What’s the difference between copywriting and content writing?

Marketing strategy written on paper

Copywriting and content writing are marketing terms most people just have no idea about. Even more confusing, I do both. I’m an SEO copywriter, who writes sponsored content for the Domain. I write content for businesses’ websites of various sizes and industries.

Copywriting vs content writing

Copywriting versus content writing

difference between copywriting and content marketing

A copywriter writes punchy words to get a short term response, such as a sale. It might be to buy makeup, join a fitness group, or call a plumber.

It’s persuasive writing with a call to action. Copywriting can be seen on brochures, fridge magnets, radio or TV ads or in local newspapers.

Content marketing is longer content, usually over 600 words. It was copywriting weaved through it but is more educational or entertaining. It doesn’t have a hard sell. It’s a way to keep a brand front of mind, especially if they aren’t an everyday purchase like a car, real estate or holiday destination.

What’s SEO copywriting?

SEO copywriting is all about making your website attractive to both the reader and Google. It involves keyword research. The goal is to move up the ranks in Google, so you don’t need to spend money on Adwords. The user will find your website organically, and then because it is so well written, will stay there even longer.

What’s content writing?

Content writing is different from copywriting because it doesn’t have a short-term call to action, like copywriting. However, it should end with one. Content writing can be seen in blogs, podcasts, emails, autoresponders, books, e-books, articles, white papers and social media posts. It’s longer writing and usually offers some value, like informing or educating the reader. It’s still persuasive writing and has a call to action, but the goal is long-term.

  • Copywriting and content writing are both forms of persuasive writing
  • Copywriting has a short-term goal, such as ‘buy now’
  • Content writing aims to engage the client over a longer time frame, but still with an aim to purchase

A good marketing strategy should have both copywriting and content marketing. Perhaps your service is one that people don’t need all the time, like an electrician. If you’re providing useful content regularly, then when it does come time to call a sparky, you’d more than likely turn to the trusted source. The knowledgeable source.

Marketing strategy written on paper copywriting vs content marketing

I asked Lauren White, a sexologist in Brisbane what content writing has done for her business.

Whenever someone says blogging is dead or just make a podcast – I laugh to myself. After writing countless blogs, tweaking them and optimising them for SEO, I can hand-on-heart say that writing quality content has improved my business and website performance significantly. I now have several snippets on Google for content that I have created and have had clients say that they found me through specific blogs. As wonderful as my sales page is, it’s the content that first reaches them…

Lauren White, Brisbane
If you have a webpage, when it comes to copywriting vs content writing, it’s best to do both. They’ll search for your content, read it, and then the brilliant copywriting will convince them to convert.

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