Copywriters and their quirks
We copywriters are an eccentric bunch. While it can be universally agreed that we all live and breathe writing, how we go about getting the job done is a different story.
It may be the result of our own personalities, projecting certain quirks and habits onto our work; Or perhaps, it might be our own relationship with writing that brings out the best (and worst) in us.
Just as different copywriters have different skill sets (e.g. Some are good at writing SEO content, while others are better at long-form content), we all have different ways of dealing with our workload as well.
Here is a list of some of the crazy (and not so crazy) M.O.s copywriters adopt, in their pursuit for the written word (or more accurately, the written deadline). Have you encountered these 10 types in your lifetime?
The Last Minute Mugger
Description: The greatest procrastinator there ever was. If given a deadline of two weeks, would probably cast it aside for 13 days, then panic on the last. Don’t worry though, they thrive on the adrenaline and thrill of almost letting a client down. Almost.
You would be torn between feeling impressed and offended; Amazed at their ability for banging out decent pieces in a ridiculously short amount of time, but seriously annoyed that, in reality, these writers trolled you into believing they needed that much time to work.
Pros: 1 hour for a 300 word article? No problem. They are really fast copywriters if need be. Even with their innate laziness, they treat every project seriously, making sure whatever they write is up to standard. After all, it takes a certain confidence to leave it all to the last minute.
Cons: You feel emotionally cheated. Though it’s great when projects are being handed ahead of schedule, just don’t count on them to do it. Thankfully (or not), they keep hush about this little secret, so you might still be happily oblivious.
The School Teacher
Description: Call them a know-it-all or your English teacher, these people are sticklers for rules. Often seen carrying a grammar guide handy, they are staunchly by-the-book when it comes to writing.
You will never have to worry about ‘syntax’ errors or misused ‘prepositions’ when they’re around; Carelessness just isn’t in their blood. Meticulous about getting language ‘right’, these copywriters would also Google ‘adjective usage’ just to check if ‘sweet’ can be paired with ‘apple’. Yep.
Pros: If you’re looking for professional, conventional copy, School Teachers are the go-to experts. They can bring the cliche and the ‘officious’ (as one fellow citizen described himself) in their writing. Likewise, if you want copy that sounds smart and educated, these people have the vocabulary of a dictionary; They are also superb spell-checkers and editors.
Cons: They can’t shake off that formal tone for the life of them, so their attempts on light hearted, humorous pieces often fall flat. Unfortunately, they also possess a compulsion for pointing out others’ grammatical mistakes, which sometimes makes them sound like a condescending prick.
Description: The wannabe graphic designer who ended up doing a communications degree instead of a design course. As a result, she projects her repressed desires on copywriting projects, often giving works a bit of extra, but really unnecessary aesthetic ‘spice’.
Commonly seen lurking around Instagram and Pinterest, Peacocks spend much of their time envying pretty layouts, fantasising about how they could recreate them with words; If they ever had a copywriting mantra, it would be: ‘Look Pretty, Read Pretty’.
Pros: Want a writeup for a magazine feature? They might send you one, complete with an InDesign mockup, just because. They think they’re doing you a favour; Maybe they are, maybe they aren’t. Unfortunately, they can be so good at presenting words in an appealing manner that you might just be bought into the ‘whole package’.
Cons: They spend too much time thinking about useless visual elements. Instead of stressing over the content, they stress over the look of the content. And because they place so much focus on the image side of things, they kind of take their writing for granted. But, who cares if it looks gorgeous, right?
Description: Citations, peer reviewed sources, tons of statistics! These copywriters might have written one too many academic papers in school, and now they can’t shake off that habit for hoarding information. You can easily find them buried under mountains of books, or poring through an online article out of a thousand other tabs they have open.
While it’s always good to include reliable data to improve your content’s trustworthiness, Researchers definitely adopt a ‘more is more’ philosophy; Why stop at one source when there are so many others out there? In their attempt to exhaust all possibilities, they end up more confused and overwhelmed than before.
Pros: When they put their mind to it (and actually finish sifting through all the information they have collected), these copywriters are exceptional at creating logical, insightful pieces that convince. Don’t mess with them when it comes to long form content, such as white papers and e-books – detailed copy is their realm.
Cons: Be prepared to give them ample time f0r an assignments; Researchers often suffer from what we call ‘information overload’. They can get really stressed weighing and sorting what key points to include, because they want to put them all in. However, if they slip into full-on panic mode, their mind goes into a blank, and they can sabotage themselves by haphazardly including all sorts of irrelevant information.
The Printing Machine
Description: Not sure if they are aliens or just plain geniuses. They have brains that think at the speed of light, and lightning hand-eye coordination that enables them to churn out copy non-stop. Their politically correct response is that because they are so passionate about copywriting, words just flow ‘seamlessly’.
Even so, the rate at which they produce is alarming and frankly intimidating. These machines put other less ‘superhuman’ copywriters to shame, and can spoil your expectations about copywriting for life. Just keep in mind that even though he/she can produce 7 articles a day, it doesn’t mean the rest of the world can.
Pros: Forget computer generated content – Churners are quick, efficient, one-man content mills that talk! These guys are the pros at building up backlogs of content, and (bonus!) all of which, for the price of one copywriter.
Cons: A classic case of quantity at the expense of quality. At the speed of their writing, Churning Machines have little time to stop and dive into details, let alone stay too long to check for mistakes. As a result, their style can come off as repetitive or sparse, much like a machine.
There’s more to copywriters than the things we write! In our next post, we will introduce 5 more types of copywriters that you might meet at work.
Written by: (www.script.com.sg)
Edited & Illustrated by: Script Consultants Pte Ltd