It’s been read… that people don’t understand the difference between copy and content.

The Vague Role of ‘Copywriter’

Most of the time, when I tell normal (non-ad) people what my job is, I am met with one of two responses: A) A blank stare, or B) A sudden glazing of the eyeballs, accompanied by the comment, “So you like, trademark stuff?” (I do not do that.) I’m a creative copywriter. Or a conceptual copywriter. Or an advertising copywriter. All are confusing (and potentially outdated) ways of referring to someone who writes down words better than other people.

– Clare Barry, on Medium

As a proofreader — “I’m a proofreader” is never sufficient explanation — I completely sympathise.

Are you a copywriter, or a content writer? Realistically, if you can’t do the latter, you shouldn’t be doing the former. But as most writers know, you’re usually better at one than the other. Or you’re unusually good at both, but you absolutely loathe one and love the other. 

– Clare Barry again

Again, as someone who has to explain the difference between editing and proofreading — and someone who is adept at both but not at the same time — I feel this deeply. I also feel it on the level of someone who edits and proofreads “copy” and “content”, and knows they’re not the same.

If any of this is your world, read on.

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