The Difference Between A Copy Writer and A Content Writer

July 17, 2019

Unless you’re a professional writer, you may think that all writing is essentially the same. Writing — especially when it comes to promoting a business — is extremely nuanced. A copywriter is different from a content writer, even if their skill sets overlap.

The difference comes down to the different content types each writer produces. One drafts short content that is focused on advertising and branding. The other creates educational posts that build trust and engagement. As a business owner, you’ll need both to successfully meet your goals. Here, we’ll break down the differences of a copywriter vs content writer so you can reach your potential.

What Is Content Writing?

The purpose of content writing is to inform and increase customer engagement. The role of a content writer is to support the content marketing team and meet marketing objectives by creating informative pieces. Most content writing is educational in nature and doesn't feature a call to action or promotional angle.

Content writers create pieces that offer valuable information on a company's offerings while building trust. Content writers typically produce long-form content such as blog posts, whitepapers, and how-to guides.

A good content writer will produce authoritative works that contain a great deal of detail and are journalistic in nature. Content writers are adept at researching and backing up claims using hard evidence.

Content writers typically work on shorter deadlines than copywriters since the pieces they produce are more in-depth. Content writers create pieces that are thousands of words in length. They often work with a content calendar to keep track of pieces that may take days or weeks to create.

What Is Copy Writing?

The goal of copywriting is to market and sell products as part of marketing campaigns. A copywriter will create short-form marketing copy. This copy includes things like taglines, short-term print ads, email campaigns, press releases, magazine features, billboards, and landing pages. The goal of the content is to sell products or services.

A good copywriter works closely with the marketing manager and has a firm handle on Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Copywriters conduct keyword research to see what potential consumers are searching for. They then create high-quality copy that will help the company rank higher in search engine results. The goal here is to ensure consumers find the products and services they need. They monitor these search terms using tools such as Google Analytics and adjust the content to suit emerging trends.

A copywriter's skillset includes deep understanding of marketing strategy and advertising principles. They're often in charge of drafting marketing materials such as sales letters and press ads. They are generally well-versed in advertising concepts including Pay-Per-Click (PPC), direct mail, and LinkedIn advertising.

Copywriters are used to working on tight deadlines. They often need to create catchy social media posts that are on trend with little to no lead time. Often times, copywriters also perform follow-up to drive engagement and build connections with customers.

Copywriters are also essential in building brand awareness. They create posts that appear on social media and other digital marketing channels to deliver awareness of the company's values. The best copywriters can write engaging, valuable content in a friendly tone to create a personal connection between the company and potential customers.

A Blending Trend

As the marketing world evolves, the roles of content writers and copywriters are becoming blurred. Content writers are now expected to have SEO and marketing knowledge. Both types of writers work with deadlines and different types of content. These include things like case studies, webinar and podcast write-ups, sales copy, landing pages, web pages, and short-form copy.

In the past, content writers were simply informational. Today, they often produce pieces that are largely educational but may include some advertising or marketing in the piece.

The industry has also seen a change in the workplace environment of writers. In the past,  writing took place in-house. In today's tech-driven world, more and more B2B and B2C companies are hiring freelance writers. As the industry changes, so do the roles of copywriters and content writers. Skills that used to be exclusive to one type of writer are now sought after in all writers.

The Bottom Line

Both content writers and copywriters create web content to suit a specific target audience. Copywriters create short posts such as social media updates, newspaper pieces, and video scripts. The best content writers draft long-form educational pieces. These include the ultimate guide to (fill in the blank) and technical how-to's. Both writers create a piece of content to increase traffic or conversion rates to meet your marketing goals.

In today's business world, it's a great idea to have both types of writing as part of your content strategy. If you're looking for help when it comes to finding great content or copywriters, there are dozens of tools to make your search easier.

The Writer Finder can save you time and effort when you need to hire outstanding writers. Whether you're looking for web writers to create social media content or a technical writer to draft product guides, we'll find you the perfect person for the job in our extensive writer database.