Understanding the Difference Between Content Writing and Copywriting: A Guide for New Writers 

Understanding the Difference Between Content Writing and Copywriting

Copywriting and content writing are terms you've probably heard of if you're a marketer, businessman, or someone who wants to start a career in writing.

But do you know the difference? How much can you earn from copywriting and content writing? How essential are these skills for business? Or if you are a complete beginner, which is a better career option for you, and where should you start?

Well, we will find out answers to the above questions.

Let me start by saying they are two sides of the same coin and differ in many ways. Content and copy are crucial for businesses, but they serve different purposes.

All businesses around the world need both copywriters and content writers.

Selling products and services is easier when a business has high brand loyalty. The content creates brand loyalty and engagement, and copy makes conversions and sales.

Let me further simplify it for you.

Content writing = Educating, building relationships, and providing value to your audience.

Copywriting = Persuading your audience to take some action.

Content writing example:

Let's say you're planning a trip to Rome, Italy, and looking for things to do while you're there. You search in Google for “best places to visit in Rome” and find a website with a blog article, “Top 10 Must-See Sights in Rome, Italy.”

Each sight is detailed, with information on its history, significance, and why it's worth visiting. This is an example of content writing – the goal is to provide valuable information to the reader to help them plan their trip and make the most of their visit.

Copywriting example:

Suppose you're scrolling through Instagram and you come across an ad for a new skincare beauty product.

The ad reads:

Transform your skin with our revolutionary new serum! 92% of users saw results in just one week. Get yours now!

Here the goal is to persuade the target audience to purchase the product using persuasive language and highlighting the benefits.

Easy. Right?

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You can call yourself a content writer when you can write blog posts, articles, social media copy, or other content forms that educate the reader and provide value to them. The content writer builds trust and loyalty with the audience through helpful content.

Content writers produce the following types:

  • Articles
  • E-books
  • Press releases
  • Business pages
  • Listicles
  • Blogs
  • Newsletters
  • How-to-guides
  • Magazines
  • Whitepapers
  • Podcasts,
  • Scripts (television, film, videos), and so on.

On the other hand, copywriting is all about persuasion. Copywriter's main intention is to write compelling copy that convinces the readers to take action, such as buying a product, signing up for a service, downloading an e-book, or filling out a form.

Copywriters produce the following types:

  • Ad copy (online/offline)
  • Sales pages
  • Landing pages
  • Flyers/Brochures
  • Product descriptions,
  • Billboards
  • Sales email campaigns,
  • Taglines
  • Social media postings
  • Product sites, and so on.
Understanding the Difference Between Content Writing and Copywriting

The following points will help you understand content writing and copywriting even better:

Content Writer's responsibilities

  • Creating informative and engaging pieces of copy
  • Providing value to the reader by educating or entertaining them
  • Writing blog posts, articles, whitepapers, and other forms of written content
  • Focused on building a relationship with the reader
  • Typically writing longer lengths and more in-depth content
  • Can include personal stories and anecdotes to connect with the reader
  • Often including keywords for search engine optimization purposes
  • The goal is to inform and educate the audience, and not necessarily to sell something
  • Establishing thought leadership in a particular industry

Copywriter's responsibilities

  • Writing that is intended to persuade the reader to take a specific action
  • Writing copy for advertising, marketing, and sales pages
  • The primary goal is to sell a product or service
  • Often writing shorter in length and more direct copy
  • Using persuasive language and emotional appeals to convince the reader to take action
  • Calls to action may include “buy now,” “download now,” or “sign up today.”
  • Involving in extensive research into the target audience and market
  • Writing copy that creates a sense of urgency or scarcity to encourage the reader to take action
  • It can be used to differentiate a product or service from competitors

How do you decide which one is right for you?

Before choosing between the two, ask these questions that can help you make the decision:

  • What do I want to achieve as a writer?
  • Do I want to write for myself or for others?
  • What kinds of writing do I enjoy?
  • Do I want to write long-form content or short, snappy copy?
  • Do I want to specialize in a particular subject area or write more generalist pieces?

These questions will give you clarity about which type of writing suits you. It all depends on what you want to achieve as a writer.

Copywriting and content writing require strong writing skills. If you're not confident in your writing ability; you must practice and sharpen your skills before trying either type.

The art of storytelling is essential for copywriters and content writers, regardless of whether they are writing a sales page or a blog post.

Both copywriters and content writers need to research, create drafts and outlines, and invest much time into becoming specialized and experienced writers.

And now, the big question on your mind…

Who earns more, copywriter or content writer?

While you can make excellent living content writing, copywriters do get paid more in general, and this is because they play a direct role in facilitating sales and revenue in an organization.

Content writers can typically only charge a flat rate based on the article, word count, or monthly deliverables; they charge based on hours spent or specific deliverables.

A skilled copywriter can:

  • Charge a higher hourly rate,
  • Earn a higher monthly retainer,
  • And even earn a commission for each sale made.

Copywriters make more, and there is much more opportunity for growth and income as companies tend to price copy based on the overall value and impact on the bottom line.

Since it takes time to develop a brand voice and the skill to convert, once a company has found a copywriter they love to work with, they don't want to lose them.


Copywriting and content writing skills go hand in hand. Content and copy are the forms of writing. The core difference between copywriting and content writing is that content writing is a more informative and educative form of content that pulls audience traffic to your website.

Therefore, go for content writing to inform and educate the audience. And copywriting is a good choice if you enjoy writing to persuade and sell a product or service.

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