The real difference between content writing and copywriting

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When talking about digital marketplaces and the recent norm of content marketing, a common dilemma arises. The entire industry is often confused when using the terms content writing and copywriting. Often they place the idea under the same umbrella. Since the two ideas are very closely related to each other, there is still an important line of distinction between the two. The ideals of both are also completely different from each other, and even the goals differ on the outcome. Nevertheless, the points of distinction are vague and cause ambiguity in the different professions and activities around the two.

Creativity is an imperative element in the content industry. Copywriting and content writing depend on it for survival. However, even the use of creativity is completely different, and the skills needed in demand for the two are also a matter of primary difference. There is also a debate raging around the responsibilities in these two respective roles. Many are divided on which is more difficult and which maintains the image of the product in the market. In the face of such questions and biased thoughts, here is an attempt to dispel the clouds on the difference between copywriting and content writing.

Related: The 5 Cs of Content Marketing Copy


Content writing can be defined as the description of the product in simple terms. It is a deep dive into the nature of the product, the features of the product, the usefulness of the product, and the durability of the product. This form of writing aims to educate the consumer about the product or service they are buying or renting. Complex information available on the product is curated by content writing. The writer goes through a study session of the product, its benefits and its flaws. They then write the content, which educates the customer on all aspects of their purchase. Blog posts, FAQ sections, how-to articles, detailed product descriptions, email newsletters, and e-books are all examples of content writing.

Copywriting is not such a complete and detailed reading of content. It is addressed to consumers for the sole purpose of guiding their purchasing decision. Content marketing is the primary goal of copywriting. They intend to entice customers with engaging and catchy lines and phrases to grab their attention. The copy of a marketing campaign usually highlights the product as the effective commodity missing from the consumer’s life. It is also based on market and field research and is written with consumer preference in mind only. The research data is used to read the customer’s needs and target phrases to those points. This achieved goal is the birth of a successful campaign. Examples of copywriting would be slogans, billboards, brochures, radio scripts, TV scripts and magazine brochures.

Related: What Does a Copywriter Do? (Infographics)

Main responsibilities

The main responsibility of a content writer is to provide informative content. They must conduct thorough market research and formulate the content demanded by consumers. The content they provide should not be informal and should maintain formal language barriers. The manner of writing must also be attractive. However, content writers should ensure that they do not use any form of pop culture language or slang in their content and ensure that they provide a well-reviewed document. Grammatical errors or errors in phraseology result in a bad reading experience.

The writer’s job even extends to infusing SEO into content. It is imperative for a content writer to have SEO knowledge. There is some debate about the importance of SEO, but when it comes to rankings, searchability, and notoriety, SEO works wonders. A content writer must have pure and unrivaled knowledge of keywords, their usage, effectiveness, backlinking, hyperlinking and all forms of SEO marketing, in order for the content to show up in the search engine . Catchy and informative titles are also very important.

Writing, on the other hand, has a distinct set of responsibilities altogether. The process of every campaign begins when meeting with the product stakeholder. The marketing team is focused on providing a voice and identity to the brand. Attractive slogans and relatable stories about a product or merchandise are based on the common goal of making it a household name. The ad scripts are also designed keeping in mind the needs of the consumer and their basic requirements.

Related: Every Entrepreneur Should Learn These Essential Copywriting Skills

Another point of distinction

Another difference worth mentioning is that the work that comes with writing is not as time-consuming as writing content. The writers target relevant and eye-catching content and strive to make the most of product information and features. However, on the other hand, content writers usually target the long form of content where they can sufficiently address every aspect of the product or service and make the most of the article and space provided. They intend to provide the consumer with timely information that will be useful to him even after the purchase.

Ultimately, both are highly relevant to businesses in their own respective format and are often seen as working in cohesion. In today’s business light, there is an urgent need for both of these departments in a business.

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