I’ve been a content writer in Leigh, Manchester, for several years now, always based somewhere in Greater Manchester and I get asked this question a lot: Just what is the difference between a copywriter and a content writer?
There are a lot of similarities between the two disciplines, but there some important and clear differences also. For me, the answer to this old question is pretty straightforward, but obviously not everybody can say the same so let’s take a closer look.
Just what is a content writer?
This is me. A content writer in Leigh, although I could be from anywhere in the world – all that is needed is a laptop and an internet connection. Put extremely simply, I write content. But, there has to be more to it than that, surely that can’t be the whole thing? Well, there is a bit more to than that, yes.
The content is normally of the long-form variety – 900 words and above – that is full of helpful detail and optimised for search engines. There’s those two magic words; optimisation & search. This is done using synonyms and not just straight keywords, which is always preferred.
When I sit down to write content, I think of the keywords that I can use, how they relate to the content as a whole, which synonyms would work best and where external links could be used. Links and depth are important for creating so-called ‘evergreen content’. This type of content appears as blog posts, articles, feature’s in magazines, whitepapers and many other types of long-form pieces.
Creating this type of copy isn’t always easy, but it does get better with practice and I’ve certainly had lots of that. With time though, the skills and knowledge can be acquired.
It is said that inside every content writer is a journalist tying to break free (and not because I ate one, thank you). Higher word counts and heavy on detail, the content I create tend to fare quite well when shared around online.
Now, back to the original question: What on earth is different between a content writer and a copywriter?
So, What Is A Copywriter?
Copywriters tend to write advertisement copy, creating shorter pieces geared toward having the most impact in a small space. Headlines are speciality, as are advertisement snippets and slogans. There is no strict rule saying that copywriters cannot create long-form copy, indeed many of them have stepped over the border into content writer territory.
With smaller spaces to work in, such as in marketing campaigns, the copywriter must develop the ability to tell a convincing, engaging and persuasive story in relatively few words – not something that everybody can do. As a content writer I have tackled this kind of work myself, and I do have a knack for it although I much prefer being able to run free with more space to tell a more in-depth ‘story’.
Copywriters tend to write in a more humorous tone, also, so a sense of brevity is just as important as being a convincing writer.
The Content Writer And The Copywriter – How Do They Work?
Two sides of the same shiny coin, and neither is ‘easier’ or ‘harder’ than the other; they both have their difficulties and challenges. Clearly, each profession has its differences and this should be kept in mind when looking to hire a content writer in Leigh, or anywhere else, or a copywriter – although I am comfortable wearing both hats.
Deadlines can have an effect also, with content writers typically able to produce content much faster than a copywriter. This is partly because, when a project is started, there is a clear path to be taken – client ‘A’ needs 3 blog posts a week based on solar energy, for example. This type of requirement moves content along very smoothly and allows the content writer to plan their time almost to the minute.
Copywriters are usually called upon at the last moment, which can play havoc with schedules but it does hone their deadline meeting skills! Having worked in both camps, I can say that I have the unique ability to be able to draw from both disciplines which helps tremendously, as you can probably imagine.
From a business owner’s point of view, it makes sense to hire a writer that is capable of working in both areas rather than hiring two different people. Of course, businesses could write their own content, keeping semantic SEO in mind of course.
There is nothing magical nor mysterious about either content writers or copywriters, but they both play an important role in site visibility, marketing and ultimately improving sales. By working together, or one capable writer working in both roles, content writers and copywriters are able to tell the story that the business needs to be told and in the best way possible for their brand, customers and future prospects.
Now That You Know, What Next?
If you would like to know more about what a content writer is and how they differ from copywriters,why not drop me a line? You can use the contact form or if you are on Facebook you can use the floating messenger button at the bottom of every page.
Until then, keep on keeping on. Leave a comment below, let me know what you think of the whole thing. Do you take care of your own copy? What’s your favourite method of getting your message out there?