Copywriting vs. Content Writing: What Is The Difference?


Often mistakenly used interchangeably, these two writing styles require varying skill sets and play different essential roles in the online realm.

Copywriting is strictly focused on advertising and marketing with the end goal of driving sales. On the other hand, content writing is more geared towards informing and entertaining readers.

Both forms of writing are essential to building a well-rounded and credible online business. Therefore, copywriting and content writing often appear side-by-side on websites and even social media.

It’s a well-known fact that the recent global pandemic sent consumers rushing online to make more digital purchases than ever. As stated by Statista, “In 2020, there were a total of 256 million digital buyers in the United States”, with the expectation for that number to rise.

Copywriting vs. Content Writing statistics

As such, businesses worldwide have stepped up their online marketing and advertising efforts resulting in the world of eCommerce quickly growing into an even more competitive industry.

Freelance professionals such as copywriters and content writers are in high demand for their ability to draw more traffic to websites and write compelling content to drive sales.

More so now than ever, businesses, brands, and even influencers are turning to freelancers for content that attracts audiences and sells.

So, whether you are an aspiring freelance writer or a business owner hoping to hire a credible copywriter or content writer, it is important to know the differences and uses between copywriting and content writing.

Furthermore, as a business owner, it is essential for you to know how to ask the right questions to hire the perfect writer for your business.

After all, the website or social media content your customers see will be in their hands. Check out our tips below for more information about hiring the right writers for your business.

Although freelancing has exploded in popularity over recent years, there’s still room for more copywriters and content writers!

Read on for more details about how to determine if you are more adept at copywriting or content writing.

The Copywriting Style

Copywriting vs. Content Writing

Writing copy involves creating content with the intent to sell. Copywriters are skilled at putting themselves in the consumer’s shoes to write content that will entice buyers to make a purchase.

The role of a copywriter is quite complex. They must strike a balance between consumer needs and desires while creating content that will draw traffic to the website with the goal of making a sale.

Copywriters know what content to write that will please the business’ target audience. As such, they can be excellent in helping enterprises achieve conversion goals through various modes of copywriting.

Common Types of Copywriting:

For example, a new clothing brand may hire a professional copywriter to write enticing social media ad content alongside website content with a catchy call-to-action.

The Content Writing Style

At first glance, it may seem as though copywriters have a more critical job regarding the success of an online business. However, both types of writers have essential roles when reaching target audiences.

Content writers have the job of writing website or social media content that will inform and entertain the target audience.

This is very different from a copywriter’s job, which is to create content with the sole purpose of selling products or services.

While content writers and copywriters may overlap in where their work is displayed, the intent of their writing plays different roles in the interest of the target audience.

Common Types of Content Writing:

  • eBooks
  • Blog Posts
  • Newsletters
  • Website Content
  • Social Media Posts

To illustrate, the same clothing brand mentioned before hires a content writer to create informative blogs about fashion that will also build an image of a particular lifestyle for their audience.

While these blogs intend to inform and entertain, they are valuable in the way they entice customers to click further to view the brand’s clothing line.

The Benefits of Hiring Copywriters and Content Writers

There’s a lot of value that comes with hiring outside content writers and copywriters to promote your business and inform your target audience.

Hiring outside freelance content writers and copywriters can offer a business the valuable opinion of an outside professional. They can provide new insight and bring fresh flavor to your business’ content.

So, even if your on-staff graphic designer or your second cousin happens to know how to write decently, there is value in hiring someone who specializes in the type of writing you need and hasn’t been closely working with your business previously.

Freelance copywriters and content writers will conduct in-depth competitor research to see what is working and not working for other companies in your industry.

Not only are they skilled researchers, but they have great intuition about what type of content works. As you can imagine, this can be very beneficial to helping you establish a prominent online presence!

Establishing a professional relationship with a content writer and a copywriter can also give you time to focus on what you do best– running your business.

To begin planning out all of the content that needs to be written for your business’ website and social media, we recommend all business owners, brands, and influencers utilize a Content Calendar.

Hiring the Right Writer for Your Business’ Needs

As mentioned, the freelance writing industry is quite competitive, with many freelancers ready and prepared to write for your business or brand.

There are a few easy steps you can take and questions you can ask to ensure you are hiring the right copywriter and content writer for your business!

What to Look for When Hiring a Freelance Writer:

  • Versatile Portfolio: Keep in mind that a writer doesn’t have to have previous experience writing for your exact niche to do an excellent job. Instead, we recommend you seek out a professional for their versatility versus experience in your pinpointed field.

Whether they have an actual portfolio or share a few links to their work, their content should demonstrate their versatility. So, ask yourself, do you see this writer creating content to your satisfaction regarding your business?

  • Previous Reviews: Does the freelance professional have any previous testimonials or reviews you can view? This could give you more insight into their past interactions with clients.

With new talented professionals entering into freelancing every day, it’s important for you not to rule out new freelancers who may not have reviews yet. Remember, that new freelancer could be the perfect match for your business!

  • Relevant Credentials: Do they have college experience, a previous professional, or even certifications that qualify them for this position?

While these credentials aren’t required for being a talented writer, they can reassure you that you are in good hands. Check out this article for more Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Content Writer on Legiit.

  • Prompt and Responsive: Content writers and copywriters should be quick in their replies and responsive to any questions you have about their credentials. As a tip, it is a good idea to observe any time zone differences before ruling out a prospect.

For example, it may be 5 PM your time but 3 AM their time; make sure you’re giving freelancers time to respond in the context of their time zone.

  • Clear Service Descriptions: While reviewing their copywriting or content writing service descriptions, do you have a clear view of what they are offering?

Can you determine the exact service they are offering, or is it vague or confusing? A writer’s service description is an excellent insight into their writing style.

  • Knowledgeable and Realistic: Look for copywriters and content writers who are knowledgeable about their craft and also realistic about their time and abilities.

Instead of feeding you the answers they think you want to hear, great freelance professionals will be upfront and honest about their skillset and availability.

  • Two Birds, One Stone: Although content writers and copywriters create content for different purposes, it is possible and common for a writer to have both skill sets. That’s right; one professional can be skilled in the two areas of writing.

If you are interested in working with only one professional, you can ask if they are experienced in writing for both purposes.

There are many freelance categories available to help businesses establish a successful online presence. Review this list of the Best Services On Legiit For E-Commerce Store Owners!

Pinpointing Your Style and Skills as a Writer

Determining your writing style and pinpointing your skills can be as easy as asking yourself a series of reflective questions.

Furthermore, you can review the definitions and duties of a copywriter versus a content writer to determine your preference between the two. As mentioned, it is possible for one writer to be skilled in both styles!

Reflective Questions to Determine Your Style:

  • Do you enjoy analyzing what brands do to successfully market their products or services?
  • Do you prefer to write shorter pieces that make a big impact over longer pieces?
  • What is your tolerance for sitting for long periods of time and writing?
  • Are you skilled at researching different industries to learn about workflows, policies, regulations, etc.?
  • When reviewing the copywriter and content writer descriptions, do you identify with both skill sets?

More so now than ever, it is possible to use your skills as a writer to build an online freelancing career. For first steps, here is a Realistic Guide on Getting Started as a freelancer.

Let’s Get Started!

Finding the right copywriter or content writer to fit your needs can be a challenging venture. Sign up on Legiit for access to some of the Internet’s best freelancers!

Are you interested in getting started as a copywriter or content writer? With more businesses establishing a presence online, there is more than enough room for more freelance writers!

Drawing attention to your expertise and services should be your first step. Get a head start on learning How to Market Yourself as a Freelancer!


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