Is The Face of Copywriting Changing?

October 27th 2015       Sally Ormond       changing face of copywriting, copywriting, Ogilvy, robots make bad writers

changing face of copywriting


I had a really interesting conversation the other day with a guy who’s looking to get into freelance copywriting.

We discussed all sorts things such as how to get clients, how to work with clients, how to manage expectations etc. But something else came up that was really interesting. He asked whether I thought there was a future in copywriting as an industry and whether it’s likely to change.

That got me thinking.

I’ve been working as a copywriter for about 8 years now, since 2007.

Over that period of time SEO (search engine optimisation) copywriting has gone from keyword rich, to natural high quality writing and there’s been more focus on content for mobile.

However, other than that, the art of copywriting really hasn’t changed.

If you think about it, it’s been the same for decades.

Copywriters continue to learn from the best

Going back to the 60s and David Ogilvy and it’s interesting to see that today’s copywriters are following the same techniques and continue to understand the importance of:

  • The headline
  • Focusing on the reader
  • Focusing on the benefits
  • Writing in simple language
  • Writing the way you talk, naturally
  • Never using jargon
  • The readability of the content
  • The relevancy of the content
  • Editing your content

And that’s just for starters.

You see it doesn’t matter what century you live in, the main principles of good copy will remain the same.

The only difference is the medium on which it is read.

Will robots replace us?

Not that long ago a news item was doing the rounds asking the question “will a robot take your job?”

It was such a burning issue, the BBC even created a web page where you can type in your job title to see if yours is at threat. You can check it out here.

The good news is that copywriters (writers in general) are unlikely to be replaced by robots.


Because great copy requires empathy; we have to understand who our readers are, what motivates them and what scares them.

I’d like to see a robot get its head round that.

In answer to the original question “is the face of copywriting changing?” the answer is no, it’s not. It’s only the way the content is read that’s changing.


Tags: changing face of copywriting, copywriting, Ogilvy, robots make bad writers
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