I asked in a large Facebook group, “Would you hire a blog content writer or a copywriter? Why?” and received some interesting responses. The most common replies asked me to explain what makes content writers different from copywriters.
This question hurt me almost as much as my 6-year-old telling me she thought I sat around at home all day doing nothing.
Okay. Not quite. That remark cut me way deeper than this valid question.
Online businesses are a new environment where external expectations can be difficult to wrangle with. I find it best to have open communication. We don’t feel alone or stupid when we can openly ask questions without fear of shame or accidental offense.
I’ve looked up content writer vs copywriter before so I could understand where my role fits into a business and, perhaps most importantly, know what to call myself.
I asked my question in the Facebook group because I found either a misunderstanding of the difference or a misunderstanding of the limits of a content writer or a copywriter.
Content Writer vs Copywriter
Some writers can be both since copywriters and content writers share many of the same tools in their toolboxes. The main differences come down to their specialized tools and the goals for why they write in the first place.
In the shortest summary possible, content writers inform, educate, or entertain while copywriters sell to the reader.
Unfortunately, it’s not this straightforward either.
Content writers can work with blogs, websites, social media, and many other platforms. They work in what is called content marketing.
Content marketing is the creation and distribution of valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract, educate, and retain an audience to increase interest in products or services.
The writing must meet the readers’ needs for information, education, or entertainment. The content writer understands this need and executes with this goal in mind.
Copywriters can work with blogs, websites, social media, and many other platforms. They work in what is called branding.
Branding is the promotion of a business, product, or service to sell the worth to an audience to increase profitable customer actions.
The writing must sell the value of the brand, product, or service. The copywriter understands this need and executes with this goal in mind.
Writing anything requires a lot of similar tools. Both content writers and copywriters need to write, edit, and proofread their work. They’ll write for social media, SEO, and promotion methods. All writing should have images, video, or some other form of media to enhance the writing.
I’m not going into those tools. No. You want what makes a content writer different from a copywriter.
Content writer’s tools
Ideas and brainstorming tools help the content writer in the first stages. Sometimes inspiration strikes from everyday scenarios. Sometimes the news begs to be written about.
Brainstorm sessions include keyword research, asking questions, listening to your reader’s questions, and going down similar topics until you reach a single blog post idea.
Ideas need to be tracked. An editorial calendar records the brainstorming and schedules when each idea should be published. Sometimes the writing, editing, and proofreading stages are also included in the editorial calendar.
A copywriter needs to get inside their ideal customer’s head. Use the words they think and say. Listening and using a thesaurus to avoid industry jargon provides a stronger copy.
Business brand guides maintain consistency across the mediums for style, tone, and imagery to convert new leads into buyers. The copy should match the rest of the business or the reader will be confused. Confusion breeds distrust.
Who do you need to hire?
What goals do you have for your writer? Do you need to inform and reveal to your readers? Or do you need to brand and advertise?
I noticed that copywriters seem to be more sought after, but a lot of people don’t really know the difference between the two. You now know that they’re different and what those differences are.
No one wants failed goals getting between them and their dreams. Don’t risk hiring the wrong person for your project. Need more clarity before you hire someone? Book a free sales consultation call with me today.