also the title of a documentary about Ephron’s life, means that anything and everything in life is up for grabs to be written about. But I prefer to interpret it as everything that’s written needs to be as effective as copy.
How is copy different from writing?
Great question. Technically, there’s no difference; the two words are often interchangeable. The only time copy is drastically different is in copywriting.
You may be familiar with that term through that advertising course you took in college or from Peggy Olsen’s role at Sterling Cooper on Mad Men. Basically, copywriting is writing for business, promotional, or journalistic purposes. Copywriting can be creative, but it needs to get the point across clearly to a chosen demographic.
As writer and marketer Ray Edwards put it, “Great copy addresses a problem, makes a promise, offers proof, and ends with a proposal.”
Copywriting as a musician
You may think that, as a musician, copywriting has no place occupying space in your brain, but if you ever want to sell anything (albums, tickets, T-shirts, you name it), you need to bone up on your copywriting skills. Without words that are compelling enough to drive your audience to action, you may as well not even bother posting your wares at all.
Check out these copywriting tips to help you get started.