In many ways the defining qualities between content and copywriting are interchangeable. I like to believe as our lexicon develops we re-contextualize certain words to establish new meanings for evolving concepts.
Take ghostwriters, for example, they are defined as people who are, “hired to write literary works, speeches, or other texts that are officially credited to another person as the author”. That just sounds like the definition of a content writer but with a title that carries flair and serious street edge.
Definitely sounds cooler to be called a “ghostwriter” and not a “content writer” but in our contemporary world, it may be less professional to address it as such.
Like I was saying, Content writers and copywriters are similar specializations divided by a few caveats. It’s important to know the differences if you’re looking to contract writers; that way you won’t fall prey to miscommunication (happens far more often than people like to admit)
Today we’ll be combing through the semantic overlap and seeing what the difference is between content writing and copywriting. Perhaps we’ll get a glimpse of what all the fuss is about, amirite?
What is Copywriting?
Copywriter: “hired to write for the purpose of advertising or other forms of marketing. The product, called copy, is written content that aims to increase brand awareness and ultimately persuade a person or group to take a particular action”
Copywriting is a more direct, short term goal that vies for big returns in sales or internet traffic. You often find copywriters writing for ads, business blogs or sales emails — just to name a few.
Copywriters mix their cauldron of words to build engagement through compelling headlines and CTAs. This, in turn, encourages consumers to subscribe to a service or purchase a product. It is often creative copywriters who are responsible for marketing campaigns that leave the audience bedazzled. All done through the use of trance-inducing word combos that passive observers only become aware of AFTER a purchase.
Yes, most copywriters are good, but I would argue and say, they HAVE to be.
I’m not at all catastrophizing when I say, “A copywriter can either make or break a brand”. The voice that a copywriter embodies needs to be captivating; enough to compel readers to action.
Of course, not all fault lies with the copywriter, sometimes the voice a copywriter is asked to use just won’t be compelling enough. For more on how to maximize the potential of a VA or copywriter you’ve contracted, click here.
What is Content Writing?
Content writer: “Writing content with the purpose to inform or educate. Similar to copywriting except content writing focuses on building brand loyalty before conversions”
Much like copywriting, content writing is about e-books, blog posts, emails ads and social media — provided with the intent to entertain or educate.
Content writing’s ethos is, in many ways, a late-game strategy that embodies the “it’s a marathon not a sprint” philosophy — Only looking to start conversions once the brand has a sizable (and loyal) following. Time-consuming but comparably low-risk in contrast to Copywriting.
As I mentioned before, content writing is informative; and in many ways, that strategy helps in building a sustainable platform. The best content writers strive to share information that cant be found anywhere else; that’s how they garner a loyal following. Those loyal followers will likely become customers in the brand’s future — and in the best-case scenario, they’ll be repeat buyers.
4 Key differences between Copywriting and Content writing (Cliff notes version)
(Because I need a reminder, and so does someone else reading this)
- A copywriter sells, a content writer informs.
- Copywriters foster a sense of urgency; encouraging immediate action. In contrast, content writers want to build loyalty in their audience through reliable information. In turn, laying the foundation for future sales.
- Copywriters write short-form copy — zerg-rushed, immediate and compelling. Content writers on the other hand write long-form, informative pieces designed to be perpetually engaging. Like watching a suspense thriller that always leaves episodes on a cliffhanger.
2. Copywriters write Ads, tag lines, sales letters, video scripts e.t.c.
3. Content writers write Blog posts, Television, Magazine features, E-books, Podcasts e.t.c
Naturally, there is overlap, but the difference between short-form and long-form should be a little more transparent.
4. Content writers help build organic traffic whilst copywriters turn said traffic into conversions. Conceptually speaking, think of content writers as a long conveyor belt and copywriters as the final step in the production line.
Of course, it goes without saying that both writing styles are incredibly useful if combined towards a single project.
You can hire a copywriter or content writer based on your business strategy. Whether It’s for the long haul or for an immediate boost in revenue, there are creatives ready to heed your call. This is why if you require a copy or content writer, you should check out my packages and pricing.
It’s natural to feel a little intimidated by copywriters or content writers especially if it is your first time engaging with them. Many people call that skepticism, I like to call it caution — which I encourage — that way no one is exempt from accountability. I have offered my services to many clients, and if you’re curious you can check their endorsements here.
Work with me, and you won’t even have to remember the trivial differences. That’s what I’m here for 🙂
And if you have any questions (or just want to say “hi”) please don’t hesitate to leave me a message in the comment section or connect with me on Instagram. I would love to hear from you 🙂