Are you a content writer who wants to start copywriting? Do you know the difference between these two forms of writing? Can you do both? Which one is right for you and where should you start? If you’ve asked yourself any of these questions, this article is for you. Keep reading…
Hey guys, it’s Alex.
Welcome back to my blog. Today’s post is for those of you who have ever wondered, is copywriting right for me? Or should I start as a content writer instead? Can I do both?
Well, the first thing I’ll say is that all businesses around the world need both copy and content. These two forms of writing are not synonymous and should not be used interchangeably.
Both are incredibly important. Content creates brand loyalty and engagement. Copy creates conversions and sales. The more brand loyalty a business has, the easier it is to sell their products and services. So you see, content and copy go hand-in-hand and should be part of any brand’s marketing strategy.
Can you do both? Absolutely. However, as you become more experienced, you’ll likely naturally gravitate to one form of writing over the other, based on what you enjoy most.
While content writers and copywriters have different MOs, they both have a flair for words and the power to influence, persuade and add massive value.
I am 100% true blue copywriter. I never write content (except for my own business) unless that content is directly part of a marketing promotion or launch strategy.
Before we continue, I want to hear from you. Which form of writing are you most interested in? Are you a content writer, copywriter or just getting started! Comment below and let me know.
I know some copywriters who began their writing career as a content writer or have some kind of background in writing — be that a journalist, a magazine writer, a creative writing major, a blogger or even a researcher — this seems like the natural progression or path.
But I also know a great deal of copywriters who jumped straight into it from completely unrelated backgrounds like computer programming or even cosmetic dentistry.
Where you start is ultimately up to you…
So in this post, I’ll share 5 major factors to consider in your decision — ranging from the kind of freedom you have to, yes, because I know you’re wondering, the Money, honey.
And if you’re new to the crew and want more tips, techniques and tutorials from the world of writing, subscribe to my YouTube Channel!
Okay, let’s proceed with this week’s blog.
Copywriting Vs. Content Writing: Which One Is Right For You? You’ll want to consider these 5 factors…
1. The Freedom
Whether you’re doing a sales page or a blog post, both copywriters and content writers need to master the art of storytelling.
However, given the different goals that these roles carry, you don’t share the same amount of freedom when it comes to your role as a storyteller.
As I said before, a content writer creates engagement and builds brand loyalty through writing, while a copywriter creates a conversion or a sale with theirs.
A content writer can write dozens of multi-directional blog posts, articles or long form captions for a brand… sometimes without even directly mentioning the name of the product.
Occasionally, you’re given room to inject your own brand voice and personality into your writing even if you’re representing a brand… and you may even get a byline. The sky’s the limit for content writers, as long as your content is captivating.
Copywriting, on the other hand, is one-directional, strategic and intentional. It needs to fully embody the voice and the message of your client or the brand that you’re writing for… and work with a clear Call-To-Action in mind.
You are required to get creative and communicate a lot in a few words and compel a prospect to take action in a few seconds. That’s where a copywriter’s genius lies.
2. The Personality
When deciding which form of writing is best for you, it’s smart to not just look at the role itself, but what YOU as the writer would enjoy most.
A content writer might get more excited by the idea of captivating the reader, educating them and sparking conversations.
While a copywriter is more motivated to get the reader to take one immediate action. They are more strategic and stay focused on the goal of creating a conversion.
Of course you can enjoy and care about both…
My top copywriter started in content writing and has a background in journalism. Back then she enjoyed the research, education and storytelling aspects of writing personal articles, lengthy features, and educational pieces for her work.
The more she was able to engage the reader with her voice and personality, the more motivated she became.
At first, she wasn’t as interested in persuading the reader to take a specific and immediate action.. It was only when she started learning about marketing and buyer psychology that she developed a strong appreciation for copywriting…
And today she enjoys it even more than content writing.
This is of course just one example. Not all content writers or copywriters are built the same way, but this gives you an idea of the kind of personality or motivations each type of writer has.
3. The Mindset
This is a rather controversial take on this topic, but based on my experience and the stories that have been shared by both copywriters and content writers in my network — one of the core differences between these two types of writers is their mindset around selling.
To be a compelling copywriter, you need to have a positive belief system around sales.
Are you someone who sees sales and marketing as greedy, manipulative or dishonest… or can you appreciate it as a mutually-beneficial practice that has existed throughout the history of humanity to enable transaction, exchange and trade?
Until you’re able to adopt a healthy mindset around selling and marketing, you won’t be able to effortlessly weave empathy, connection and engagement into your copy which is KEY if you want to remain compelling and relevant today.
Granted, there are copywriters out there that are using sneaky and douchey hard-sell tactics with language that lacks empathy and personality.
But you know I’m not here for that. If you’ve been part of the global posse for a while, you know I started this very blog to rally an authentic crew of copywriters that truly want to bring more messages that matter to the masses through heart-centred copy that connects and converts.
Of course, I’m not saying that all content writers scoff at the thought of selling! I’m saying that having a positive and confident attitude towards selling is more important when it comes to copywriting… so that you can ultimately use it for the greater good.
4. The Experience
In terms of the core process, both copywriters and content writers need to do research, create drafts and outlines and invest a lot of time to become a specialized and experienced writer.
But let’s talk about the obvious differentiator here — the deliverables themselves.
Content writers produce blog posts, educational emails, long-form social media posts, and content video scripts. As a content writer, you might be asked to come up with 20 different articles or content ideas that stand alone as individual pieces where the goal is to increase likes, shares, comments and conversations on each piece. Then you might be responsible for editing, refining and maybe even updating your articles along the way to see how they impact that engagement.
Copywriters, on the other hand, produce sales emails, landing pages, marketing and webinar scripts, and ads. As a copywriter, you might be asked to write every single one of these pieces as part of a single marketing campaign or launch – and they’d need to all fit together strategically to guide the user through the entire sales funnel from start to finish. You also may be expected to optimize these assets, and how they fit together, to boost overall conversion rates.
The overall experience and expectations of content writers vs copywriters is wildly different.
So, this is an invitation for you to do a little digging and see which one feels more fun for you. If you’re just starting out, start writing both content and copy assets!
Then you’ll know better if copywriting is something you’d be fit to explore, or if starting in content writing first is a better path for you. At the end of the day, I want to assure you that copywriting is absolutely possible and accessible for anyone with the right amount of interest and determination… and it can be a fun, playful, creative AND lucrative.
5. The Money
Yup, the big question on everyone’s mind I’m sure! What is the difference between copywriting and content writing when it comes to those paychecks.
While you can absolutely make a great living content writing, copywriters get paid more in general. This is because they play a direct role in facilitating sales and revenue in an organization.
Whereas content writers can typically only charge a flat rate based on article, word count or monthly deliverables, experienced copywriters are able to charge more per project, lock-in higher monthly retainers and even earn a commission on sales.
Content writers charge squarely based on hours spent or specific deliverables, so it’s very much a “trading time for dollars” gig.
Copywriters often need to start here as well, but they make more dollars in the same amount of time. And there is a lot more opportunity for growth in income as companies tend to price copy based on the overall VALUE and impact on the bottom line… It takes time to develop a Brand Voice and skill to create conversions, so once a company finds a copywriter they love to work with, they don’t want to let them go.
Watch This Instead
Copywriting allows you to scale to 6-figures and beyond the more experienced you become. If you want to learn how to go from a $100 side hustle to a $10,000/month writing business, you can watch my video on that right here.
Thanks for reading and subscribing to my YouTube Channel guys. Leave me a comment below if you found this article helpful.
I’ll be back next week with a brand-new post. Till then, I’m Alex. Ciao for now!