Copywriting vs. Content Writing: What’s the Difference?

It doesn’t matter if you want to write for the web or hire a writer to do it for you. It’s important to understand the difference between copywriting and content writing. People often assume they’re the same. They’re not. Copywriting and content writing are considerably different writing styles.

Copywriting is often associated with online writing when in fact it refers to any writing designed to promote something. Its intent is to spark a reaction in the reader. It could be asking them to follow you on Twitter, sign up for your newsletter, even nudging them into making a purchase. Web pages containing words and phrases such as “act now,” “buy,” “sign up” or “purchase” were probably written by a copywriter.

Copywriting also strives to appeal to the reader’s emotions. The words are designed to make you feel like you need to purchase something to improve the quality of your life. It could be a weight loss program, beauty aid or health product.

Examples of copywriting include:

  • Landing pages. You need a copywriter because a landing page captures leads and makes sales.
  • Email marketing campaigns. They also depend on convincing visitors to buy products from you or via the links in your email or your website. Copywriting plays an important role in increasing the conversion rate of those campaigns.

Good copywriting calls for considerable research. Copywriters need to know their target audience so they can persuade readers to “make a move.” This style of writing may be viewed as “in-your-face” but a savvy copywriter can make their point without sounding pushy.

Hand writing Content SEO crossword with marker on transparent wipe board.Content writing
Content writing—or article writing—is quite different. Technically, the term refers to web or SEO (search engine optimization) writing. It’s the art of creating content for websites that informs, educates and interacts with readers. Content writers create everything from blog posts, online articles and social media posts to product reviews/descriptions and newsletters. Its main goal is to drive the reader to your site.

Contrary to copywriting, content writer doesn’t attempt to solicit a certain response from the reader. It’s completely devoid of selling. If your reader starts following you on Twitter, signs up for your newsletter or buys your product or service it’s an added bonus.

Blogging is the best example of content writing. Over the years you create countless blog posts as part of your content marketing effort. While these posts may not result in direct sales, they will help build a platform for promoting your products and services and generate more leads and sales. Unlike copywriting, content writing’s job is to keep your audience engaged and provide sufficient information to keep them coming back. Content writing can entertain, offer solutions and make it possible for visitors to find your website on search engines.

Can Content Writing and Copywriting Work Together?
When it comes to distinguishing between a content writer and a copywriter, many argue that the two overlap. Some content writers include elements that copywriters use in their copy, such as an informal call to action at the end of their text.

Most businesses can benefit from generating equal parts of both. The important thing to remember is that there’s a fine line between the two. Know where this line is drawn and be consistent across whatever platform you’re using.

For example, you can use one strategy to guarantee your landing pages always read as copy, another so your blogs read as content and another so your web pages read as copy and content.

Which One Do You Need?
The bottom line is your business needs copywriting and content writing so it’s important to understand how each can benefit your marketing efforts.

Interested in hiring a freelance writer? Contact me at or visit and schedule a free 15-minute phone consultation.

About The Ys One

I am an award-winning writer and editor who is passionate about writing. I hope you enjoyed this post. Want more? Sign up for my newsletter and receive tips, tricks and advice about writing and social media marketing. To learn more visit

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  • I agree with all you say.
    Who was it who said that if they had had more time they would have written a shorter letter/piece?
    It’s easy just to spill everything in your head onto the page…
    It’s much more difficult and time-consuming to write concisely and simply.
    Thanks again.

    • itchababe

      Glad you found it helpful. You might want to join my mailing list to get more information, tips and tricks about writing and editing. You'll get a free ebook, "Five Tips for Being a Better Writer," just for signing up. Just fill in your email address in the box in the sidebar.