Wondering what a copywriter does compared to a content writer?
And I am one.
…Or the other.
If you look it up online, the distinction seems to be that copywriters write short(ish) copy to persuade you to do something like buy or click. (Think adverts).
Content writers, on the other hand, supposedly write longer copy to inform you about something. (Think blog posts or editorial pieces).
More succinctly, you might say ‘copy sells’ while ‘content tells’.
But I’m not entirely sure about that.
Surely short copy must also inform? Why would I buy something if the advert doesn’t inform me of its benefits? And vice versa – a blog post usually persuades me that something is a good idea; to visit, do or buy.
The difference between copy and content was brought up during a recent #ContentClubUK on Twitter and the answers were a mixed bag.
You can find it here.
- Some people felt strongly about it, and believe there is a clear distinction between the roles of copywriter or content writer.
- Some people think that they are definitely different, but there is some crossover.
- And a surprising number of professionals, like me, didn’t quite know the difference.
(Which I found strangely reassuring).
My opinion is that it doesn’t really matter what you call it, as long as both you and the client have the same expectations.
For example: I can call it a bap, while the cafe owner calls it a barm, but as long as we both know I’m getting a delicious bacon butty – it’s hard to care too much about the semantics.
And if words are your bag, then chances are you can turn your hand to all sorts of different types of writing. There’s not much I haven’t written over the years, from radio ads and speeches, to investment proposals and interiors blogs, via healthcare, hospitality and hairdressing.
I don’t believe you need to have a niche, but that’s another story.
Jonathan Wilcock uses this fruity little simile on his blog post about copy vs content:
IT’S ALL BANANAS
“Not everyone reading this will agree with what to me is an indisputable fact – a good copywriter can also be a good content writer, because guess what, it’s not a case of apples or bananas, it’s more like selling the idea of a banana or selling an actual banana – they’re both ultimately extremely banana-y.”
And Claire McCabe said she eventually got bored of having to explain what a copywriter was:
“I spent some time researching this when I first started writing. I get both definitions. But got to the point where I realised that clients don’t know, or care. And I felt the same. They want words, I can give them words. So I am ‘writer’!”
So, to sum up…
Some people are copywriters.
Some people are content writers.
Some people are both.
Some people (me) don’t know which they are.
Some people are, in fact, neither. …Possibly you, I imagine?
So if you need someone to give you a hand with your
copy content writing, then give me a shout and we’ll see if I can help.