Content writer or copywriter?
Content writer or copywriter: What’s the difference?
If you’re not a person who works with words every day or who makes a conscious effort to spot distinctions between words that are similar (and often misused/confused/substituted), there may be a few word pairs that slip past you. These pairs can, and sometimes do, cause confusion. If you need someone to help you with words, but you’re confused by the pairing, this blog post is for you.
Copywriting (not to be confused with copyrighting, which is a topic for a whole different blog post) is most commonly associated with advertising. Many will say that copywriting is more important for a company’s success than content writing, because it is meant to encourage sales, but I’m not sure that’s the case.
Content writing is meant to reach an audience and communicate useful information. Whether it is meant to inform, entertain, or raise a brand (or item’s) profile, content writing is meant to reach people. This content is often in the form of a blog, or a web page. And when you have the right mindset, and use the right techniques to reach an audience, it can also lead to sales growth.
This type of writing is typically longer, anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand words. Those who specialize in content writing use keywords to pick up the attention of the search engines, and if you’re creating content with an eye toward ranking in search engines, longer is better, depending on which algorithm is in play and how a search engine is ranking a variety of factors.
Content writing is a key component of content marketing, which could be called a type of advertising. The Content Marketing Institute‘s 2016 report notes that more than 80 percent of businesses are using blogs and content marketing as part of their strategies to reach their desired audiences.
Copywriters work on things like advertisements, product packaging, sales letters and scripts, to name a few.
These pieces of content are often short and very to-the-point. They typically function to persuade someone one way or another. There’s no worry about bias one way or the other, because the intent of these pieces are typically to bring the consumer to one way of thinking about a product or service.
This is a subjective issue and a major topic of discussion, even disagreement between professional writers, but I think that link is a good place to start.
Is one type better than the other?
I know that copy writing involves a finesse and strategy to capture people’s attention, and keep it. I’m not dissing copywriters here. I just don’t think that it has an edge over high quality content writing, especially when that content is written with specific intent; say to catch the eye of a certain type of customer. I don’t believe one type of writing is inherently more valuable than another. They have different aims.
I may just be contrary. I don’t often like to jump when products hit the market or follow trends and fads, but I tend to argue with the commonly held notion that copy writing is the best way to show the value of an item or a brand. I believe it depends on the desired outcome. If you’re looking to inform an audience and raise brand awareness, a content writer is probably the one to call. If you’re looking to persuade an audience of something, you’ll probably want a copywriter.
If you want to see discussion of these two types of writing side by side by professionals who do both, Marketing Profs has a great conversation between a content writer and a copy writer here.
In future blog posts, I’ll dive into how to choose which type of writer you need, and what you can expect as you start to research the qualifications of the two.
If you’re a business owner who has a blog that could use some love, but you’re lacking time, confidence in writing skills, or the desire to do the writing, let’s set up a time to chat. I’d love to see how Writing Unfiltered can help your blog be the powerful source of information that I know it can be.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
April Bamburg, Content Writer
My business is Writing Unfiltered. Writing is what I do. Unfiltered is the type of life I aspire to have.
I’m a little different from most people I know, partly because I find research delightful. I love learning about new topics in order to write about them.
Anyone you ask will tell you I drink too much coffee. They might also say I’m out of touch when it comes to pop culture. I definitely don’t jump into trendy topics until the buzz has died down. I like music people have never heard of, or is no longer popular. (Seriously. I just binge-watched Pretty Little Liars, The Fosters, and Parenthood this year. Don’t expect me to get into Game of Thrones.) But, I stick with what I like (New Kids on the Block will ALWAYS be on my playlist.)