Copywriting vs Content Writing In 2024: Why You Need Both?

by Eddy Ballesteros - Updated: November 23, 2023

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Content marketing is the core of online business growth. To make a content marketing strategy work, you need to have these two core skills to produce results that matter.

It all boils down to content writing and sales copy.

If you're someone who doesn't know whether you should focus on your copywriting or content writing skills, then you're in the right place.

As you create valuable content whether it's as:

  • articles or blog posts
  • sales emails
  • social media posts
  • video scripts
  • text ads
  • landing pages
  • white papers
  • social media captions

Learning these two skills will help you with search engine optimization and building a writing career that produces high-quality content.

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These copies are used in different stages of marketing and serve other goals. 

Some copies are written to raise brand awareness, some to drive sales, and some to educate potential customers.  When used correctly, content marketing can skyrocket any business sales. 

But most business owners struggle to leverage it. Why?

Because they don't know how to build relationships and have no clear call to action in their article. This is why copywriting vs content writing is important to understand.

Content Writing vs. copywriting Eddyballe

It's essential to differentiate copywriting from content writing, as it's easy to confuse them with each other when they're two different high-income skills. 

Both copywriting and content writing are essential for your business. 

Content writing helps drive organic traffic and build an audience, while copywriting brings immediate and future sales.

It might be confusing. Keep reading this post as you’ll learn:

  • What is copywriting and  content writing
  • What are there major differences
  • Why do you need both & where

So, let’s begin.

Overview: The Biggest Difference Between The Two

Copywriters

  • Short-form content used for marketing purposes
  • Work on marketing copy
  • Use sales frameworks such as AIDA
  • Focuses on content strategy and conversion rate metrics
  • Email campaigns
  • Produce copy to persuade readers

Content Writers

  • Long-form content
  • Can write a well-written blog post
  • Focuses on SEO content
  • Write for search intent
  • Focuses on optimizing for search engines

What is Copywriting?

In simple words, copywriting sells and targets marketing goals. 

Copywriting is creating copy to advertise a company and its product or services. The purpose of copywriting is to get immediate action, such as sales.

Copywriters and advertising agencies often brainstorm creative ideas to craft compelling copies that drive action. 

Copywriting is generally short-form content. Different forms of copywriting are sales, marketing, advertising, etc.  But most of all, you will focus on short-form copy.

There is also a new form of writing called AI copywriting that involves the use of AI writing software to create copy that is more engaging and personalized. AI copywriting can help businesses generate more leads, increase conversions, and maximize ROI. 

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Another goal of copywriting can be to make a brand memorable.

This includes creating a brand voice that sticks in your audience's minds. Value propositions, taglines, mission & visions are examples of brand copywriting.  

Remember Nike's ‘let's do it'? I'm sure their marketing teams came up with that. As a business owner, you need copywriting to sell a brand, product, service, or idea. 

Okay, there's a time when you must convince, convert, and sell people. But you don't have to do it all the time. You would annoy your customers if you did that. 

That's why you need content writing. 

What is Content Writing?

In simple words, content writing educates, informs, or entertains. 

Content writing is creating content to educate your readers. The purpose is to nurture them by answering questions and giving tips, strategies, and hacks that make their lives easier. 

Content writers simplify complex problems into digestible bits of information that help the readers and result in brand loyalty. 

Content writing involves both shorter and longer form content. A content writer works on different things: blog posts, ebooks, newsletters, guides, tutorials, etc. 

Another primary goal of this skill is to increase visibility which I call SEO content writing. 

To make consistent sales, you need to generate constant traffic. It would be best if you were visible on a traffic-driving channel like Google to create this traffic. 

And to rank on Google, you need SEO.  This is to rank in search results and rank for more more keywords.

An SEO content writer understands how to write content that answers users' questions and satisfies search engines.

You might have seen this term floating around: SEO copywriting.

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So it should be a form of copywriting. Wrong. Because there's no such thing.

If you look online at its meaning, you will find blog posts talking about the SEO optimization process of blog posts. So, SEO copywriting is the same as content writing. It's nothing new.

Content writing nurtures your target customers and educates them about your products, while copywriting sells them.

The Key Differences Between Content Writing and Copywriting

Both content writing and copywriting are word games, so it's easy to think they're the same. Both have many similarities, but there are two key differences between them: 

  • The intent while creating the copy
  • The purpose of creating it.

The Main Purpose of Copywriting

Copywriting focuses on sales.

A business only grows if it makes a profit through consistent sales. 

To make consistent sales, you need to make your potential customers feel the need for your product or service. They usually have the problem, but it's not a priority, so they ignore it. 

Copywriters create copy that highlights this need and creates urgency. 

They craft their message so that the target audience starts realizing how big the problem is and how it's affecting their lives. And then present the product (or service) as the only solution.

Here's an example of a viral tweet I wrote using marketing copy:

Eddyballe viral tweet

A copywriter intends to make sales. He wants to increase sales while helping his target audience find a permanent solution to their problems. 

The ultimate goal of a copywriter is to bring immediate sales by leveraging the trust built so far by content writing. 

The Main Purpose of Content Writing

Content writing focuses on SEO and driving traffic. 

For a business to make consistent sales, it must get new leads. And to get new leads, it must use content marketing. 

Content marketers create a strategy to publish valuable content that drives organic traffic from Google and other sources. This traffic converts into leads and is nurtured with more content to be turned into customers later.

A content writer intends to educate his target audience. Content writers understand that their readers might not know everything, so they must use their writing skills to teach them.

The ultimate goal of a content writer is to build a trustworthy relationship with the reader rather than bringing immediate sales.  

Why Do You Need Both for Better Writing Skills?

Whether you're a business owner, blogger, or freelance writer, learning both copywriting and content writing is essential to growing in any field. You can't choose one as both go together. 

Also, if you hire a blog writing service, you'll want to ensure they understand copywriting and content writing strongly.

Because both are two essential parts of a digital marketing strategy, content creation is vital at any stage of a business. The key is differentiating the two and using the right one at the right time.

Why? Because: 

  • You can't sell to an audience that isn't nurtured first. 
  • You can't keep encouraging an audience and not sell to them.

Yes, a business runs if it makes sales, but sales are not all the parts. There are many steps in between.

If one of your business goals is to earn a profit, you want to keep driving traffic - this is where you need content writing.

But driving traffic is insufficient as random visitors won't buy from you. That's why you need copywriting to nurture this traffic into warm leads.

And once the trust is built, you again use copywriting to craft a powerful sales copy to make sales. That's where you earn profits. 

But you don't leave your customers after they've bought from you once because you can upsell to them. You keep nurturing them using content writing for future sales. 

You also use copywriting on your website pages to make your brand memorable. 

That’s how you build great relationships with your customers. That’s how you build a brand that sticks. And that’s how you leverage both copywriting and content writing to grow a successful online business

In a nutshell, content writing is for your long-term strategy and copywriting to bring quicker results. 

How to Learn Copywriting?

The best way to learn both skills is to read and practice lots of them. 

You want to read and observe copies for copywriting and find the angles, pain points, problems, stories, offers, etc. You want to figure out how a copy is written to:

  • capture the reader's attention, 
  • highlight the problem, and 
  • lay out the solution.

Copywriting formulas like PAS, AIDA, etc., make writing copy easy. 

To get started, read the book ‘How to write copy that sells by the copywriting legend Ray Edwards. Or start following tips from famous copywriting blogs like Copyblogger or CopyHackers.

How to Learn Content Writing?

For content writing, reading, and observing help. But it would be best to practice a lot since you're also working with SEO

SEO is constantly evolving, so you must stay with the latest strategies that work. And make writing a daily task. The more you write, the better you get at it. 

Follow some writing blogs like SmartBlogger or do daily writing exercises. 

A good content writer is a great researcher. You need research skills to produce credible content backed up by original sources.

Related Blog Post: How To Start Blogging With AI

My Personal Experience With With Content Writing And Copywriting

After quitting my job and focusing on blogging, I've learned the skills of both marketing copy and long-form blog posts.

To have a successful business, I think you need both to compliment your writing skills and take your content game to the next level. Once you incorporate both, you can keep users reading your blog posts and potentially earn sales with excellent sales copy.

So content writers learn both and write for search engines while hitting customer pain points.

So, Copywriting vs Content Writing: Which is Better?

Both copywriters and content writers work with words, yet they do different jobs. 

As a business owner, you need both to run successful digital marketing campaigns. If you're a service provider, you can offer the other as an extra service and get paid more. 

And if you're a blogger who already is a content writer, you can use copywriting techniques to grow your blog income by making more affiliate or product sales. 

Which one is better? 

The answer is... it doesn’t matter. Both are important if you want to stay in business for a long time. 

So, if you have not used copywriting and content writing in your content marketing strategy and are wondering why your sales are low, you already know where you're wrong.

It's time to leverage both and grow your business. Are you ready?

Eddy is an AI, SEO, and personal finance blogger who uses and tests products to help others improve their lives through AI and financial literacy. With years of experience in online business, he deeply understands the latest AI and SEO trends. Eddy is also well-knowledged in personal finance and committed to sharing his knowledge and expertise with his readers.

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