Nick Snelling: The 10 Species of Copywriter

Nick Snelling: The 10 Species of Copywriter

Need a word wrangler but aren’t sure what kind? Behold the definitive listicle…


1. The Stroppywriter

Nick Snelling: The 10 Species of Copywriter

Wish to impart an air of indignation, superciliousness or self-righteous disdain? Look no further…

Stroppywriters not only climb up on high horses, they saddle them to perform exquisite dressage.

On the downside, their stroppiness extends to taking umbrage whenever asked to tweak their copy. Any client mark-ups or suggested changes by a suit are summarily dismissed with huffs, puffs, rolled eyes and loud snorts of derision.

2. The Poppywriter

Nick Snelling: The 10 Species of Copywriter

Plotting to heist the zeitgeist? Procure yourself a Poppywriter.

With their finger on the pulse of post-millennial pop culture and their thumb hovering permanently over their smartphone, a Poppy is fluent in text-speak, Tik-Tok and Taylor Swiftian patois.

But while they can adroitly straddle the end of the generational alphabet, their attention span is even lower than their attention to detail.

Good for memery. Poor at memory.

3. The Floppywriter

Nick Snelling: The 10 Species of Copywriter

A Floppy’s copy is bereft of personality, spark, originality, form or backbone.

And yet, this same spinelessness to their verbiage also means they’re prized among risk-averse brands who want their TOV to be VOT.*

After all, it takes real skill these days to say something without saying anything that might inadvertently offend anyone…

The beiger, the better.

* Vacuous / Ordinary / Tame

NOTE: ‘Floppywriting’ can also refer to the slumped posture that advertising scribes develop after scrabbling away at a screen for too many hours in the sedentary position.

4. The Sloppywriter

Nick Snelling: The 10 Species of Copywriter

Sloppywriters can’t be arsed making any effort whatsoever and are renowned for their typos, lazy sentences and spellink misstakes [sic].

Said errors are more a symptom of occupational malaise than a poor grasp of English (although, this can also be true).

Usually, it’s just a sad case of “burnout due to churn out”.

Even total hacks can’t hack producing endless reams of cardboard content, keyword- riddled web copy or empty EDMs. Hence, sloppiness becomes their silent form of protest.

5. The Choppywriter

Nick Snelling: The 10 Species of Copywriter

A Choppy writes short. Three words max.

Perfect for penning punchy headlines.
Pithy platforms. Simple slogans.

They snip. They clip. They lop. They crop.

Most Choppies will sneer at sentences. Curl their lip at commas. Gave up on grammar long ago. And believe the word ‘syllable’ has one too many.

6. The Moppywriter

Nick Snelling: The 10 Species of Copywriter

Ever watch one of those hitman flicks where a so-called ‘cleaner’ is summoned to the murder scene to mop up mistakes and dispose of all the gruesome evidence?

Well, the Moppywriter is a bit like that…

They clean up other copywriters’ botched jobs. Correct clunkiness. Carve body copy up in the bathtub with a chainsaw. And polish the worst turds to utter perfection.

7. The Stoppywriter

Nick Snelling: The 10 Species of Copywriter

Stoppies are highly regarded not only for their skill in stopping thumbs mid-scroll on social but also traffic on freeways – yes, they put the “Oooh…” into OOH.

Wizards at the witty one-liner, the intriguing proposition or the compelling consumer challenge, a Stoppy’s copy will hit your target audience smack-bang in the solar-plexus of their need-state.

They prompt people to pause… Read. Comprehend. Consider. And, ultimately, BUY!

8. The Shoppywriter

Nick Snelling: The 10 Species of Copywriter

Need snappy lines that deploy deals, discounts and dollar signs? Seek out a Shoppywriter…

They coin the kinda lines that deliver bottom-of-the-funnel bang for buck big-time, every time.

Highly tactical and hyper- pointy, a Shoppy’s copy will supercharge your sales while still flexing the odd spark of wit or wordplay.

Yes, sometimes punny really does bring the money.

9. The Soppywriter

Nick Snelling: The 10 Species of Copywriter

Got a sad, sweet or super-inspirational story to spruik? Let’s face it, the term ‘emotive content’ is usually the definition of an oxymoron, but NOT in the hands of a skilled Soppywriter…

Masters at moving any audience, they can jerk tears, swell hearts and foster feels.

Although, given that finding anyone in advertising who indexes high in empathy is extremely rare, if you do happen to stumble across a half-decent Soppy, best hang onto them.

10. The Toppywriter

Nick Snelling: The 10 Species of Copywriter

These elite sentence-scrabblers are at (yes, you guessed it) the very TOP of their game. Toppies don’t merely copywrite – they COPYSMITE!

Kick-arse at everything from strat & plat, ideation and conceptual, to billboards, banners, social or even script-riffing big-budget TVCs, Toppies are the true poets of their profession who will scribble circles around whatever brief you design to throw their way.

Make Chat GPT look like the stochastic chump it is. Hire a Toppy.


Written by Nick Snelling, freelance senior copywriter, conceptual creative and commercial director. He specialises in toppy, poppy, moppy, choppy, soppy, stoppy and shoppy… but NOT sloppy, floppy or stroppy.*

* Unless you ask him to.

Nick Snelling: The 10 Species of Copywriter