The Unconventional Guide to Content Writing vs. Copywriting

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content writing vs. copywriting

The great distinction between content writing and copywriting lies in the purpose of writing it. Copywriting means writing for the sake of promotional advertising or marketing. The purpose of content writing is to entertain and entice the online audiences so they stay longer on websites and engage with the brand.

Copywriting involves content writing, but in an attractive form, so that it grabs the attention of the audience immediately. But, copywriting has a greater task to perform – which is selling the real worth of a brand, its products, and services.

What are the differences between content writing and copywriting? How beneficial is it to use them for web and SEO purposes?

Content Writing

Content writing means composing valuable content to be delivered with a specific purpose, like business, marketing, commercial affairs, etc. Often, content writing is used to attract potential customers and educate them about products and services of a brand. This can be done by using blogs, articles, press releases, etc.

Content Writing is Meant For Content Marketing

Content writing means creating content that markets well.

In simple words, content writing helps you do content marketing for your brand. Good content reaches the target audience and achieves its objectives.

Below are a few tips for writing good content that helps you in marketing:

  1. Write your content with the correct elements, i.e. its purpose, structure, form, etc.
  2. The essence of content should be a rich experience.
  3. Say it straight and be clear.
  4. Back up your arguments.
  5. Build trust among audience with your content. Sound genuine.

If you make statements about your brand, use a clear language. This helps the audience to connect with you immediately. If there is a need to elaborate, give details. Don’t assume people will understand you automatically, but don’t talk down to them, either.

Copywriting

Copywriting is the secret ingredient of content writing.

Copywriting means creating compelling and high-valued content that purely aims at pitching your brand. The ultimate objective of copywriting is to sell an idea, unlike content writing where you do not aim to sell but to help the audience understand your brand and generate interest.

In the past, copywriting was a part of advertising. However today, copywriting is changing web content to engage the audience and sell effectively. SEO copywriting involves the use of target specific search terms. It helps in optimization and yields a better performance on search engines.

Copywriting is Meant For Branding

Your copy needs to be created for the best reason — branding. Your copy has greater chances of success if it adds to branding. Branding means telling audience why your brand matters.

Like content writing, your copy needs to attract the attention of your audience. But with copywriting you should be one step ahead. You should be able to grab the attention of your audience and entice them into action.

Attributes of Copywriting

Copywriting has the power to engage your audience. That’s the reason it is gaining popularity.

There are various attributes of good copy. You give an experience to your audience through your content. Copywriting should heighten that experience.

The following DOs and DON’Ts will help you write more effective copy. 

  1. Write attractive headlines.
  2. Use clear, direct words.
  3. Converse with your audience.
  4. Aim to inspire your audience to take action.
  5. Build up trust in your brand.
  6. Avoid being pompous.
  7. Avoid archaism, jargon, slang, clichés, etc.
  8. Use simple words. Do not confuse your audience with difficult or baffling words.
  9. Do not exaggerate. Leave something to your audience’s imagination.

Should We Include Copywriting?

You cannot plan to have just content writing and focus only on content marketing. It may not be very fruitful. In the long run, you need to include copywriting into your content writing to achieve your sales objectives.

Copywriting vs. Content Writing

 

shutterstock_110397353The distinction between content writing and copywriting lies in its purpose – to inform and reveal. You pass information to your audience through content writing, but you reveal greatness about your brand through copywriting.

Copywriting Is Not Everything

Copywriting is not everything, I am saying this because we aren’t here just for advertising or branding purpose. Focusing only on copywriting at the cost of content writing is not a very good idea. It may not work because you cannot always sell!

How? Let’s find out. 

The more you sell through your words, the more your audience is going to retract from you. No one likes to be sold to constantly. Today, customers want to understand and believe in what you are telling them. Unless you connect with them in the right manner, you cannot build trust in your brand.

While you are writing website content, your aim should not be just to appear on the search engines. Likewise, you cannot always talk to your customer about your prime goal of selling to them. They will reject you.

Don’t Ignore Content Writing

Marketers have realized that customers are becoming a larger part of marketing now. Because of tough and competing marketing trends, the audience has grown apprehensive of the conveniently available content on the web. Now, consumers like to do comprehensive research and carefully go through sites, including those of your competitors.

Unless your copy attracts a good number of viewers, content is going to be your big concern, all the time. Focus carefully on it.

So, what do you need to do?

  1. Your content writing needs to be strong. Keep it in the best framework, so that it ropes in all your business objectives.
  2. Whether you opt for content writing or copywriting, your ultimate objective should be to pitch your brand.
  3. Do not compete with the marketplace. Give non-comparative and non-competing content to your audience.
  4. Focus on helping out your audience, rather than direct selling.

Takeaway Point

Together, content writing and copywriting make the best pair.

Words are your most effective tool when presenting your brand online. Both copywriting and content writing are beneficial for branding and marketing of your business. For this, you need to incorporate copywriting efficiently into your content writing.

If you are using content writing and copywriting to grow your brand, do share your ideas with me. I look forward to your comments below.

 

Image Credits

Featured Image: Madlen via Shutterstock
Post Image: Mediagram via Shutterstock

Alan Smith

Alan Smith

Tech Blogger & Web Designer at SPINX Inc.
Alan Smith is an avid tech blogger with vast experience in various IT domains, currently associated with SPINX Inc., Los Angeles, California based website design,... Read Full Bio
Alan Smith
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  • Hi Alan,

    Great tips about copywriting and content writing.
    I often confused to know the major difference between these two. But after reading this article I really feel well to have some knowledge about these two writing tips.

    Thanks for sharing such an informative article.

    • Thanks Mustafa. I am glad you liked the write up. In fact it is important to know the difference between the two, especially if one is into developing content for either sharing or promotional purpose. It helps in knowing how to promote your brand and its attributes.

  • Well, i believe crispier Content Writing is ‘Copywriting’! Yes, your points are valid (indeed), but i couldn’t find one reason why i shouldn’t stick to what i believe ‘Copywriting’ is.

    • Hi Ranjeet,

      You are right, the crispier content writing is copywriting. If you can make your content crispy, exciting and impressive, it is copywriting that helps in promoting your brand. Copywriting is an impressive communication between a brand and its audience. The benefits are amazing as it brings a lot of face value to a brand and begins a powerful communication which is necessary for brand marketing.

  • Interesting!! I recommend these points to the bloggers the most.

    • Thanks Afzaal for liking my post and recommending it to others. Keep sharing your thoughts.

  • Farah Kim

    In the online world, copywriting is the text you write for your landing pages and PPC ads. Content writing is what you do for your blog, newsletters, emails, or anything that requires the customer to read, understand, evaluate and act.

    Thanks Alan for this comprehensive piece between these two often intermixed genres of writing.

    • Thanks, Farah. You are indeed right when you mentioned that copywriting brings you a little more than content writing, because you write for your landing pages and PPC ads. Content writing is more plain and simple for the audience to learn and understand the context with absolute clarity.

  • Good piece Alan,

    I enjoy copywriting and have learned that it’s not a simple thing to put together of piece of good copy that actually sells. It’s a process. But well written sales copy is a thing to behold 🙂 Content writing on the other hand provides information to your reader but it also has the ability to demonstrate your knowledge, authority and helps build trust with your reader.

    I like your suggestion on not trying to compete with the marketplace with your content, instead give non-comparative and non-competing content to your audience. Great advice. I like to write with genuine interest in my readers. Writing with a competitive flavor can be a turn off for readers.

    • Hi Liz,
      It’s good that you liked my post. A competitive flavor often spoils the real texture of your content. Plus, it’s not required too. You don’t have to necessarily engage the audience for the sake of it. Secondly, I do agree with you that copywriting is not a simple thing. It takes time and lot of efforts to put together a good sales copy to grab the attention of your audience.