The Difference Between A Content Writer & A Copywriter

If you want to hire a writer for your online content it can be a pretty confusing process to enter. One of the first decisions you will need to make is whether to hire a content writer or a copywriter for your project.

In this post, let’s go through the main difference between each discipline, we hope this can help you decide which type of writer is right for your project.

Let’s start first with copywriters, what do they specialise in, what are their core skills and why should you hire a copywriter?

What Do Copywriters Specialise In?

Copywriters are writing specifically to sell. It doesn’t really matter what the format is but their primary goal is to make a sale of a product or service.

For example, an Advertising Agency like Ogilvy will have a team of copywriters who will do the copy for their client’s TV ad campaigns and billboards.

A campaign at an Ad Agency for a large client will be themed around a central idea and then delivered to the public through a range of different formats. The best campaigns are delivered so that the target audience sees the campaign multiple times a day, in different places, for several weeks, resulting in a strong product recall and sales long into the future.

The Difference Between A Content Writer and A Copywriter

​Brands like Apple, Coca-Cola and Vogue, which rely heavily on selling a concept and an idea to the consumer, spend vast amounts of money on these campaigns.  They can do that because once someone starts identifying with a brand at their core being, they will be buying for a lifetime.

When it comes to online copy, copywriters will write landing pages and core sales pages, sometimes shopping cart pages too.  Any touch point where the reader is close to purchasing something, a good copywriter can increase conversion rates and capture more sales. ​

What Core Skills Do Copywriters Have?

Copywriters need to be creative but also analytical and be able to create content around a central goal and track it.  There are a ton of different goals one might have.

For example, Coca-Cola might come to an ad agency and say; “Our market research is showing that consumer behaviour is now preferring healthy drinks, smoothies and juices. How do we position Coca-Cola so that it is still a preferred soft drink and increase our sales by XX?”.

The campaign will be created to shift consumer behaviour and so the creative will be wrapped around this core goal.

Another goal could be that a business coach wants to increase the sales of her coaching program by X, by improving her sales page.  How can she go about doing that whilst still remaining true to her voice and keeping the integrity of her brand?

Copywriters need to be able to take a brief and use market research to back up their concepts and the delivery of their creative.

Should You Hire A Copywriter? ​

A good copywriter is not cheap, the work they do is very advanced stuff requiring years and years of education and practice. Hire a copywriter for the really important sales touch points in your customer journey.

If your budget is small then your sales page is the first place to start. A good copywriter can cost anywhere between $1,500 – $2,000 and up for a single sales page. But the value you get in return from increased sales will be huge, so it is well worth it.

Of course, I love the written word, I find it one of the most powerful, everlasting and important forms of communication there is.  My recommendation is to spend as much as you can on quality copy.

When hiring a copywriter, double check that is what they specialise in.  Many online writers say they are copywriters when actually they are content writers using the term to add $$ to their pricing. Copywriting is a specialist skill so watch out for those who say they can do it all!

What Do Content Writers Specialise In?

Content writers specialise in writing online content which is produced to educate, entertain or inspire an audience into taking an action.  More often than not, content writers are focused less on sales and more on lead generation.

Content writers will be writing the 90% of the web that comes through Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, your favourite blogs and online magazines. These could be blog posts, guest posts and social media updates.

Content writers focus more on the top of the funnel, they are attracting the first eyeballs into the brand, copywriters will convert them. Content writers will tend to focus more on competitor research, keyword research and positioning the content in a way which will engage the reader and drive a subscription, provoke a social media share or a comment.

When it comes to guest posts, content writers will also be focused on link building and improving the SEO of the site they are writing for. ​

What Core Skills Do Content Writers Have?

Content writers also need to be creative and analytical, able to track what is and isn’t working.   They need to be able to think quick on their feet and produce a high level of quality, engaging content at a quicker rate than copywriters.
The Difference Between A Content Writer and A Copywriter

​Copywriters might write several landing pages a month, content writers might be writing 4 or 5 long form pieces per day.  They need to have strong attention to detail and be able to think imaginatively and creatively.  They also need SEO skills and they should understand the basics of content marketing on the web.

Should You Hire A Content Writer? ​

If your strategy is heavily focused on using content marketing to generate leads then you should consider hiring a content writer.  They can produce your blog posts, guest posts and all of your social media updates. Many can even produce your email newsletter (though if you can afford it I would invest in a copywriter for your newsletter, especially if you are focusing on selling affiliate products or your own products through your newsletter).

Good content writers will also have an understanding of marketing on the web and how the content they produce for you fits into an overarching Digital Marketing Strategy. They can provide you with extra ideas and some advice about how to grow your leads and subscribers through Content Marketing.  They should also be staying up to date with the rapid changes that happen in the online world.  It is very handy to have a good content writer on your team!

Do We Focus On Copywriting Or Content Writing At Ginger Marketing?

We focus on content writing, this kind of writing lies at the core of producing quality blog and guest posts.  However, we don’t just simply ignore copywriting.  We spend one day a month learning about copywriting tools and techniques and then write down how we can start practically applying it to the editing stage of our content to improve client results.

For us, a key indicator of content success for clients is the engagement. We track how many social shares and comments each piece of content receives.  Copywriting tactics can be subtly applied to blog and guest post writing to improve this engagement.

Speedy Summary!