Okay, so this is a bit of a detraction from the typical copywriting advice I give in my videos.
But it’s a question I get often, which means it’s important.
The difference is subtle, and the two terms often interchangeable in “industry speak.”
However, for those of you who are in the market to hire a copywriter or a content writer, the difference could save you a lot of frustration and confusion.
For one, it’s okay to hire a generalist. For the other, you’d be kicking yourself in the shins if you didn’t go for a specialist.
One is about selling, and the other is about informing.
And often, the type of copy you need written will determine which kind of writing expert you should hire, and which ones you should say “no thanks” to.
In this video, I’ll explain the difference between the two, and what each is best suited to do for you and your business.
It’s a short, 5-minute video, so if outsourcing your content is something you need to do, check it out:
If you’re new to content marketing and the idea of simply writing online as a useful tool to grow your business and your website, you’ve probably come across both of these terms: copywriting and content writing.
And if you want to outsource, you might be looking for either a copywriter, a content writer, or both.
But understanding the difference between copywriting and content writing… and the end goals that each one serves best… will help you make sure you hire the right person for the job and make the most of your budget in this area.
I’m a copywriter, so I’ll tackle copywriting first.
Simply put, copywriting is selling. It’s that simple.
The end goal of copywriting is to sell. Sometimes that “sell” might just be a conversion for an email address, but you still have to convince people to take some action they might not have been planning on, so that is where copywriting comes in.
Copywriting, if it’s done well, is based on psychological principles of how buyers’ and readers’ minds work and how thoughts flow and progress.
It’s meticulously reverse-engineered to produce a specific end result.
Copywriting is often used to produce things like:
-landing pages for lead magnet opt ins (even though they’re free)
-email sequences leading up to a launch
-micro copy on your checkout page
-pages on your website: home, about, etc. <- all ultimately work together to make the sale
Content writing, on the other hand, is informational.
If I’m saying really bluntly, it’s writing that simply fills up your site without any necessary end goal in mind, except for to maybe inform the reader.
As an example, think of blog posts that focus on helping a reader learn about a topic, but don’t really do much beyond that.
Historically, before Google went through so many algorithm changes that rocked SEO, content writing was heavily keyword-focused and the actual content that was written didn’t matter nearly as much as the fact that it simply existed.
Today though, whether or not your copy is keyword-heavy copy matters very little in comparison to whether or not it gets any traffic or attention from the search engines… it’s about reader utility much more than it is about keyword density.
So if you’re going to hire a content writer, PLEASE don’t hire a generalist… hire someone with specific industry experience and knowledge and who knows your audience and the things they’re actually interested in and frustrated with so they can write to those interests and frustrations.
You might be able to hire a generalist copywriter since the importance of copywriting lies much more in the reverse-engineered psychology than the facts presented.
You can hire a content writer if you need things like:
So I hope that helps clear up the difference between copywriting and content writing for you, and that you’ll be able to make better hiring and outsourcing decisions because of it.
And if you’re not outsourcing 100% of your copywriting or content writing and doing it yourself, you’ll want to check out some of my other videos.
In each video, I tackle one specific copywriting topic or niche, give you some instruction, and then share my screen with you as I live-edit the text on two or three different websites so you can see real-life examples.
If you’re watching this video on my blog, you can click the title at the top of my screen to get to my YouTube channel, where you’ll see all my past videos and subscribe to get in on the future ones.
I’ve also pasted a link below to my ebook that has five easy-to-implement copywriting tips that’ll help you decrease your bounce rates and increase your conversions and profits for any page on your website. You’ll be able to read through it in 20 minutes, and it’s definitely worth the download.
Thanks for watching! Bye!
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