Content or Copy Writer: How Are They Different?

Posted by Serena Foster | Updated September 23, 2021

Disclosure: Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links, which can provide compensation to me at no cost to you. These are products I’ve personally used and stand behind. This site is not intended to provide financial advice and is for entertainment only. You can read our affiliate disclosure in our privacy policy.

Confusing, isn’t it?

You’ve reached that particular stage where you want to hire a proficient writer to promote your products. At the same time, he should build the trust and authority of your brand. 

So, which one should you choose – A content writer, or a copywriter, or a multi-talented person who can take care of both the activities? 

Often times, people can’t differentiate between the two, and rightly so. 

Content Writer vs Copywriter

You need to be a professional writer or an experienced hiring manager to know the difference. Otherwise, the thin line that separates the two professions will remain invisible to your eyes. Even the newcomers in the writing field can’t see it until they touch the bottom of the ocean called Writing.

Killer Approaches: Cobra vs. Python

With no offense to both, reptiles or humans, the killing approaches of Cobra and Python are way different. 

  • One kills with just one strike, 
  • While, the other suffocates the victim – with no chance of escape – to a painful death. 

None of the two professionals do the killing stuff, but their approaches somehow match with these reptiles. The skillset of content writer and copywriter overlaps, but the former is dramatically different from the latter. 

  • When it comes to selling a brand or promoting a business, writing is extremely nuanced.
  • There’s a hell of a difference in writing style when we talk about building trust and relationships. 

That means you need to dig deeper into their writing approaches to spot the difference. 

Content Types

Content Writer vs Copywriter

Different content types exist;

  • The short content focuses on branding and advertising
  • The long-form educational and informative posts meant for engagement and building trust.

And a business owner is going to rely on both content types to meet his goals. While this post is focused on highlighting differences between the two writing professionals, it’ll help you identify which one to hire, and when. 

So, let’s find out

Content Writer Aims Long-Term Goals

Informing customers about your stuff – what you do and how you do it – increases customer engagement. And a content writer is quite smart in connecting with the audience. He slowly builds that engagement, taking the customers to the next level step-by-step.

Since trust, engagement and relationship building take time, a content writer has an implied responsibility of supporting the content marketing team, through informative posts, and meet marketing objectives. So, you don’t often see any product promotion or CTA in those long-form posts as they’re educational in nature. 

With that, we’ve dissected the frog —- sorry —- content writing, and now, it’s time to see the important elements.

Provide valuable information 

Content Writer

Think about whitepapers, how-to guides, case studies, and other blog posts. What do they offer? Knowledge, information, engagement, etc. 

With the help of such long-form content, the content writer sends a message that the company possesses in-depth knowledge of the industry it belongs to. It’s a strong message to capture the audience. 

Journalistic approach 

What do such long-form content types have in common? They all claim authority.

That’s what content writer is supposed to produce – a well-researched post covering the given topic from all possible angles. It’s called ‘Journalistic Approach’ – just like revealing a whole thing step-by-step. And boy, they’re brilliant at that!

They have extensive research skills to back their claims with solid proofs. Just like him… Well … Almost.

Copy Writer’s Goal

Content Writer vs Copywriter

All those print ads, attention-grabbing emails, jaw-dropping press releases, enticing magazine features, inspirational landing pages, billboards, and so on, are short-form content known as ‘Copy’. And copywriters produce those killer copies (Now you know why they’re called copywriters).  

The goal is quite simple – nail the deal. And this calls for an entirely different approach.

Compared to content writers, copywriters have a pretty small space to produce highly attractive copy that not only informs the reader about the purpose but also entices him to take the desired action. And that’s a difficult task. 

How does a copywriter do all this?

  • A copywriter works closely with the digital marketing team.
  • He has a sufficient enough grip on Search Engine Optimization to conduct keyword research and find which search terms are trending.
  • The keyword research enables him to produce a copy optimized for the most-searched term so that the company can rank higher on SERPs and consumers can see his copy.
  • Copywriters often use Google Analytics to monitor those search terms and make adjustments in their copy accordingly.
  • A copywriter should be able to know advertising principles and understand the marketing strategy. That’s because, he needs to draft sales letters, press ads, emails, and other short-form content, as needed. 
  • Copywriters are generally proficient with advertising concepts, like PPC, social media ads, and direct mail, etc. 
  • Building brand awareness is a primary responsibility of a copywriter. For this purpose, he creates social media posts for different digital platforms. He needs a proper understanding of how people on different social networks behave and use those channels. 
  • Producing engaging content that has a friendly tone and aimed at developing a personal connection between customers and the business is the core responsibility of a copywriter.

How Content Writers and Copy Writers are Different

Content Writers are Agile 

  • Content writers have shorter deadlines than copywriters since they are required to produce content with consistency and maintain continuity.
  • They produce long-form content. Some of the posts may exceed the 3000-word length. 
  • Content writers follow a content calendar to keep pace with the company’s demand and track posts.

Copywriters are Multi-tasking

  • Copywriters also have tight deadlines, but their work isn’t as consistent and repetitive as that of content writers. 
  • Following trends and creating catchy social media content accordingly is part of their job. 
  • Copywriters often do the following up tasks to build a connection with the potential customers and drive engagement.

That Thin Line is Blurring

Content Writer vs Copywriter

Time is changing and so as the marketing world. Now businesses expect content writers to possess SEO and digital marketing knowledge. Now, content writers, who used to be the informational vehicles, are expected to add promotional pieces in their long-form articles.

Similarly, the workplace environment for the writers has also changed a fair bit. As the world goes tech-driven, companies that use to hire in-house writers are inclined to hiring freelance writers on an as-needed basis. 

With more and more people joining the writing industry, their past experiences and knowledge have almost removed that thin line between content writers and copywriters. 


By now, you’ve got a fair bit of idea about the kind of writer to hire for your business. In fact, both of them have an exceptional talent for creating web content for a specific target audience. It depends upon you what type of content serves the best of your needs; the short-form posts, or the long-form educational pieces. 

A successful business has been quite dynamic in utilizing both the skills to good effect. You should also keep both the writing styles in your content strategy. Or perhaps, you can find a hybrid version who has tasted both the menus.

So, which one of the two professionals matches your needs? Do mention in the comment section below.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links, which can provide compensation to me at no cost to you. These are products I’ve personally used and stand behind. This site is not intended to provide financial advice and is for entertainment only. You can read our affiliate disclosure in our privacy policy.

Serena Foster

Hey there! I'm Serena Foster and I've joined the editorial team in 2019. I'm a freelance writer working in various niches going from health care to affiliate marketing and even finance (but no crypto ah ah...). If you like my articles, feel free to leave a comment. Take care!

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