“Copy (or text, or words) used in design is a very particular type of creative writing that requires the inspiration of an artist and the control of a craftsman or craftswoman.”
—Mark Shaw, Copywriting: Successful writing for design, advertising and marketing
We don’t really think of business writing as creative writing, in part because the aims of business writing—to sell a service or a product—seem so different than those of creative writing—to express one’s self, to move an audience, to make some kind of social commentary, and so on. But they do have similar challenges for writers, the most important of which is creating just the right tone.
What is tone?
Tone is huge in any kind of writing. Finding a tone is like finding something to wear to an event; your choice to wear jeans, a cocktail dress, or a suit depends on where you’re going. You wouldn’t wear a cocktail dress to a football game, and you wouldn’t wear jeans to a job interview. Hopefully.
The same goes for tone in writing. More than being about a command of language, writing copy for websites (or any kind of business marketing) is about having a command of tone.