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When I first started writing professionally I really didn’t understand the difference between a copywriter and a content writer. If you’re like me you might have thought that a copywriter was someone who writes, well … copy. And a content writer was someone who writes, um … content.
But isn’t that just the same thing?
Actually there is a very clear distinction between these two different types of writers, and understanding the difference will definitely help you engage a more effective content and marketing strategy for your business.
Copywriter. A person who writes the text of advertisements or publicity material.
Oxford Dictionary of English.
Copywriting is a special type of writing that focuses on sales and persuasion. It’s been defined as ‘salesmanship in print’ and professional copywriters are the people who write the text for advertisements, billboards, taglines, promotional videos, and product descriptions.
Copywriters know how to grab the attention of potential buyers, shoppers, customer, donors, and followers. Their aim to persuade the reader to take some type of action — eg, click on a link, buy a bikini online, join a newsletter, make a donation, visit a physical store.
You’ll want a copywriter to write the copy for your crowdfunding campaign, product launch, or email series. And you can expect them to ask loads of questions about what you do at the beginning of a new project — so they can highlight the key features and benefits of products and services you provide.
Content. The principal substance (such as written matter, illustrations, or music) offered by a website.
Content Writing is the descriptive writing that fills websites, eBooks, social media profiles, and company intranets. The main purpose of content writing is to build an online audience, raise the profile of a company (or business professional), get indexed by search engines (ie, Google), and increase web traffic.
Professional content writers understand SEO and know how to craft content that will inform your customers, as well as drive traffic to your website. They’re adept at research and committed to ensuring the copy they write for you is based on reliable sources: reputable media outlets, peer reviewed journals, government publications, books by industry experts, public reports.
Hire a content writer to create original blog posts, pillar pages, eBooks and white papers, ‘About Us’ pages, social media posts, and professional profiles. You can expect your content writer to ask questions about your overall company culture, goals, mission and values so they can write in a voice that aligns with your company brand.
In today’s market any professional writer worth their weight in google clicks should have skills in both copywriting and content writing. After all you want your blog posts to have a clear call-to-action and your landing pages to sit at the top of Google’s search results.
When hiring, always ask a writer about their niche or speciality area — which will usually be based on their professional background. If a writer can clearly tell you they’re a B2B copywriter specialising in product launches and landing pages, or a business blogger specialising in localised SEO — chances are they possess the clarity of mind required to write outstanding copy that delivers measurable results for your business.
© 2019 Melinda J. Irvine