Content Writing vs Copywriting – What’s The Difference?

The role of a content writer and a copywriter is often considered to be the same thing. Both write content, so what’s the difference between the two? 

They are actually two very different roles that fulfil different purposes:  

What Is A Copywriter?

The role of a copywriter is to sell your brand and your services / products. The language that a copywriter uses is designed to get a reader to take action! Just like when you are on a sales call or when you are pitching your services to someone, the aim of a copywriter is to sell. A copywriter will use persuasive language that is compelling and addresses the needs of the reader. A good copywriter will understand your target audience and connect with them through the words and language they use. They will focus on your goals and write using your brand ‘tone of voice’ to make an impact. Copywriting should be concise and to the point without overcomplicating or using unnecessary jargon.

Where Is Copywriting Used?

Copywriting is used in promotional and marketing material. It is used to write the content on web pages, landing pages, product descriptions, emails, digital ad’s, print ad’s and brochures. 

Copywriting Tips 

  • Have a clear goal. What action do you want the reader to take?
  • Everything you write should have a purpose.
  • Research your target audience and speak in ‘their language’. 
  • Keep your copy clear, concise and to the point.
  • Make it clear what people will gain from working with you (it’s about them not you!) 
  • Avoid using jargon your target audience is unlikely to understand.
  • Use persuasive language to connect with the reader.
  • Use active voice to convey your message.
  • Write in a relaxed, conversational tone. You want to appear approachable and personable. 
  • Use paragraphs.
  • Focus on creating attention grabbing headings.
  • What do you want your readers to feel? Use emotion to instigate an action.
  • Always be transparent, honest and authentic. Don’t promise anything you can’t deliver. 

What Is A Content Writer?

The purpose of content writing is to inform, advise, entertain or educate rather than to promote. Content writing is used to provide value, showcase expertise and built trust. The aim of content writing is to be helpful, useful and informative. 

Content writing goes hand in hand with content marketing. There is no point writing content if it isn’t seen by anyone. Content writing should still be purposeful and goal driven even though it isn’t as sales focussed as copywriting. The concept of content marketing is very simple… produce useful content and put it in front of those that will find it of interest. Content writing is essential for any online business to establish trust, showcase expertise, provide value and increase brand awareness. 

Many skilled content writers are also skilled marketers. They understand online marketing and are adept at providing value to a specific audience through content creation. 

Where Is Content Writing Used?

Content writing is often used in blogs. Blog articles are a great way for you to share knowledge about your industry, provide useful and helpful information for your readers and to establish yourself as an expert within your niche. 

Use your blog to provide value. Don’t focus on only creating promotional articles. The more useful content you provide for your readers, the more likely they are to get in touch, hire you or buy from you.

Content writing is also used in emails and across social media to build and solidify a relationship between a brand and its audience. 

Content Writing Tips 

  • Have a clear goal (educate, inform, entertain etc.)
  • Be concise and to the point.
  • Share valuable, helpful information.
  • Write useful ‘shareable’ content.
  • Research what your audience want to know and provide them with answers and solutions.
  • Use images and videos within your content.
  • Aim to provide value without directly selling or promoting.
  • Be genuine, honest, authentic and transparent.
  • Back up any claims or facts with data.
  • Have a clear marketing strategy to get your content seen (SEO, social media, ads etc).

Note: Your blog doesn’t just have to contain informative articles, you can write promotional articles too. A mix of useful content and promotional content is ideal! If you don’t currently have a blog on your business website, consider adding one to share your expertise and showcase the products or services you provide. Your social media and email marketing should also contain a mix of sales related posts and ‘non salesy’, useful content. 

Do I need a Content Writer or a Copywriter?

The honest answer to this is you might actually need both. You’ll need promotional content for your sales pages and useful, informative content for your blog and content marketing. There are many writers that specialise in both copywriting and content writing. You won’t necessarily need two different people. 

It’s important to have well written copy on your sales pages and landing pages (and your ad copy) to entice your readers to take action. A skilled copywriter can help you with this. 

It’s also useful to create none sales related content for content marketing purposes. When people find your content useful, helpful or entertaining, they are more likely to reach out and enquire about your services. You can actually make more sales without even doing any selling 🙂

Emma Schwartz
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