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What’s the difference between copywriting & content writing?

Copywriting and content writing are often misunderstood—and people get the two confused. While they overlap in some ways, there is a considerable difference between them in terms of purpose.

If you’re a business looking to hire a content writer or copywriter, it’s quite important to know how these roles differ, as each has its own objectives and challenges. Let’s take a closer look at both below.

What is the purpose of copywriting?

Copywriting persuades. It uses language to convince a reader to take action, such as buying a product, downloading a book, or engaging with the company in some way. Similar to sales writing, it’s mainly used in advertising, email, digital ads, and landing pages.

Copywriting primarily involves writing for marketing or advertising purposes.

What is the purpose of content writing?

The purpose of content writing is to produce content that educates, informs, and entertains readers. Content writers produce content for blogs, websites, social media pages, and emails.

Content is intended to strengthen the relationship between the brand and the reader. In other words, content helps build relationships, rather than drive a particular action. It’s an engagement tool. It might even be interactive, such as when a blog post encourages readers to comment.

So, although both are types of writing that support the business, copywriting and content writing have different purposes and strategies. Too often, people looking to outsource written communications confuse the two, not knowing that the distinction alters the goals of a writing project and affects the results.

If you’re not sure which type of writing you need, ask yourself: How do I want the reader to react? If you want your reader to buy something, you need copy; if you want your reader to think about what you’re saying and make connections to their own life, you’re probably looking for content.