What Does Writing Copy Mean?
When you’re writing content for your website and trying to improve your visibility, you constantly hear people talking about writing ‘copy’ for a page or blog post, or someone saying that they write copy
But what does it mean to write copy?
What does it mean to be a copy writer?
We know writing copy is something that copywriters do (it’s obvious in the name), but when we’re constantly bombarded with the idea that a website should have original content that hasn’t been published before, why call it copy?
Copy has the connotations of duplication and repeating something that has already been done. To answer this question, we need to first look at the origin of the word.
Etymology of the Term ‘Copy’
The word ‘copy’ entered the English language in the mid-fourteenth century. It originally had the meaning of abundance or plenty, and transcript.
The word came from the Old French copie, from the Medieval Latin copia meaning ‘reproduction, transcript’, and from the Latin word copia: co(m) meaning ‘together’ + ops, opis meaning ‘power, ability, resources’ + ia meaning ‘abstract noun suffix’.
The secondary meaning of the Latin copia as ‘power, ability, resources’ relates to the idea of the need for power and resources to be able to reproduce abundant copies (relating to the English word ‘copious’).
However, it wasn’t until the sixteenth century that the word had evolved to refer to any instance of writing and any reproduction.
How Copy is Used Now
In the twenty-first century, the word copy, as well as it’s well-recognised meaning, also refers to written content for publication on blog posts, articles, web copy, white papers or anything that requires words to be written for a specific purpose.
Copywriters Write Copy
The people who write copy are called, funnily enough, copywriters. This isn’t to be confused with copyright, as I regularly encounter when explaining to people what I do. The conversation occasionally goes:
No, I don’t know that much about intellectual property. I’m an SEO copywriter. I write content for businesses and have very little knowledge of the legal ramifications of protecting your creative works.
So don’t forget the ‘w’ in copywriter to avoid that mistake.
A copywriter usually writes for businesses to encourage a reader to read on, to impart valuable information and to encourage them to take action, whether that’s to subscribe to a blog page, write a positive comment, add an item to the cart or sign up to a course.
Copywriting is the art of persuasion. They help businesses connect with their ideal clients using language they understand and identify with.
An SEO copywriter does the same as any other copywriter, with the added benefit of aligning the content with user intent.
This means researching what a business’s potential client will be searching for and the language they use so the content they write will align with their search queries.
An SEO copywriter also ensures that the headlines (H1, H2, etc.), meta description, alt tags and keywords are all optimised to improve the page’s chance of being found on Google, Bing, Yahoo or any other search engine.
Write Copy for Your Reader
Although the content for a web page or blog post should be written for the reader, it is also important to have the right elements in place to keep the search bots happy so they know what your page is about and how to rank it.
For example, if your page is about mental health and you discuss this topic without having the phrase ‘mental health’ in your meta description, headline or mentioned in the body of your copy, it is unlikely your page will rank for that particular term.
This blog post on ‘what does writing copy mean’ sets out the origin of the term and how it evolved over time to give some insight into such an unusual term.
About Now Ltd is an SEO and web design agency with a difference. We use cutting-edge analytics and valuable data to understand your competitors and write engaging content that speaks directly to your chosen audience. This will give you a powerful advantage in getting your business in front of the right people. For more information on boosting your online visibility and getting your website working, click on the link below and we’ll get back to you within 24 hours.