Copywriter vs content writer. The fine line between copywriting and content writing is slowly diminishing, or nonexistent for some. It’s like comparing it to k-pop and j-pop. They look the same, sound the same, but different.
Copywriting has been defined as selling in print long before the internet became an idea. Content writing, on the other hand, is more generalized and covers a spectrum of writing.
I will not name names, but professionals, entrepreneurs, silently debate the definition of copywriting.
What’s all the fuss?
The argument is that writing informational articles to move a prospect closer to the sale is, copywriting. This is where the line gets blurry. As you know, or marketers know, it can take up to 7x to ask for a sale. Customers reading about the company, their whitepapers, social media posts is, in a way, moving someone closer to the sale.
This article will not be a battle (even though I made it look as such) between the 2 but informational. Here is a bulleted list of types of projects they do in the digital world.
- Write contents for websites
- Landing pages
- Product descriptions
- Case studies
- News Articles
- Company profile
- Social media posts
- Sales letters
- Landing pages
- Banner ads’ text
- PPC ads
- Research products and services
- Social media ads
Copywriter Vs Content Writer: ROUND 1
Let’s start by defining content writing. Content writing can be any written piece. For example, white papers, articles, blogs, emails, love letters, lyrics, even advertorials, and sales letters are all forms of written content.
If you look up the definition of content writing in the dictionary, you will get zilch, nada, zero. Since it has not been defined, let’s look up each word instead.
What is “content”?
There are many meanings but let’s choose the most appropriate.
“Information made available by a website or other electronic medium.”
Let’s put emphasis on “Information”.
Now let’s look at writing.
Oh come on, let’s not. You know what writing is. If you do not, you have no business being a copywriter.
So there you go, that’s content writing. Basically means, writing information.
I know, there is no clear definition but it has not been established. There is no classification.
Copywriter vs content writer: ROUND 2!
Copywriting has been around since 1837. The first to call himself a copywriter is an American by the name of James T. Powell. Since then many copywriters have become famous by founding agencies. Some creatives became famous in different fields due to copywriting.
If you look up the definition of a copywriter in the Oxford Dictionary it will state, “A person who writes the text of advertisements or publicity materials.”
So what are advertisements and publicity materials?
Any medium which brings awareness and revenue to a business or entity. For example, the image of a woman’s sexy legs in a billboard which says, “Waxed.” Nike’s tagline “Just do it.” Any article you find on my website containing the words, “copywriter for”. My sales letters for my products. They are all forms of copywriting.
You may have come across sales letters in your mailbox containing information on how it can solve your problems, which is called direct mail copywriting.
To this day, companies still engage in traditional mailings, the proof is in my mailbox. It’s absurd to think that in this day and age, using snail mail to generate revenue is a stupid idea.
Tell that to the companies which send a truckload of mails daily. They are either making so much money or loves licking envelopes all day.
How are they profitable? Why not just use Facebook Ads or Google PPC? It will be much quicker and easier to track data.
I can think of a few ideas as to why. One, the cost and effort to print a mail and to hold it in your hands, resonates well with people.
When I received my documents as a member of the professional writer’s alliance in the mailbox, I was elated. Comparing that to my, “meh” reaction of receiving it digitally. The feeling of having something you can touch, to not having a physical presence is just black and white. Tangibility is a powerful thing.
Secondly, competition is less compared to online marketing. EVERYONE is on the internet. It is just too easy to create a banner ad, write copy, and put it in front of a specific group of people.
Have you ever walked, or drove around, and your attention gets averted to a bus? Not that the bus itself is fascinating, but the ads covering the entire side of the bus, made you stop and pay attention.
A huge image of a long-legged beautiful woman; sleeping on fluffy clouds, can stop you in your tracks.
“Cloud 9 All Night at Sleeping Giant” in big bold letters on the side, creating awareness for the company. This is display advertising, the words are the copy.
There are many forms of advertising and publicity materials. The written words are the “copy,” imagined and brought to life by a dashing copywriter.
Copywriter Vs Content Writer Double K.O.
To elaborate and might clear things up a little, I will tell you what I think. Not that you care, but I will tell you anyway.
As a student of marketing, I do believe it takes time and engagement to sell to a prospect but…
Writing content without the intention of selling is NOT copywriting. It is just that, a content.
Copywriting affects people’s actions by eliciting emotions to achieve a specific goal. An informational whitepaper lacks this aspect.
Copywriters are Ad men with slick, greased hair that walk around in the set of Mad Men. Thinking up creative words to sell to your emotions.
The hermits, the loners of the world. Who writes a thought-provoking, emotion-evoking, sales copies in solitary. Just like Yoda.
I would love to think that I am Master Yoda but, I look nothing like him. Obi-Wan Kenobi is a little closer to home.
To reiterate, copywriting plays on emotions to elicit action. A blog post about last night’s family dinner, a recipe, or technical writing is content writing.
Whenever someone asks you, what is copywriting? To keep it simple, just answer any writing which makes you feel something.
That is where I stand on this matter. You may agree or disagree. We are all entitled to our own opinion.