Content writer VS Copywriter. What’s the difference?

14th March 2017 / 3 minute read

content writer

It’s pretty much the same thing, right? They both write words on and offline, so it just sounds like two ways of saying you’re a writer.

Well. Actually, they’re pretty different. Although they cross over in terms of their skillsets, there are some clear differences too.

Let’s explore the differences (and similarities)…

What is a content writer?

Simply put, they write content. But what else? Well, my friends, we’re the guys filling websites with the written word. Usually in long-form, optimised for search engines, with a sprinkle of humour where possible.

When we write content, we take keywords into account, the use of links, meta, and all sorts of other factors. A content writer is also familiar with writing ‘evergreen content’, such as articles, blog posts, featured and newspaper pieces.

By nature, content writers are quite journalistic. They like to tell a story, within editorial copy that is filled with intricate details.

What is a copywriter?

Similar in the sense that they also write copy, a copywriter’s work is typically seen in short-form. A copywriter is the person behind straplines, headlines or press ads. You know that print ad you can’t help but laugh at on the tube? Yep, that was a copywriter’s work my friend.

However, this is where the two cross over. While many see a content writer as the king or queen of long-form and a copywriter the leader of short, that doesn’t go to say both can’t dabble in the other. In fact, we’re gradually seeing a transition of copywriters to web writers in marketing, creating a stronger online presence.

copy writer

So, does that mean copywriters are heading in the direction of becoming content writers?

Quite possibly. Copywriters are praised for their creation of persuasive language, teasing readers into thinking or acting in a particular way. Oh the wonders of marketing. Where copywriters truly shine is their ability to use short-form copy to evoke a connection with an audience. In fact, straplines, headers and humour are a copywriter’s best friend.

How do content writers and copywriters work?

These days it can be crucial to have skills of both a copywriter and a content writer. However, that doesn’t mean the two roles don’t work independently. In no uncertain terms is one easier than the other.

Further differences between these two roles include submittal deadlines. Although this isn’t always definitive, content writers tend to have longer lead-times in comparison to copywriters. If you think of a content writer as a planner, they are timeline aware and always familiar with the project they are working on. Meanwhile, a copywriter can be called upon at the last minute to provide copy. While both are agile and adaptable in creating eloquent copy, copywriters are less likely to plan their workload as concisely as a content writer.

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