Copywriting vs Content Writing (Which Does Your Business Need?)

June 20, 2019 | Sean Foo

Copywriting vs content writing, what is the difference and which do you need?

Here’s the quick answer: when you want to sell your products, drive conversions and close sales – you’ll need copywriting.

Content writing, on the other hand, is what you’ll use to attract your target audience online and engage them to build trust with your brand.

The key difference lies in their unique purpose and how they fit into your business objectives online.

If you are entrusting a copywriting project to a content writer and vice versa, it’s time to stop!

In this article, we will take you through everything you need to know about copywriting, content writing and which is ideal for your situation and business goals!


What Is Copywriting?

Copywriting is writing that is persuasive utilizing both emotional and logical arguments to get your readers to take action.

This can be anything from signing-up for your email list, leaving an enquiry on your contact form or directly buying your product online.

While you might be familiar with the mad-men big advertising version of copywriting; catchy slogans, creative namings and taglines – copywriting is much more than that!

It exists in virtually every medium online and offline that is seeking for a tangible result, the formats include:

  • Social media ads
  • Landing pages
  • Website product and service pages
  • Email sequences
  • Project proposals, prospectus & more…

From big iconic brands to new startups, copywriting is used as the secret ingredient that helps to close sales.

This is an example of online copywriting from Moz.

It highlights user benefits while addressing customer objections to get them to take the desired action – clicking on the button and hopping onto a free trial.

Want more copywriting inspirations? Check out these awesome copywriting examples from the world’s most successful businesses.


Why You Need Copywriting – To Inspire Action & Close Sales

At its core copywriting is done to promote your products and services – after all, they won’t sell by themselves!

To accomplish that, effective copywriting follows a proven structure of:

1. Capturing the reader’s Attention

2. Stimulating their Interest to learn more about your solution

3. Inflaming their Desire for your solution while establishing your brand’s credibility

4. Compelling the reader to Take Action towards your desired outcome

Powerful copywriting that converts focuses on a balance of logical arguments mixed with psychological triggers.

Logical arguments that satisfy the tangible needs and desires of your reader, utilizing copywriting principles & techniques such as:

  • Leading with the benefits and justifying with its features
  • Pre-empting and addressing your reader’s potential objections
  • Building trust and authority through social proof elements

Persuasive copywriting also uses psychological hooks that stirs (and sometimes play) with your reader’s emotions. These emotional tactics include:

  • Injecting the fear of missing out (FOMO)
  • Storytelling that identifies with your readers
  • Bringing out the tribal desire to belong

At the end of the day, all the attention gained from your marketing efforts is wasted if it doesn’t convert into leads and sales – and that’s what copywriting delivers.


What Is Content Writing

Content writing is all about the creation of information that is helpful and valuable to your audience.

While this information has an underlying marketing purpose of building your brand awareness, it is focused on the needs of your reader.

The aim of content writing includes:

  • Solving the immediate challenges they face in their daily lives/work
  • Inspiring them to become better and more effective in that they do
  • Informing them about the latest industry trends or critical information they should know

Content writing doesn’t just limit itself to blog posts and articles, it also exists in a variety of mediums such as:

  • Infographics
  • Video & podcast scripts
  • Press releases

This is an example of content writing from the Moz Blog.

They craft content articles that give valuable and instructional information on SEO tips as well as the state of the SEO industry.


Content Writing’s Purpose: To Market Your Brand

Your ideal customers all have their daily challenges and goals to meet in their lives – this is where content writing comes in.

It is about marketing your business and brand by adding value to their lives.

Now, depending on your business, this can extend beyond just serious education about your brand’s product and services – it can also be comedic and fun to lighten up their day!

5 tips to remember for your content writing:

1. Conduct a thorough SEO keyword research to write on topics that have search demand but aren’t too overly competitive

2. Follow a structure that is easy to read with clean and clear formatting.

3. Back up your arguments and claims with examples and external sources

4. Be concise and fluff-free. While long form content is great, add value with every line – don’t just write for the sake of writing

5. Develop your brand’s own unique tone and style of voice. (You have to stand out!)


Copywriting & Content Writing are Two Sides of the Same Coin

Imagine a new company just starts driving paid traffic to a landing page filled to the brim with highly persuasive copywriting.

Will it close sales? Possibly.

But it will not perform as well as it can because readers that end up there will have lingering questions about the company and brand:

  • I haven’t seen or heard about this company before
  • How do I know this solution is actually competent in what they are claiming
  • Is this company credible and known around their industry?


See the problem with just relying on copywriting?

Without content writing (and content marketing), all you have is just a sales pitch or a promotional advertisement – and people hate getting sold to, especially if you haven’t built up any goodwill with them.

Conversely, just focusing solely on content writing isn’t the solution – unless you are running a charity, you want to see tangible results.

And that means dollars and cents!

Take, a collaboration software company, for example. They use both content writing and copywriting in their online marketing.


Content writing is used to attract their target audience to their website.

These content articles are crafted specifically to solve the challenges their readers face and earn their attention.


Copywriting is then used to convert this hard-won attention into leads

By utilizing both content writing and copywriting, the company embraces the best of both worlds and reaps the benefits of capturing attention and converting it into sales.


Don’t Just Focus On One

While it might seem tempting to supercharge your marketing efforts entirely with copywriting, there is a line in the sand that you don’t want to cross.

The more you attempt to sell to your audience without giving up front value first, the more they will recoil and find your attempts rather sleazy.

After all, you are going straight for their wallets – who can blame them!

While content writing might seem like a pricey investment to make upfront without any immediate results, do not underestimate the compounding benefits of content marketing.

Powerful content writing helps you eventually bring a qualified audience to your business – we are talking about prospects that pay more and buy more!

And once you a captivated audience that trust and identify with your brand and mission, you can then use masterful copywriting to close the sale.

A win-win proposition for both your business and the customer!


Key Takeaways

Let’s end the debate of copywriting vs content writing – you’ll need both.

At the end of the day, combining copywriting and content writing makes the perfect one-two punch in your online marketing efforts.

Attract your ideal audience with quality content writing that adds value to their lives and solves challenges they are facing – spreading your brand awareness plus building goodwill with your readers.

And once you have their full attention, utilize copywriting to convert your prospects into paying customers for your business!

Want to discuss more about copywriting or content writing?

I’d love to chat with you! Just email me at

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