What Is Content Writing? 3 Differences Between Online Content Writers vs. Copywriters


Below, I’m going to share the 3 major differences between content writing and copywriting.

If you’re a freelance writer looking to start a copywriting business it is absolutely critical that you know the difference between these two art forms, so you best know how to present yourself and find new clients.

On the flip side, if you’re an entrepreneur or a business owner looking to hire a freelance writer, knowing the difference will make sure you hire a writer that suits your needs. And let me tell you a copywriter is very different than a content writer, they often have different styles, tones, techniques, processes, and even personality types.

If you fall into either one of those categories, whether you’re looking to start a copywriting business or scale your business through copywriting, be sure to subscribe to my YouTube Channel for more tutorials on copywriting basics coming your way.

Before we dive into the 3 key differences between content writing and copywriting I want to dispel one gigantic myth, and to be honest, it’s kind of a crock of crap. I hear it all the time.

“Alex, I can’t write my own copy, I’ve never been trained to write correctly, I didn’t do well in English class in school or in college and I just don’t have that formal writing ability.”

I’ll be honest with you, some of the best copy out there, copy that I’ve read, copy that I’ve written, is actually super informal! It’s fun, it’s engaging. This might blow your mind a little but there have been copy split tests that have proven copy written at a 3rd-grade level actually outperforms copy written at a college level. It just goes to show we love information that’s easy to consume that’s simple and that gets the point across.

Okay, so with that here are the 3 key differences between content writing and copywriting.

Key Difference #1: Purpose

Okay the first key difference between content writing and copywriting is the purpose. Copy is written with the purpose of creating a sale. So this might be a webinar script, a sales letter, a video sales letter, or a Facebook ad. Anything that’s written with the purpose of creating a conversion or a sale.

Content on the other hand, is written with the purpose of creating engagement. So think blog posts, videos- like I’m recording now, Instagram posts, captions, images, graphics, these are all pieces of content that are used to create engagement.

Key Difference #2: Direction

The second key difference between content writing and copywriting is direction. Copywriting is extremely one-directional. It’s linear, it’s strategic, it’s intentional, and it ends with a singular call to action which is normally to buy, or to opt-in.

A very good copywriter will write every single sentence in a way that entices the reader to read the next sentence. They’ll guide them through a buying experience, with the end result of taking that most wanted response, whatever that might be.

Content on the other hand is very multi-directional. It’s like a conversation between friends there are tangents and side bars and “oh my god did I tell you about this” and “by the ways.” So think of a blog post and how it creates conversation and engagement.

There are often links to multiple different sources and locations, and multiple different questions and calls to action included in that blog post.

Key Difference #3: Goal

So the 3rd and final key difference between content writing and copywriting is the goal. As I mentioned before copy presents an offer. So the goal of a good copywriter should be to increase conversion rate and ultimately increase revenue.

Content on the other hand creates engagement and builds brand loyalty, so the goal of a content writer should be to get more likes, shares, comments, and add goodwill and value to your business.

Now, one isn’t more important than the other, in fact, every business absolutely needs both. The more content and value you add, the more brand loyalty you create, the easier it is to sell. So a content writer really makes a copywriter’s job a whole heck of a lot easier.

My advice to you is whether you’re a content writer or a copywriter, stay in your lane, hone your craft, the more confident you are in what you do the easier you’ll be able to find clients and present your skills in a really powerful way.

If you found this helpful please share… and in the comments below, ask your #1 most pressing copywriting question. If I pick your question to answer, I’ll be sure to give you a shoutout in my next video. Till then, I’m Alex.

Ciao for now!

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3 Comments. Leave new

  • Hi Alex, I am a noob yeah! you have read that correctly because I don’t know how to be a copywriter and how to pursue my career in copywriting and I want to be a copywriter coz’ every time I see any advertisement and articles it feels very tempting to me and I started to think about that. I am totally naive and I really need someone who can help me. I believe only you can be my Harvey and I will try my best to be your Mike. In case you want to know who the hell are they shoot me a message.

  • Ok, that clears up a lot of fog around the two words for me. Now I am curious to know how your opinion has changed after 2019!


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