“What’s the difference between content writing and copywriting? Aren’t they one and the same?”
I get this question a lot.
In a word: No.
Although many content writers call themselves copywriters, there’s a huge difference.
And I say this as a copywriter who spent nearly 20 years as a content writer.
Switching over to copywriting took time and many hours of coaching from copywriting pros.
Here’s the deal…
In general, copywriting inspires readers to take action: click a button, opt into a webinar, sign up for something or make a purchase.
Ad copy, email sequences, website copy, launch copy / emails, sales pages and more all fall under copywriting.
Copywriting has its own subcategories like conversion copywriting (my specialty, which focuses on increasing conversions), direct response and others.
All have their own nuances, but copywriting relates more to marketing than writing.
Content writing, on the other hand, isn’t written with the same end goal in mind.
Content includes writing that informs or entertains.
There’s zero pressure for the reader to do anything other than for enjoyment or to learn something. Articles and blog posts fall into this category.
This does not, however, mean copywriting does not entertain. In fact, to be effective it absolutely must capture the reader’s attention in some entertaining way.
- Magazine articles (print or online) = content
- Blog posts = content
- Advertising copy = copywriting
- Website copy = copywriting, with exception of blog posts
But it doesn’t stop there.
Where a humor column, for example, is written for its amusement value, copywriting may start with humor but end up with a call to action (CTA).
Emails like this one contain a bit of both but is considered copywriting because I add a CTA at the end – with a link to my blog or a request to share this with your social network.
And while copywriting inspires action, you need content for one main reason: to establish yourself as an authority.
The kind of authority depends on your goals.
For example, writing these emails and blog posts all target aspects of copywriting. It’s my area of expertise. So the content I write helps get the word out about my business.
If you run an eCommerce company for, say a hair care product, the content you write should focus on haircare related topics.
Content such as articles or blog topics may include:
- 10 Haircare Myths
- Latest Home Coloring Trends
- 5 Surprising Causes of Hair Loss
- 7 Haircare Secrets Celebs Keep to Themselves
When the reader sees you understand them and their problem, they’ll trust you with the solution.
Sending out emails with links to buy the products would be copywriting.
The success of your content depends largely on consistency.
For this reason it’s a good idea to create a strategy. Do this by planning content ahead.
Creating monthly themes, for example, is a good way to focus on topics for that month.
Or setting up a series of blogs or emails that build on each other.
Whatever approach you choose, be consistent with your efforts and you will see results.
Question: What content do you create for your audience? Let me know in the comments section below…
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If you have any questions, feel free to drop me an email at email@example.com.