What is a copywriter and what do they do?

I’ve been a professional writer for more than 25 years, and I get that question a lot. When someone asks me what I do for a living, I often say that I make people and businesses sound amazing. It’s a bit of a joke, but every joke has a core of truth.

Essentially, Sweet Orange offers copywriting services which enable businesses to effectively connect with their audience by using the right tone and messaging. It includes words for websites, newsletters, advertising, blogs, social media, publications, press releases and more.

We work with clients directly or alongside other creatives (brand strategists, graphic designers, marketing companies, web developers and business advisors) and help brands tell their story.

Different ways and different words 

There are several types of copy and not all copywriters do the same thing. Many copywriters have their own special niche such as B2B, B2C, Medical, Technical, Legal, Finance, Education, Health & Wellness, eCommerce, Lifestyle/Magazine style, and so on. There are also different ways to talk to different audiences. No two writing projects are the same.

Within our talented team you’ll find writers that excel at this, writing optimised (SEO) website copy and magazine-style features and blogs especially. I take on a bunch of different copywriting projects myself as I’ve had so many different roles over the years, but I don’t claim to be an expert at it all.

For medical and technical content writing, you’ll be better off choosing a specialist in that particular field. I also don’t work with brands or people that I feel don’t align with my ethics and values, or who I believe are not a good fit. More about that here.

Let’s explain some of the differences in copywriting styles and purposes.

SEO copywriters

We all want to be on the first page of Google and that’s why we need the right keywords and phrases in all the right places. A SEO copywriter specialises in website copy that Google loves. They understand the importance of keyword research, great headers, meta data, tone, style, and readability and they write text that audiences enjoy and read to the end, all aimed to organically elevate a website’s placement in the search engine results.

Sales Page/Landing page writers

With engaging and persuasive content, you can convince your audience to buy from you. A sales or landing page writer turns visitors into customers. They produce copy that gets people to try, buy or sign up for what you’re offering. They can add a sense of adventure and evoke curiosity with words, explain your point of difference, and clearly demonstrate the benefits of your product or service to your market. When you convince a prospective buyer that you can solve their problem, you’ve gained a new customer.

Advertising copywriters

Writers for advertising generate the words, slogans and scripts that go with advertising visuals. They usually work alongside art directors and specialise in writing words, slogans, straplines and video/audio scripts that are used for advertising campaigns. They often do a lot of research to come up with just a few punchy words and they understand the art of persuasion. It goes without saying that they’re also expected to be hugely creative and original.

PR writers

Public Relations is all about building trust and establishing a great reputation for your brand. PR writers usually have a background in journalism and know what editors are looking for. They write press releases and media pitches aimed at getting editorial space in magazines or newspapers, or to secure a slot on breakfast news or current affairs shows for their clients. They’re also good at damage control and can quickly turn around a media statement when sh*t hits the fan.

Blog writers

Blogs are SEO gold as a regular stream of great new content on your website that people actually read and engage with will see your website rise up in Google and maximise traffic. However, not every marketer has the time to write blog content consistently and that’s why they often outsource it to a copywriter. Good blogs are long-form, around 1000 words or more, yet easy to read and conversational so it holds the reader’s attention. If you need this for your website, check out our affordable blog packages.

Feature writers

Features for magazines or newspapers have a strong narrative tone. The feature writer is usually an experienced journalist but unlike reporters, they dig a little deeper. They write pieces that are longer than a typical news story and rely on in-depth interviews and extensive research or investigative reporting. Features tell a story that gives an insight into a person, an idea or a place. Topics can include travel, lifestyle, culture and human interest and the writing style is typically entertaining with an emotional vibe.

Ghost writers

Ghost writers write literary or journalistic works, speeches, or other texts for someone else. They don’t get a byline or author credit, but they don’t mind staying in the shadows. They are a blessing for anyone who lacks the time or skill to tell their stories. A great ghost writer can seamlessly adapt their writing skills to fit each client’s needs so no one knows it wasn’t written by the person on the actual cover. Oh, and it’s not just books they write for others. Have you ever browsed a public figure’s blog and wondered if they wrote all that content themselves?


A proofreader is mainly focussed on fixing someone else’s writing and check texts for spelling, grammar, punctuation and formatting errors. This is the person who notices a missing hyphen and that extra space after a period. They spot the “their” when it should be “they’re” and change the word “whaling” to “wailing” if the author has missed it. We’re all only human after all, and it’s easy to make a mistake. That’s why especially for print, the skills and extra set of eyes of a proofreader are essential. If they also have copy editing skills and know what a style guide is, that’s a huge bonus.

What do we write about?

At Sweet Orange, we’re flexible and love variety. We write copy for many types of industries, and for different types of clients and audiences. This morning for example I finished the website copy for a hair and makeup artist, last week I produced an Annual Report for a government-funded agency, and in between I wrote a press release, two blogs, and the website content and product descriptions for a celebrity chef.

Next on the list are a new monthly blog for an Australian online retailer, a bio and website copy for a kitchen designer, two projects for tourism businesses, one for a construction company, 90 days of social media content for a massage therapist, then another annual report, for a not-for-profit that works in the conservation field this time.

We learn so much and no day is the same. That’s why we love what we do. I, and my awesome writers and fantastic proofreader, can do all of the above so feel free to reach out if you are looking for a great word wizard to help you with your content needs. Just call or WhatsApp (+64) 021 492 040, email info@sweetorange.co.nz, or send us a DM.

~ Martine Pierhagen, founder of Sweet Orange Copywriting & PR

 Again, with thanks to the amazing photographers from around the world that generously upload their work for free sharing on unsplash.com