• Keshia Sophia

Content Writing vs Copywriting

Content Writers and Copywriters are fast becoming the most sought after asset for businesses are making their moves online. Their value may be clear but their roles are often not. As a content creator with a foot in both camps, allow me to clarify.

Content Writer and Copywriter workspace with laptop and inspiration
Photo by Arnel Hasanovic on Unsplash

Content is king. So Bill Gates told us in his 1996 essay. Content is where Gates predicted the real money to be in the Internet business and as far as he was concerned, when it comes to supplying information and entertainment “no company is too small to participate.”

Fast forward 25 years, and Gates predictions remain true. Content has not only become the core commodity (or is that audiences?), its variations have evolved beyond expectations. However, no content is built the same and, depending on your business goals, often requires a specific style, form, platform and voice.

And so the creative economy was born and you have more content writers and copywriters you can shake a stick at.

But which one do you need?

Why Content Matters for Online Business

Before delving further into the murky depths of content creation, it’s important to understand why content is a key aspect of digital marketing. Put simply, without textual content there is absolutely zero way for your site to even make a blip on any search engine radar.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), PPC advertising, social media marketing, brand building and reputation management all depend on content. Content not only gets you seen, it gets conversions. Every piece of writing you release is a potential for connection.

The type of connection you make all depends on the content you provide.

What is Content Writing?

Content writing is any text that seeks to inform, inspire or entertain your audience without directly demanding sales. Think blogs, white papers, ‘how to’ articles, newsletters etc.

Content writing may add help drive sales but its more a by-product than the result. The main purpose of content writing is reputation management and brand building by providing users with educational or inspiring content with no strings attached. It’s the conversational piece that not only gets people listening to you and talking about you.

The core purpose of a Content Writer is to engage you audience.

Examples include:

  • Blogs

  • ‘How to’ Articles

  • Listicles

  • White papers

  • Email newsletter

What is Copywriting?

Copy is any text that persuades your audience to take a specific action directly related to sales. Copywriting is just as much a creative endeavour as content writing, but the language is different. Inspiring and entertaining your audience is certainly a great way to achieve conversions but it’s not always enough.

A great copywriter is part psychologist, part sales rep, all wrapped up in an approachable bow. They learn the language your specific target audience speaks, listens to their most pressing needs, and adjusts their copy accordingly.

Copywriting is not all seedy adverts and painful puns. It’s a subtle art that utilises optimum keywords with emotive storytelling. Think social media advertising, landing pages, product descriptions, or even website pages.

The core purpose of a Copywriter is to persuade your audience to the next step in the buying process.

Examples Include:

  • Social media advertising campaigns

  • Landing pages

  • Product Descriptions

  • Website Pages

In Summary

The core purpose of a content writing is to engage your audience, while the copywriter persuades them to take that crucial step in the buying process. The former builds trust and authority, the second drives sales.

When it comes to making your mark in the digital market, a clear handle on both these definitions can enable you to make the decision for your business. Whether big or small, knowing your company’s longterm goals and the audience you seek to reach is the first step towards creating content that matters.

Knowing how to pick the right content writer or copywriter for your business is second.