Last week I discovered the article I'm about to share just after a conversation where I'd spoken with someone about what I do: it was a very confusing conversation until I realized that she'd heard "copyright" instead of "copywrite".
It's nice to know that I'm in good company.
It's also nice to know that I'm not alone in struggling to explain exactly what a copywriter does. I generally say (perhaps not entirely helpfully) that everything you see in writing from a business - whether it's a menu, billboard, description of an item in a catalog, tweet, blog post, or something in long form like a press release or white paper - has to be written by someone. That's the business I'm in. It's an inelegant and incomplete description (SEO! General marketing concepts! Best practices! Analytics!) but seems to get the point across.
"Ironically, one of the big problems in communicating what copywriters do is a lack of clarity around the definition of the word itself. Turns out, like a doctor that smokes, copywriters aren’t very good at communicating the nuances of their role."
At any rate, this article breaks it down nicely.