Content writer vs copywriter: When to use both

February 12, 2023

Understanding where and when to tap on the shoulders of a copywriter versus a content writer will be important to your marketing strategy.

While both roles are important for the success of a marketing campaign, the two roles are distinct, and understanding the nuances between the two is the difference between hiring a long-term strategist and a short-term persuasion artist.

In this blog post, you’ll learn more about the differences between copywriters and content writers, so you can make the right decision throughout your marketing journey.


What is copywriting?

Copywriting is a type of writing that is crafted to productively engage target audiences, demonstrating the value of products or services and driving them to convert.

By strategically creating content such as sales emails, email campaigns, and social media captions, advertisers are able to communicate with potential customers in a manner mindful of their needs, preferences, motivations, and attitudes.

Copywriting provides effective content that can generally get readers interested in your business while prompting action.

Copywriters tend to lean toward creating and using persuasive messages to deliver benefits to your customers and prospects.

When to use a copywriter for the job

A copywriter will come in handy when it comes to writing shorter messaging such as social media posts, advertising campaigns, and calls to action.

When it comes to finding a copywriter or looking for a copywriting job you can count on these titles to get you the best search results:

  • Copy Editor
  • Brand Writer
  • Marketing Copywriter
  • Advertising Copywriter
  • Digital Copywriter
  • Ecommerce Copywriter
  • Social Media Copywriter
  • Conversion Copywriter
  • Freelance Copywriter

If you are actively looking to hire or looking for employment try these job titles or slight variations of them.

In essence, when you are looking for a direct response to the copy, as in you are looking for an action after reading the copy, you are most likely looking for a copywriter.

The copywriter will be responsible for writing brand messaging that is persuasive, offers a solution, and is interesting to read.

What is content writing?

Content writing is an important piece of the digital marketing puzzle. It goes beyond blog post writing to help create an overall strategy that also supports business goals.

While blog posts may be the most visible form of content writing, they also include other forms such as website copy, product descriptions, and email newsletters - with the focus being on the customer.

Content writing differs from copywriting in that it often involves meticulous research for topics related to optimized search engine results and long-form storytelling, whereas copywriting seeks more of a direct sales pitch.

However there can be overlap between these two disciplines, and at times they can be employed together successfully in the form of content marketing campaigns.

When to use a content writer for the job

Content writers will be asked to be regular stakeholders in the content marketing strategy with their remit to create high-quality content to bring in organic traffic as a primary KPI.

SEO (search engine optimization) is likely a skill set that sets apart junior and advanced content writers. The difference between valuable content and an abandoned blog post is difficult to master unless you are trained in the fundamentals of SEO with the aid of proper blogging tools.

The job can even get so technical as to write white papers for certain aspects of a product.

If you're looking for an expert to fill your content marketing role, try these titles:

  • Content Writer
  • SEO Content Writer
  • Marketing Content Writer
  • Medica Content Writer
  • Content Strategist
  • B2B Content Writer

Copywriting vs. content writing - spot the difference

We often ask questions to find the differences between copywriting and content writing, but really we should be asking how experienced copywriters and content writers can complement one another.

Here's an example from HubSpot blog post. The main blog itself is written by a content writer, however, the pieces that relate to the CTA (call to action) and pop-ups in the corner are likely written by a copywriter.

The highlighted portions of the image below are written by copywriters.

Credit: - Example of where copywriters typically write the calls to action and pop-ups


Wrapping it up

A content writer will write your longer-form blog articles and email newsletters. They should have a seat at the content strategy sessions and their key measure should be driving more traffic to web pages.

Content writers should have a deeper understanding of SEO compared to a copywriter with their primary objective to inform the readers.

A copywriter's main purpose is to convert traffic into sales using persuasion techniques with short-form copy.

You will typically want to deploy them to write your tag lines, calls to action, and ad copy. A good copywriter should also understand SEO but not to the extent that a content writer would. Their key measure should be organic traffic leads.

By exploring the details of both of these skill types, you now have the tools to make an informed decision. Do you need a long-term content writer or a copywriter that writes snappy attention-grabbing copy?


Turn web searching into newsletters, seamlessly. Start curating your newsletters in under 10 minutes.

more goodbits

You Might Also Like