7 Differences Between Copywriter And Content Writer

Content writing and copywriting sound the same, and yet there is a vast difference between the two. The difference between a content writer’s and a copywriter’s job is as massive as the difference between the sun and the moon. But businesses and professionals alike mistake both of them and end up in a sticky situation. Content writers onboard clients that actually need copywriters and vice versa. Therefore, here are seven differences between content writing and copywriting that will help you clear all confusion in future. 

What is Copywriting?

The simplest means of explaining copywriting is the written form of a sales pitch. Copywriters write a sales pitch for the client (the distribution of the pitch or copy varies) and get paid. The ‘copy’ they write is for: –

  • Google ads
  • Facebook ads
  • Instagram ads
  • Sales video script
  • Sales letters/emails
  • Landing pages
  • Brochures

Though most copywriting jobs revolve around selling, some are also about persuading the user to do something else. For example, you want the user to enter your funnel, so the copywriters write copy that persuades the user to join a seminar or newsletter. Thus, technically you are not selling them anything; you are influencing them to make a decision.

Copywriting has existed for a very long time and was used by copywriters in the advertising industry. However, the current practices of copywriting are due to Edward Bernays’ style of PR. Edward was the first to propose that instead of facts, consumers are swayed more by emotions. Emotions like greed, lust, happiness, sadness motivated sales, and therefore he used emotional copywriting in his career as a PR executive. Interestingly enough, he was the nephew of infamous psychologist Sigmund Freud (he’s the one with weird theories and cocaine addiction).

Since Edward Bernays, we have seen ethical copywriting where copywriters don’t manipulate the audience, instead influence them and make their product stand out.

The importance of copywriting from a business’ point of view cannot be underestimated. Many companies and writers themselves are confused between content writing and copywriting. In the digital age, where the bread and butter of online sales are ads, negligence while hiring a copywriter will cost the company. Thus, to hire a copywriter or being hired as a copywriter, it’s essential to know the difference between content writing and copywriting.

What is Content Writing?

Everything else on the internet, apart from persuasive copy, is content writing. The following things include content: –

  • Blogs on both blogging sites and company websites
  • E-books, both fiction and non-fiction
  • White papers 
  • Research papers
  • Social media posts such as LinkedIn posts, articles, Instagram posts, tweets, Pins, Tumblr posts, etc.
  • YouTube video scripts

If you have noticed, these writing pieces are focused on serving the audience, whether entertaining them or informing them. And the frequency of content is higher since it helps increase touch-points with the business’ existing and new clients.

If copywriting was based on persuasion, content writing’s strength is storytelling. It will sneakily help the brand by entertaining people through stories and strategically mentioning them to support its position. Plus, most content writing effort is free. Unlike copywriting ads, which require spending revenue, blogs and videos are distributed freely and instead uses SEO to attract clients.

Now that we have addressed copywriting and content writing individually, let’s compare the two to find out the differences between copywriters and content writers

Difference between copywriting and content writing #1 | Intention

The most noticeable difference between copywriting and content writing intention; while copywriting is intended to sell a product, content writing simply provides information about the production. Content may not even include the brand’s name, while it is necessary for the copy to have the company’s name.

Thus, as a content writer, your primary job is to add value to your client’s life, but a copywriter’s job is to write copy that incites an action such as add to cart, free-trial signup, etc.

Difference between copywriter and content writer #2 | Methodology

Since copywriters’ main job is to persuade, they have a different methodology to craft their copy. They use psychology and human behaviour understanding to achieve their goal. Remember how we talked about Edward Bernays, the first person to figure out how to persuade people via writing. The industry standard is to use techniques that incite an emotion such as fear of missing out, greed, and happiness. They even use cognitive biases to their advantage to make the user take the desired step.

On the other hand, content writers simply present facts and information and thus have a different methodology of working. However, content writers may use a few tips from a copywriter’s toolkit to write the title of their blogs and the introduction. But the majority of the work does not involve persuasion.

Difference between copywriting and content writing #3 | Frequency and Cost

Content is the long-term strategy and therefore has a higher frequency. The eventual aim of writing quality content is to build credibility and trust in the company or brand. Once the trust is built, any proposition to sell something receives a better response. The sales proposition would come under copywriting and thus usually has a lower frequency. 

As we have discussed before, the cost of attracting clients via content is less compared to copywriting. Thus, brands will usually invest in a good copywriter when launching a new product and invest in a content writer for at least six months before launch.

Difference between copywriter and content writer #4 | Focus on SEO

The focus on SEO is far much on content than on copy. As a content writer, you need to have a more profound knowledge of SEO than a copywriter. A copywriter needs to know only the basics since most of their amplification is via paid channels.

So, the burden of keyword research and keyword placement for optimization is a content writer’s job. So, if you struggle with that, we suggest going through this blog that talks comprehensively about writing SEO-friendly content.

Difference between copywriting and content writing #5 | Length of writing

Perhaps the most noticeable difference between copywriting and content writing is the length of writing. Usually, copies are short since most ad formats have a strict limit on characters. Thus, a copywriter has to craft copy that’s not only persuasive but also short. Therefore, their work is to sharpen their pitch without killing the efficacy of their words. Each word is chosen carefully and requires time.

Content writers, on the other hand, write long-form content like blogs and articles. Their work involves providing as much relevant information as possible. Thus their time goes into researching and fleshing out ideas. They have the liberty to expand on their ideas without worrying about word limits.

Difference between copywriter and content writer #6 | Creativity

Copywriters usually employ creative tactics to stand out from the competitors and overcome the limitation of the length. Thus, one of the most essential tools in a copywriter’s tool kit is creativity. The more creative and out of the box the pitch while also staying relevant, the more chance it has to convert people. The most recent example is Sleepy Owl’s recent silent ads that caused a stir among people and marketers.

On the other hand, content writers only employ creativity in a limited capacity. Most of their work takes a more scientific approach rather than an artistic approach. Thus, people who fear that their limited creativity will be detrimental to their content writer journey can take a breath of relief and pursue a career in content writing.

Difference between copywriting and content writing #7 | The money

You must be wondering if they a copywriter and content writer make the same amount of money or not? The answer is that copywriting jobs are paid more than content writing jobs. It may seem counterintuitive since content writers are more than copywriters in terms of words per writing piece. But the simple fact that copywriters directly affect a company’s sales and their work can be measured easily makes copywriting a well-paid gig. Moreover, freelance copywriting is nowadays a norm, and freelance copywriters make much more since they set their own prices and work with multiple clients.

On the other hand, content writers’ effect on revenue cannot be measured directly since their content builds trust and credibility in the brand (cannot be measured). Thus, content writers usually charge for the hours they put in or the total number of words they write. As content writers gain more experience, they earn more, but at the same time, a copywriter’s skills compound, and they earn at an exponential rate.


Wrapping it up, we discussed what content writing and copywriting are. Further, the seven differences between them are the intention, methodology, frequency and cost, focus on SEO, length, creativity and the money these individuals make. Moreover, freelance copywriting makes more money compared o full-time copywriting since the former has more control over the charges.

We hope that the blog helped you differentiate content writing and copywriting. Stay tuned for more such informational blogs!

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