Copywriting Vs Content Writing

By Rana Irfan · Updated November 10, 2022

When you're starting a business, one of the most important decisions you'll make is what type of content you will create - from blog posts and articles to social media updates and website copy.

This type of content will be produced using two quite different styles: either content writing or copywriting. But what's the difference between the two, and when should each style be used? In this article, we'll explore the differences between content writing and copywriting and give you some tips on using them to get organic traffic for your startup.

What Is Content Writing

Content writing is any form of writing that's created for the purpose of informing or educating an audience. This could be anything from a blog post about your company's latest product to an article on how to use your service.

Content writing is all about creating informative, valuable content that will help your readers learn more about your industry and perhaps even your company. 

Content writing focuses on building constructive engagement with your readers so that, over time, they will develop trust in your brand and interest in your products. It is one of the most critical aspects of business growth since it drives organic search traffic.

It is all about showmanship, story-telling, and the ability to educate without the sales pitch-like tone associated with copywriting.

Content writing includes:

  • Blog posts
  • Email newsletters
  • Case studies
  • E-books
  • How-to guides
  • White papers
  • News articles
  • Evergreen articles
  • Social media posts
  • Magazine features

Work-Related Responsibilities of a Content Writer

Here are some common responsibilities of a content writer:

  • Conducting research on industry-relevant topics to provide valuable content
  • Improving content's readability for readers via editing and proofreading
  • Improving website traffic by doing keyword research and implementing SEO techniques
  • Creating captivating headlines that engage readers
  • Completing projects within specified timeframes

What Is Copywriting

Copywriting, in contrast, is all about persuasion. It's the art of writing compelling copy that will convince your reader to take action - whether that's buying a product, signing up for a service, or even just clicking through to another page on your website.

Copywriting is all about using your words to sell, and it's an essential part of every business’s advertising and marketing strategy. When written well, a copy may attract potential leads and increase sales. Copywriters concentrate on quick, direct sales, whereas content writers focus more on creating engagement.

Copywriting includes:

  • PPC ads
  • Social media ads
  • Sales page
  • Email marketing
  • Short Message Service (SMS) ads
  • Magazine advertisements
  • Press releases

Work-Related Responsibilities of a Copywriter

Common responsibilities of a copywriter include:

  • Writing copy consistent with the voice and approach of the brand
  • Working together on marketing initiatives with the PR department and other experts
  • Modifying and reviewing text for accuracy
  • Discussing content goals and needs with relevant people

Copywriting vs Content Writing 

While both copywriting and content writing involve crafting text content for readers, there are some significant contrasts between the two. Below are some of the prominent differences between copywriting and content writing.

Purpose of Writing

The primary difference between copywriting and content writing is their respective objections.

Copywriting is the practice of selling readers on an idea, branding, or business ideology. The most effective copywriting integrates the products and company ideology to generate branding.

Copywriting could be advertorial since its purpose is to persuade people to purchase a company's products and/or services.

Content writing performs all other functions. It draws an audience, maintains their interest, displays your capacity to address their issues, and sets the path for a future sale.

The goal of copywriting is to persuade the reader to take action. In contrast, content writing aims to provide helpful information that will assist readers in learning about and developing an interest in the brand.

Length of the Content

There is no set length for either copywriting or content writing; it all depends on the target audience and the nature of the subject matter.

Copywriting usually does not require lengthy explanations or elaborated phrases. With copy, you may be able to persuade readers to take action with just one or two phrases. However, to educate or engage them, you will likely need more valuable content.

Due to its emphasis on educating or creating engagement, content writing generally contains longer texts than copywriting. Depending on the subject, an article might range from 500 to 5,000 words in length.

Tone of Writing

The tone of writing is another distinction between content writing and copywriting. Copywriting frequently elicits an emotional reaction, and content writing is more logical. Copywriters incorporate urgency and exclusivity into a headline to encourage immediate action.

According to a study by Harvard professor Gerald Zaltman, more than 9 out of 10 customer purchases are influenced by emotions. To persuade readers to make a purchase, copywriting includes evoking feelings such as security, pride, comfort, a sense of belonging, and quick fulfillment. 

For instance, fear of missing out (FOMO) may motivate a buyer to purchase a product to avoid losing out on its advantages.

In contrast, content writing is about educating audiences. Since content writing is more instructive, its tone is often more formal. Content writing is more about generating trust and positioning the business as a reputable source of information.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

While both copywriting and content writing may rank highly in search engines, but when it comes to search engine optimization (SEO), content writing is miles ahead of copywriting.

For various reasons, content writing is preferable to copywriting for SEO. First, it provides value to readers. And second, there is no indication of commercial intent. In fact, content writing is strictly informative, so readers enjoy reading and sharing it.

Length is another reason why content writing is better for SEO. Long-form content often ranks for a more significant number of keywords than short-form content. It generates more views, which usually increases backlinks.

Grammar

Effective copywriting does not require inch-perfect grammar. An unfinished statement, rather than a fully formed one, may be more persuasive in creative text.

Most online advertising sites limit the number of words used in a text advertisement. To adhere to this limit, you may need to reduce your text advertisement by eliminating superfluous words or punctuation.

While you must try to eliminate grammatical errors in all of your content creation endeavors, it is particularly crucial to do so in content writing. Mistakes in grammar force readers to pause and reevaluate what they've just read. Some readers may then quit the article without finishing it.

What Is SEO Content Writing?

SEO content writing is creating written content designed to rank on the very first page of search engines such as Google.

It includes conducting keyword research, generating high-quality content corresponding to user intent, and optimizing headings for simple page crawling. An experienced SEO content writer takes care of all these aspects while writing an article.

According to research made by BackLinko, the clickthrough rate for websites occupying the top spot on the search engine results page (SERP) is 27.6%.

This percentage drops to 15.8% for websites in the 2nd and 2.4% for websites in the 10th position. On the second page of Google, this number decreases much further.

CTR breakdown for Google

Therefore, customers are unlikely to see your website organically if it is not on the first page of search engine results. Less traffic to your website means less opportunity to generate leads and, eventually, sales.

Why Is Content Writing Important for Startups?

It's possible that, as a content writer, my opinions will be biased. Content writing is what I do for work and for fun. So let's examine a number of fascinating content creation stats to emphasize the importance of content writing for startups.

  • Websites with exceptional writers at the helm might receive up to 7.8 times more traffic.
  • Typically, articles longer than 3,000 words receive three times as much traffic, four times as many shares, and three and a half times as many backlinks.
  • 82% of marketers utilize some form of content marketing strategy.

Let's look at some of the most significant advantages written content may bring to startups.

  • Creates brand awareness
  • Increases traffic to your site
  • Enhances search engine rankings
  • Strengthens your standing in the marketplace
  • Improves conversion rates
  • Increases prospect and existing customer engagement
  • Elevates the brand's reputation
  • Aids in forging partnerships and promoting your collaborators
  • Allows your team to express their thoughts and knowledge
  • Keeps visitors returning to your website

The Future of Copywriting

Make no mistake about it; content creation has been evolving for some time now. Content writing has become a focal point of marketing efforts. But is copywriting dead? Of course not. Copy is a crucial component of digital marketing; thus, copywriting is still really important for your startup.

However, the reality is that copywriting has evolved and continues to evolve or that conventional forms of copywriting no longer exist.

If we travel back to the 1960s, 70s, or 80s, the role of a copywriter was relatively straightforward.

They probably spent most of their time producing space advertisements and sales letters. They may have had to compose a few classified advertisements or perhaps radio spots. However, they were primarily expected to work on a significantly restricted universe of project kinds.

Conversely, things are pretty different nowadays.

Today, a freelance copywriter may be required to produce emails, Google PPC advertising, Facebook posts and ads, YouTube video scripts and descriptions, squeeze pages, upsell pages, downsell pages, cross-sell pages, webinar scripts, webinar funnels, Tweets, etc...

Nowadays, there are a shit ton of things a copywriter must be able to write. So, in summary, copywriting is not dead and is probably more vital than ever.

The Rise of AI Content Writing Tools

Global dependence on Artificial Intelligence (AI) is growing. According to an estimate, the AI market will surpass $500 billion by 2024. Whether in the shape of virtual assistants, Spotify suggestions, search engine results pages, or smart gadgets, AI is altering how we use the internet, do activities, and communicate with one another.

Today, there are a variety of AI content writing tools that facilitate content writers to write comprehensively informative articles using automated writing technology.

By using machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence algorithms (AIL), these tools enable you to generate high-quality content fast and efficiently using complex AI models. Some AI tools, such as Jasper, include built-in SEO capabilities that enable you to improve your website's content for enhanced search engine ranking.

Some of the most popular AI text content-creating tools of 2022 include Rytr, Jasper, Copy.ai, WriteSonic, and Articoolo.

Pros of AI content writing tools

  • Greater efficiency
  • Better quality control
  • More and fast content

Cons of AI content writing tools

  • Lack of creativity
  • Over-reliance on Google algorithms
  • Fewer jobs for writers
  • Lack of nuance or context

What Is the Difference Between Copy and Content?

In reiteration, we could again summarize like this: Content is informational, while copy is focused on persuasion.

Content tries to tell the truth by using facts, anecdotes, and reasoning. As in journalism, the purpose of a content writer is to enlighten while creating credibility and trust. 

Effective content compels readers to reflect on new knowledge and analyze how it affects their worldview. The content inspires thinking, expanding on the individual's existing knowledge.

Copy pitches readers on an idea. The purpose is less about enlightening the reader and more about convincing. For instance, advertisement copy puts emphasis on the reader's values without providing context, explanation, relevance, or conjecture.

However, well-executed long-form marketing copy, such as a website page, incorporates all of these elements.

Another way to tell the difference between the two is to look at length and detail. Content items, such as blog posts and e-books, are often longer than copy, including website landing pages and ad taglines.

What Pays More, Copywriting or Content Writing?

Although it is possible to make a good living writing content, copywriters are often paid more. This is due to their direct function in enabling sales and profits inside a business.

In contrast to content writers, who can often only charge a fixed pay per article, word count, or periodic deliverables, skilled copywriters may charge more for each contract, lock in hefty monthly fees, and even earn a commission on each sale.

Wrap Up

Both content writing and copywriting are crucial components of digital marketing. Most importantly, remember that all aspects of content production should be viewed as an investment.

Every moment a consumer or potential customer sees something about your company online, whether on your website, social media, or a text ad, they're making an immediate impression of your business.

Above all, you should aim to ensure that your content and copy will resonate and impress readers. Ultimately, that really is the end goal, broken down into simple terms. Leave your mark!

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