Filed in Content Marketing, Copywriting — March 11, 2022

Content Writing vs. Copywriting

Every business owner, at some point in their journey, has to write words associated with their business. It can start as small as your slogan, a tagline, or a social media bio. Or it could be as big as a blog, your website copy, a sales pitch, and more!

When you’re writing for your business, you probably subconsiously consider why you’re writing it. Maybe you want to share the new offer you’re launching, or maybe you want to talk about the backend of your business. It’s important to know your end goal before you start writing anything for your business. 

In this post we’ll break down the two big types of writing you’ll do (or pay someone to do) for your business.

The two most popular types of writing you’ll encounter in business

Content writing and copywriting are the two main types of writing in the business world. The biggest difference is the goal of the writing–aka the why behind the words. It’s important to be familiar with the differences between the two writing types so that you can create killer copy and content for your brand.

Plus, if you’re investing in someone to write for your business (*clears throat* we’re here to help), you want to make sure you’re on the same page. If you hire a copywriter, you need to know what you hired them for. If you hired a content writer, you need ot know what you hired them for! And if you’re investing a lot of money in either type of writing, you need to make sure the return on investment (ROI) is worth it for you. 

Let’s break it down.

Copywriting is designed to convert. 

Copywriting has one main goal: to convert. This could mean getting someone to join your mailing list, download a freebie, purchase a product or maybe book a discovery call. Copywriting focuses a lot on how someone will feel after taking that next step to work with you and highlights the transformation

A copywriter will use buyer psychology to appeal to the desired outcomes your target audience craves. Market research is usually required in a copywriting project– but testimonials can sometimes get the job done too. 

Here are a few places you will see copywriting in the wild: 

  • Websites 

  • Sales pages

  • Socail media ads 

  • Google ads

  • Billboards (any type of advertising is copywriting!)

To make the sale, usually copywriting is short, sweet and to the point (long-form sales pages are the outlier…yeesh, those suckers get long). 

Copywriting should entice the reader to want to learn more, it gives them just enough info to want to ask questions and dive in deeper. Usually, ad copy creates some sense of urgency. If it’s helpful to think of a real-life example, Billy Mays was the king of urgent–albiet cheesy and intrusive–advertising (RIP). He pushed you to take action after showing you all the features of the product and why it will make your life better. This is what copywriting is all about. 

Check out some of our other blogs to learn more about copywriting and how to start writing your own:
What to Fix Before Investing in Copywriting
What is SEO-Friendly Copywriting?
How to Write Content for Your Ideal Client

Content writing is designed to educate.

Content writing is different from copywriting because it’s main goal is NOT to sell. Content writing has the goal of educating, informing, or entertaining your ideal client. 

It’s important to note that the term content writing is sometimes used synonymously with content marketing. Content marketing is a marketing strategy used to attract, engage, and retain an audience by creating and sharing relevant articles, videos, podcasts, and other media. And content writing is necessary for your content marketing strategy. 

Think of it this way: A podcast is a piece of content marketing, and the podcast script (and podcast description) is content writing. A newsletter is a piece of content marketing, and the words in the newsletter is content writing. An instagram post is a piece of content marketing, and the caption is content writing. You see? One cannot exist without the other, which is why they’re used interchangeably!

Here are a few places you will see content writing in the wild: 

  • Blogs–like this one!

  • Newsletters

  • Podcast scripts and descriptions

  • Social media captions 

  • eBooks, whitepapers, case studies

Sometimes at the end of a piece of content you can have a sentence or two that “sells.” At the end of this blog, we’ll invite you to join our email list! The sentence inviting you to join, has the goal to convert, which is *technically* the copywriting arena. But the one sentence invitation doesn’t make this blog copywriting. As long as the overall goal is to educate, entertain, or inform, you’re safe in the content zone. 

Copywriting and content writing have a few things in common: 

Copywriting and content writing are both important tools for your business.

While you write your website copy and your blogs, SEO should play an important role in both. Keyword research is important on ALL pages of your website! This is one similarly copy and content writing can have. 

The other commonality is that both types of writing should showcase your brand voice–especially if you are your brand. Everything you write should tie together to create a symphony of your voice, personality, and message.

Why it matters you know the difference: 

If you’re hiring someone to write for your business, you need to know what you’re hiring them for. You need to know their expertise, why they are–or aren’t–worth the investment, and how they’ll support your business in the short and long run.

On the flip side, if you’re writing for your own business, you need to know the goal of what you’re writing and why it matters for your business. 

The words you write for your business hold a lot of power. They help form the perception potential customers have of you, they attract–or push away–your ideal client, and they reflect your brand as a whole. 

If you made it to the end of the this blog, you can now call yourself an expert on the differences and similarities of content and copywriting. If you want to know more about copy, content, or email marketing, let us know! We send out a newsletter each week with a ton of helpful marketing information for business owners. Sign up below!

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