Qualities of a Good Copywriter

by Ian Linton

Good copywriters persuade their audience to take action by buying a product, requesting information or changing attitudes. Depending on their skills, they work in different media. Copywriters, like runners, come in three main types. The sprinters write in short bursts; they are good at writing short ads for print or broadcast. The middle distance writers create good direct marketing campaigns, product brochures, website content or case studies. Long distance writers are the copywriters of choice for technical papers, customer magazines and technical documentation.


Copywriters are good researchers. They are curious about the subjects they cover and study research reports, read magazines, review advertisements and follow social networking sites to build a picture of the audience they are writing for. Advertising copywriters working on consumer products create a profile of the age, sex, occupation and location of their prospects, and they will understand the desires and motivation that make someone a hot prospect for their product. Business copywriters understand the roles and responsibilities of the people who make purchasing decisions, and the challenges and opportunities they face.


Copywriters focus on the information that matters. They distill large amounts of available information into short, powerful statements that persuade their readers to act. This is a particularly important for advertising copywriters, who only have a few seconds to make their pitch on the page or on the screen. Writers who create copy for lengthy brochures must still structure the information into clear, logical sections that move the reader towards a positive decision.


Good copywriters deliver measurable results. In an email campaign, they might aim to persuade a percentage of their audience to click through to a website page for more product information. In a local radio commercial, they may want to persuade the audience to visit a store to sample a new product. Writers working on product brochures play an important role in persuading more prospects to take a purchasing decision. A copywriter developing content for an annual report can help a company attract more investors.


Copywriters recognize the importance of working with designers and creative directors to develop communications that work hard. Good copywriters know that they cannot work in isolation. If they have a brief for an advertisement, they work with a creative director to develop a concept before writing the copy. Writers creating content for websites discuss the structure and level of interactivity on the site with web designers to develop a framework for their copy. Technical copywriters working on user documentation work closely with information designers to ensure that the content is clear and understandable.

About the Author

Based in the United Kingdom, Ian Linton has been a professional writer since 1990. His articles on marketing, technology and distance running have appeared in magazines such as “Marketing” and “Runner's World.” Linton has also authored more than 20 published books and is a copywriter for global companies. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in history and economics from Bristol University.

Photo Credits

  • Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images