Content Writer or Copywriter – What’s the Difference?

When people want to get content written for their website, they believe they want a content writer. But starting with the word content is deceptive. Content could be blog news, media releases, free reports/guides, PDF brochures, or it could just mean the main website pages.

More than just what the writing is, the difference is focus.

A copywriter writes with the sole point of attracting, interesting, stirring a desire and creating action from their words. While the verbiage has to be lively and grammatically OK, it’s more important to be relevant to the reader’s desires than it is to be formal and use superior English grammar.

A content writer is looking to fill a brief of writing news, blog posts, supporting content, and usually writes with keywords in mind. They must also proofread their work.

While this may be a large assumption, based on my past experience with keywords, employers who know little about sales conversion generally look for a ‘web content writer’. People who are inbound marketers and creatives look for a ‘copywriter’ as this classification was always used in the advertising industry for the past sixty or so years.

The Language of Content Writing

Focussing now on content marketing for lead generation, we also talk about lead magnets, special reports, bait pieces, lead capture offers, white papers, free ebooks, freebies — basically they are all the same thing.  My favourite sources of inspiration for this are: GKIC (Glazer-Kennedy) newsletters and some of the inbound marketing software ebooks, of which I have about 100!

LeadPages has a great demo video where they trialled a simple Tools list as an opt-in. Bit of a shame for a writer, because tools lists are short and simple, but for some markets, the ‘sign up’ numbers rule! Some people want a good apps/tools list because they are in a hurry.

In other markets, like complex business products, you would offer either a demonstration video/DVD or an easy to understand, nicely laid out white paper.

Why not think about what lead magnet piece would work for your business?