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Do you know the difference between copywriting vs content writing?

Content writing and copywriting are often interchangeable, but they’re not quite the same. Copywriting is focused on advertising and marketing a product or service, whereas content writing focuses on communicating a message with clear and engaging information in a captivating way.

copywriting vs content writing
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You may be surprised to find out that copywriters are not only responsible for writing ads but also content for websites, blogs, and social media. Content writers are often seen as more generalist than the small population of copywriters who work on advertising campaigns for agencies. 

In this article, you will find the difference between copywriting vs content writing, as well as how to use both. Let’s start!

What is Copywriting?

Copywriting is the practice of writing the text for marketing or other types of advertising.

The product, called copy or sales copy, is written content that intends to increase brand awareness and ultimately persuade an individual or a  group of people to take a particular action.

copywriting vs content writing
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Copywriting is the art of writing copy that sells. It’s the process of crafting effective, persuasive, and interesting marketing materials like ads, landing pages, and email marketing campaigns. It encompasses everything from creating verbal, visual, and textual messages in a way that persuades people to buy a product or service. 

Copywriting is all about persuasion. And to be good at it, you need to understand what makes people tick and how to craft an effective message that will get them to take action. Whether you’re selling a product, a service, or just trying to get people to read your blog post, understanding the basics of copywriting can help you write copy that is more likely to convert.

What is Content Writing?

Content writing, on the other hand, is not about selling. It is about providing information and engaging with the reader. Content writers write to inform, educate, or entertain their readers. They may occasionally include a call-to-action, but it is not their primary purpose.

Content writing can take various forms, but in essence, it comes down to creating content for digital formats — and (at least in our case) for marketing purposes. Content writing is the process of writing, editing, and publishing content, all in a digital format.

copywriting vs content writing
Source: Pexels.com

There are many steps involved in creating content for your blog post or website – planning out the topic you want to cover, researching related topics so that you have sources lined up in advance, and structuring your article so that it flows from point to point. 

You can use many different platforms to put out your content. The term “content marketing” typically refers to the information a company shares with the public to attract new clients. For instance:

Articles, blogs, or case studies on a website

  • Emails sent through a marketing tool;
  • Posts on social media platforms;
  • Videos on YouTube;
  • Podcasts on iTunes.

What is Difference Between Copywriting and Content Writing?

Many people still get confused when they hear these two terms together. While most writers know the definitions of these two and their differences, the line between them can get blurry sometimes.

people have a meeting
Source: Pexels.com

Let’s look at the differences between copywriting vs content writing: 

Copywriting is most often used in advertising, while Content writing is used in marketing. Since marketing includes advertising, both are considered marketing skills. You can create marketing content without a copy, but all marketing copy is content.

Copywriting and content writing are primarily distinguished from each other by purpose. Copywriting is basically designed to persuade, whereas content writing is designed to educate and entertain. Most text ads involve copywriting because they are designed to compel the audience/readers to take action and just not scroll by it.

Copy WritingContent Writing
Short-term goalsLong-term strategy
Very direct focused on generating salesInformative, targets and focuses on brand awareness
Sells a particular idea, service, or productLays the foundation for future sales
Ads, Brochures, Email campaigns, taglinesArticles, Blog posts, Social media, Magazine features, Email Newsletters
Main goal – to persuadeThe Main goal – to inform and educate 

How Do You Distinguish Between Copywriting vs Content Writing? 

Copywriting and content writing are two terms that are often used interchangeably, but there is a big difference between the two. Copywriting is about writing persuasive, sales-driven content to promote a product or service.

On the other hand, content writing is about creating informative, educational, and interesting content that is not necessarily designed to sell anything.

So, how can you tell the difference between copywriting vs content writing? Here are a few key points:

  • Copywriting is usually shorter and more to the point than content writing;
  • Copywriting is typically more focused on persuasion and selling than content writing;
  • Copywriting often uses active language and strong verbs to make a point, whereas content writing is usually more neutral in tone;
  • Copywriting generally has a call to action, whereas content writing does not.

If you’re unsure which one you need, ask yourself: what is my ultimate goal? If you want to sell something, then you need copywriting. If you want to inform or educate your readers, then you need content writing.

Copywriting vs Content Writing Examples

Now that you understand the primary difference between copywriting and content writing, let’s look at some examples to understand the two concepts better. 

people have a meeting
Source: Pexels.com

Here are common examples of copywriting

  • Email campaigns;
  • Landing pages;
  • Magazine advertisements;
  • Press releases;
  • Radio scripts;
  • Sales emails;
  • Social media posts;
  • Taglines;
  • PPC ads;
  • Social media ads;
  • Really, all ads;
  • Also landing pages for ads;
  • CTA buttons on a website;
  • Product or service page copy;
  • Sales emails;
  • Website forms;
  • Video scripts;
  • Headlines;
  • Website menus;
  • Pop-up messages;
  • Chatbot scripts;
  • Brochures;
  • Billboards.

Copywriting requires a solid understanding of your target, brand strategy, and the emotions needed to accomplish it perfectly. In some circumstances, such as ad headlines and CTA buttons, you only have 2-6 words to pique the reader’s interest and convince them to click – each word is crucial!

The emotional hooks of fear, superiority, pleasure, trust, and happiness are a frequent focus of copywriting. It requires a superb writer to rapidly persuade a reader that their life will be much better with your product or that they’ll be miserable if they miss out.

Copywriters usually have one objective while working: to acquire as many clicks as possible. That means that rather than focusing on elements like SEO, copywriters are more concerned with catchy headlines and interesting taglines that attract the leads that a firm needs for campaigns.

On the other hand, content writing places a strong emphasis on SEO. The articles and longer-form material that content creators produce use SEO to increase a brand’s reliability and authority gradually.

Here are common examples of content writing:

  • Articles;
  • Complete guides;
  • Blogs;
  • E-books;
  • Email newsletters;
  • How-to guides;
  • Magazine features;
  • Newspaper articles;
  • Webpages;
  • Reviews;
  • Case studies;
  • Interviews;
  • Op-ed pieces;
  • Newsletters;
  • Social media captions.

While this process takes time, it’s a very important skill that utilizes keywords and content optimization.

Can I Be a Content Writer and a Copywriter?

The ultimate answer is YES! Both have enormous significance.

Content creates engagement and brand loyalty. Copy creates sales and conversions. The more brand loyalty a business has, the easier it is to market and sell its services and products. So you see, copy and content go hand-in-hand and should be part of any brand’s marketing strategy.

Writing captivating content engages your readers by entertaining them while also educating them. While copywriting convince that audience to act, typically through sales.

The style of writing is what distinguishes copywriting from content writing. The end goal of the writing, however, affects how the writer creates the piece and the skills needed to do so successfully.

Both copywriters and content writers need to be analytical thinkers who can incorporate creative ideas into their writing to write effectively.

Blog Writing vs Copywriting

Blogging and copywriting are often considered the same domains as they both include constructing paragraphs and sentences for the web and other forms of marketing material (although the former is exclusively web-only, obviously). 

However, in practice, they’re quite different. And if you are just getting started with modern digital marketing, you might be wondering how this can be for two disciplines that seem intrinsically linked.

Both blogging and copywriting are creative endeavors, but blogging is usually given a bit more free rein when it comes to the writing style.

woman making notes
Source: Pexels.com

Your responsibility as a copywriter is to have a sound grasp of both skills. That catchy headline, for instance, is meant to grab attention and compel readers to take quick action, such as making a purchase or signing up for notifications when the product will be available. As a blogger, you are not frequently given tasks with quite the same urgency. The game of blogging can be rather long at times.

This is so because blogging is a form of content marketing that gradually cultivates audiences to establish a foundation of trust. This is accomplished by consistently creating free and beneficial material (the more consistent you are as a blogger, the more likely you are to build that audience).

Copywriting usually has to be done swiftly because brands don’t want to fall behind in the ‘content race’ and want to see quick results. Most of these texts must be actively created and written to inspire the reader to take immediate action. While blogging is far more about giving readers useful information to enhance their knowledge.

It’s possible to excel at blogging and to copywriting (or vice-versa). Still, if you are heading down that path as a career, you need to consider the differences between the two disciplines. Words can be used in various ways, which is why they are some of the most powerful tools we have to use as marketers!

Should I Write Content or Copy?

The ideal type of writing is the one that serves your content’s purpose. It depends on what you try to do – build an audience, or make a sale. Although content writers and copywriters have different methods of operation, they both have a gift for language and the capacity to convince, influence, and add value.

Let’s look at a few factors that might help you choose and decide what’s right for you:

Your Personality

It’s a smart idea to consider what YOU, the writer, would find most enjoyable when choosing the type of writing ideal for you rather than just the role itself. A content writer might get more excited and motivated by the idea of captivating the reader, educating them, and sparking conversations.

At the same time, a copywriter is more driven to persuade and convince the reader to take immediate action. They are more strategic and to the point and stay focused on the goal of creating a conversion.

You should definitely go for the one which interests you the most.

The Freedom

Even if you are writing content on behalf of a brand, there are times when you may add your own voice and personality to your writing. In addition, you can get a byline. For content creators, the possibilities are endless as long as their work is compelling.

On the other hand, copywriting is strategic, one-directional, and intentional. It must be written with a clear Call-To-Action in mind and thoroughly embody the voice and message of your client or the business you are writing for.

You must use creativity to convey a lot in little words while persuading a prospect to act quickly. The talent of a copywriter lies there.

So you need to see which one of these two you would like to go for.

Money

The major question that arises while comparing these both is which one of these will help you make the most money in a very limited amount of time. Although creating content can earn a good living, copywriters typically earn more. This is because they directly contribute to increasing revenue and sales within an organization.

Experienced copywriters can charge more per assignment, secure higher monthly retainers, and even earn a commission on sales. In contrast, content writers can often only charge a set rate based on the article, word count, or monthly deliveries.

Mindset

This is a bit of a controversial take on this topic but based on the experiences, ideas, and stories shared by both copywriters and content writers worldwide — one of the key distinctions between these two types of writers is their mindset around selling.

To be a compelling writer, you must have a strong and positive belief system around sales. Are you someone who sees sales and marketing as dishonest, manipulative, or greedy, or can you appreciate it as a mutually-beneficial technique that has existed throughout the history of humanity to enable exchange, transaction, and trade?

Until you can adopt a healthy perspective around selling and marketing, you won’t be able to effortlessly weave empathy, engagement, and connection into your copy which is KEY if you want to stay compelling and relevant today.

Experience

Although you can learn copywriting and content writing anytime – if you’re going to pursue either of them as a career, it’s important that you have some experience with it. If you do not have any right now, that’s not a problem. You can start with both contents writing and copywriting and analyze in some time which one of these you are good at. You can then go on with that.

When Should You Use – Content Writing vs Copywriting?

If you’re a business owner, it’s important to know the difference between copywriting and content writing. Here’s a quick rundown of when you should use each:

  • Copywriting is best for sales pages, landing pages, and email marketing. Its purpose is to sell, so it’s usually more direct and to the point than content writing.
  • Content writing is best for articles, blog posts, and other educational pieces. Its purpose is to inform and engage the reader, so it’s usually more detailed and thorough than copywriting.

Key Takeaway 

There is a big difference between copywriting vs content writing. Copywriting is about persuasion and selling, while content writing is about informing and educating. You must use copywriting techniques if you need to write something that will sell. However, content writing is the way to go if you need to write something that will inform and educate your readers.

Without a clear understanding, you might end up hiring the wrong person to fill the wrong role, which can lead to confusion down the line and missed opportunities concerning your content goals.

Whichever path you choose, you should remember that every piece of content your company produces is an investment. Every time prospective/potential and existing consumers come across your content online. Make sure they get a positive impression of your content.

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