What Is the Difference Between Copywriting vs Content Writing?

• updated on
October 24, 2023
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Many use the terms "copywriting" and "content writing" interchangeably, but they actually represent distinct skills vital for marketing success.

While both work with the written word, copywriting and content writing serve different purposes. Understanding the key contrasts between the two crafts is invaluable for producing effective marketing material.

Copywriting focuses on writing persuasive text designed to motivate action and convert browsers into buyers. Copywriters create influential language for advertisements, websites, landing pages, emails, and other promotional content.

Content writing involves creating informative or educational written content that engages and adds value for an audience. Content writers produce blog posts, articles, ebooks, white papers, and other long or short form content that attracts and retains readers.

In essence:

  • Copywriting = Sales-focused writing that converts
  • Content Writing = Informative/engaging writing that attracts

Recognizing the inherent differences between conversion-driven copywriting and value-adding content writing allows properly utilizing the appropriate skills for the job. Both are integral for well-rounded marketing strategies.

Demystifying Copywriting vs Content Writing

Knowing the core differences between copywriting and content writing is key to determining which approach best suits your business objectives.

Copywriting focuses on using persuasive language to drive a specific action - like purchasing a product, downloading an ebook, or signing up for a service. Copy is sales-focused writing optimized for conversions.

Copywriting utilizes impactful, succinct language and is often employed in advertising campaigns. For example, this Yeti ad uses brief, engaging copy targeted directly at their outdoor enthusiast demographic.

Content writing aims to educate, inform, and build relationships through valuable content. Blog posts, guides, and articles are classic forms of content writing meant to establish subject authority and trust with readers.

This Neil Patel blog post exemplifies educational content writing, with in-depth information to help marketers understand and rank for Google's featured snippets.

The two writing forms have divergent goals:

  • Copywriting - Motivate immediate action
  • Content writing - Build credibility and connections

Recognizing the inherent strategic differences empowers you to utilize the appropriate writing style for your objectives. Blend persuasive copywriting with educational content writing for an effective balance.

Which Writing Style Best Suits Your Goals: Copywriting vs Content Writing?

Should your business invest in copywriting or content writing? The answer depends on your specific objectives.

Copywriting is ideal for boosting immediate sales and generating more leads quickly. Persuasive copy converts browsers into buyers.

Content writing is better for establishing subject authority and nurturing relationships with audiences over time. Valuable content attracts and retains readers by educating them.

While both require excellent writing, copywriting and content writing serve distinct strategic purposes:

  • Copywriting drives prompt action and conversions
  • Content writing builds credibility and trust through education

Understanding your goals enables focusing resources into the appropriate writing style. For well-rounded marketing, blend compelling copywriting with informative content writing for the right balance.

Define the outcomes you want, and let those goals determine whether to prioritize copywriting or content writing. The right strategic fit will maximize results.

Distinct Skills and Talents Behind Copywriting vs Content Writing

Copywriting and content writing draw on different skillsets and talents.

Copywriters need expertise in psychology, persuasion, and marketing to craft compelling language that spurs readers to act. Understanding emotions and triggers that motivate purchases is crucial.

Common copywriter projects include:

  • SEO-optimized website copy
  • Advertisements
  • Email campaigns
  • Landing pages
  • Social media posts

Content writers excel at creating educational, informative content while integrating light sales touches. Extensive subject research skills are critical.

Common content writer projects:

  • Blog articles
  • Ebooks
  • Whitepapers
  • Newsletters
  • Podcasts

Recognizing the divergent abilities needed empowers you to hire the right specialists for the job. Copywriters drive action while content writers establish subject authority. Understanding the distinct skills behind each craft leads to an effective writing strategy.

Blending Copywriting and Content Writing for Optimal Marketing

The most effective marketing strategies integrate both copywriting and content writing to balance promoting and educating.

While compelling copywriting spurs immediate action, relying on it exclusively damages credibility over time if not balanced with valuable content.

Content writing establishes trust and authority by delivering informative value without a hard sales pitch. This makes audiences more receptive when copywriting is employed.

Together, copywriting and content writing form a powerful combination:

  • Copywriting - Drive conversions
  • Content writing - Build relationships

For example, an educational blog post provides credible content to attract visitors. Sharable social media posts with catchy copywriting then encourage clicks to the site.

When combining the two writing forms, always focus on delivering genuine value rather than pure promotion. High-quality content earns audience attention and retention.

With strategic utilization of persuasive copywriting and informative content writing, you can maximize marketing performance. Blend them appropriately to attract, nurture, and convert audiences.

Strategies to Find Top Copywriting and Content Writing Talent

If you want to integrate persuasive copywriting and compelling content into your marketing but lack the in-house expertise, you need to find qualified writing talent. Here are proven strategies:

  • Post detailed freelance job listings on platforms like Upwork outlining your exact needs and budget. This connects you with specialized writing experts.
  • Leverage LinkedIn to tap your connections for referrals to talented copywriters and content creators that are a good match.
  • Hire an experienced content marketing agency with expertise in both copywriting and content writing to handle these capabilities for you.
  • While writing some content yourself is an option, writers' block can severely limit output. Professional writers maintain consistent creation.

Take time to carefully assess candidates' portfolios and experience to ensure they align with your brand voice and messaging. Samples and test assignments help gauge skills.

Whether building an in-house team or outsourcing, investing in the right copywriting and content writing talent pays dividends through effective marketing and reaching business goals.


What does a copywriter do?

Copywriters create persuasive marketing content like ads, website pages, emails, and social posts aimed at driving specific actions like purchases or downloads.

What does a content writer do?

Content writers produce informative educational content like blog posts, guides, and articles to provide value for audiences rather than directly sell to them.

What’s the difference between the two?

Copywriters write sales-focused content optimized for conversions while content writers aim to build relationships through valuable content.

How can you use both together?

Use copywriting sparingly for calls-to-action while relying on content writing for most of your informational content. This balances promoting and educating.

Can you work as a freelance copywriter or content writer?

Yes, many copywriters and content writers successfully freelance, working on projects for various clients.

What is an SEO content writer?

An SEO content writer specializes in creating content optimized for search engines through keyword usage, SEO formatting, etc.

From The Author

Jacob Kettner

As co-founder of SerpFocus, I'm driven by a passion for helping businesses grow through strategic SEO. I started my digital marketing career at a boutique agency focused on local SEO for small businesses. Read my full bio.

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