In January 2006, 107 searches were done on Yahoo for the phrase honest copywriter. While the number isn’t very big, the point it makes is.
As someone who makes their living writing web content or essentially online sales copy, what started as a possible keyword target got me thinking about my industry. The fact that searchers felt the need to clarify a search for a copywriter with the word honest seemed to imply that too many in this field are dishonest. Yeah, I know the whole used car salesman thing.
What is an honest copywriter?
Webster defines honest as, “characterized by integrity and straightforwardness in conduct, thought, speech, etc.; free from fraud”.
Hmm, free from fraud; I guess an honest copywriter would then be one ‘free from fraud’.
Not to hard to see the truth
Seems to me the Internet has made information more accessible than ever before and therefore any dishonest copy would be easily refuted.
Perhaps growing up with a US Marine Corps sergeant in the house influenced how I see the world; honesty and integrity matter to me. Clever words can elevate a housewife to a domestic engineer, but where we draw the line determines who is honest and who may be prone to exaggeration.
In a field full of loud words and bold statements it is easy to see why folks look for something different: the truth.
OK, so here it my moment of truth: I’ve never been a domestic engineer, goddess or even all that fond of housework in general.
Dishonest Copy = Risky Business
My poor attempt at a joke aside, dishonest copy may make the initial sale, but it will prove expensive in the long run. When word of mouth was limited to the sound of a voice, exaggerated claims may have lingered a little longer. But, the Internet has made it very easy to research a business.
Between blogs, Myspace, and all the other ways to “get the word out”; I find it amazing that anyone still relies on dishonest copy. But, hey, as long as people are searching specifically for an honest copywriter; I’ll be right here waiting for them.