What is the difference between Copywriting and Content Writing?

difference between copywriting and content writing
Copy vs Content

Copywriting and content writing are both terms that are thrown around a lot, but are they the same? What’s the difference between them? Is there a difference between them at all?


Suppose you want to generate traffic into sales and leads? You’re going to want to use copywriting as your writing technique. In other words, if you’re looking to entertain and inform, well then, my friend,  you will need to know wonderful content writing techniques. 

Let’s take a closer look into the world of copy and content, shall we? This article will delve deeper into what makes copywriting and content writing different, and why it’s essential for your website and company!

What is copywriting? 

Marketing and advertising use this technique. The primary purpose of copywriting is to create content or “copy” that convinces you to take a specific type of action. 

These actions might include persuading a reader to buy something off a website or even subscribing to a newsletter. You can find examples of copywriting almost everywhere in our daily lives. 

Back in the old days, full-page advertisements for products were the main form of copywriting. Even today, companies will take out full-page advertisements for products and services! 

Those advertisements on the radio, on podcasts, and on TV? The words you hear are the result of copywriting. Even product descriptions you find on online stores are written by copywriters. 

So who creates copy or copywriting? 

Who creates those magical and persuasive words that get you to buy all these things? Well, it’s copywriters. 

Copywriters string words together to hit the right note with the target audience. Most copywriters go to university just to learn the special writing technique! This technique is not only meant to get your interest but to convince you to do something. 

What is a copywriter?

A copywriter writes copy. “Copy” in copywriting refers to the words used to convince you to do something. Copywriters use writing and phrases to have an impact on you and persuade you, their target audience. 

A copywriter will often write for different platforms. Some examples of copywriting include the following: 

  • Social media ads
  • PPC ads
  • PPC landing pages 
  • Website sales copy
  • Sales emails
  • Cost-per-mile (CPM) ads
  • Short Message Service (SMS) ADS 
  • Product pages

What is content writing? 

While content writing might help boost sales, it’s not the main aim. Content writing has an entirely different purpose than copywriting. The primary purpose of creating written content is to inform and educate you! Content will tell you a story and entertain you. 

Some examples of content will include the following: 

  • Evergreen content or articles
  • News articles
  • Emailed newsletters
  • E-books
  • Tutorials
  • Social media posts
  • White papers
  • Case studies

So who writes this content? 

Content writers. Thats write!😉. A content writer is responsible for creating digital and print content for companies. 

Companies will use the content to provide information about the company and advertise its products and services. They will also conjure up stories that reflect the company’s values and ideals. 

To produce high-quality content, content writers will need to research each content piece they need to write. Content writers will also need to work closely with their clients and content managers to adhere to its editorial style and tone. 

SEO in copywriting and content writing 

Search Engine Optimization. SEO helps websites increase their visibility when using search engines like Bing and Google. The more visible a website, the more chances you will find a company’s website! 

Having high visibility means that your company’s website will be higher on the Search engine results pages (SERPs). Your website will have a higher Google ranking or SERP position with quality SEO writing. 

Copywriters and content writers need to know about and use SEO in their writing, and both forms of writing have very different purposes. 

What’s the difference between SEO copywriting and SEO content writing? 

The main goal of SEO content writing is to use keywords to create quality content that improves your website’s SERP position. Quality SEO content writing is meant to develop natural traffic through Google, Bing, and other search engines. 

The primary purpose of SEO copywriting is to turn the traffic into sales and leads, and copywriters will use specific keywords and compelling content that will get you to happily share your copy, and content on their social media platforms. 

Key Differences between Copywriting and Content Writing 

Now we know what content writing and copywriting is… We need to learn more about what separates content writing from copywriting.

Content writing tells a story. Copywriting sells 

Content writing is meant to engage an audience and inform you. However, content writing is also meant to generate long-term traffic for your website!

Copywriting is used to get you to purchase a product, service or subscription. Copywriting is meant to be persuasive and get you to take a specific action. 

Content writers use long-form but copywriting use short-form 

Copywriting and content writing are used for different platforms. Different platforms mean that writers have to adjust their writing. 

Here are some examples of where content writing is used. Content writing uses long-form writing: 

  • Press releases
  • Articles
  • Blogs
  • Magazine features
  • Newspaper articles 
  • Newsletters
  • Books 
  • E-books
  • TV and film 
  • Podcasts
  • White papers

Here are some examples of where you will see copy. Copywriters will use short-form writing in their copy:

  • Social media
  • Direct mail letters
  • Catalogues 
  • Email campaigns 
  • Taglines and slogans
  • Offline and online adverts
  • Web page content 
  • Jingle lyrics
  • Billboards

Copywriting wants an immediate response. Content writing slowly builds trust. 

Copywriters use specific words in their copy to tug at your heartstrings and get you to take immediate action. This can be quickly signing up for a newsletter, buying a new product or even downloading something, which is entirely different from content writing.

Content writing works slowly to build a website’s or company’s brand. Consistent and quality content will build trust and become a reliable source of information. 

Copywriters want quick sales. Content writers will generate sales in the future.

Companies use persuasive copy because they want you to act quickly, so they use a copywriter to write copy that invokes a quick emotional response from customers to make sales, and on the other hand, content writers can work to generate future sales. These indirect sales can result from the trust built from high-quality content writing. 

Content writers focus more on SEO than Copywriters 

It’s all about generating traffic. Generating traffic means that content writers need to be SEO experts. 

Writers will need to work closely with their clients, editors, and content managers to meet the business style and their client’s needs. 

Content writing will use a focus keyword that will become the primary search term and should be used throughout the content piece, including the headings.

Content writing creates traffic. Copywriting turns traffic into sales 

Websites and businesses will need to use content writing to generate organic traffic and more traffic means that your website will have a higher Google ranking, with a SERP position, but copywriting, takes the traffic that has been generated from content writing and converts it into sales and leads. 

A final word on Copywriting and Content Writing 

And that’s that, folks!. If you want to build trust with your audience and boost your SERP position, you need to use content writing, but if you’re looking for instant gratification and quick action like a millennial – you need copywriting. Copywriting is short and focused writing to convert your traffic into action and sales!

Learn about Riddle Me Write and how we can help you spot the differences!

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