Who prefers Content Writing over Copywriting?

16 replies
Hi all, new here!

First of all mad respect all around. It's a privilege to be here among so many dynamic people!

Second, a small question, but first a little context:

I have a lot of respect for content writers, knowing that many of them are in fact copywriters, authors, journalists, parents, and passionate creatives.

I really think that copywriting is a results-oriented service, where content writing is more like a per word service, yes? As a writer I see many content orders on sites like Textbroker that request quality copy for per word rates. (BTW I've written it all, not a newbie to writing, and even TB has its season).

So my question is whether it's viable, in your experience, to concentrate on Web content writing and just to ignore per word copy orders? Because I've found pleasing such clients only leads to more orders of the same!

I prefer content writing because it's so informative, educational and perfectly suited to digital publishing. Also persuasive copy takes a special knack, yes?

Or will clients inevitably drive you to copywriting? Meaning, I should start including fuzzy project rates?

Also - is there a place on this forum dedicated to content writing, or is it all under the Copywriting section? Where content issues would raise pelting with rocks and garbage? Sorry, but I love writing content, it's juicy.

Thanks in advance for any input!
#content #copywriting #prefers #writing
  • Profile picture of the author Steve B
    The Copywriting Forum

    Welcome to the WF!

    I think you're being too particular about semantics by making a big deal over content writing vs. copywriting. Yes, there are certainly differences if you want to talk specifics, but my guess is that 95% of the folks here believe the two are synonymous. So any distinction you make, while technically correct, may be more than most marketers care to acknowledge.

    I think if you're just getting started in IM, you might be smart to speak the language of your audience and go with what they ask for even though you know there's a difference.

    Good luck to you,

    Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Ten
    Nice post, OP. I definitely would like it if there was a specific content writing and/or content creation sub-forums here at WF!
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  • Profile picture of the author Rose Anderson
    I assure you that the people in the copywriting section of the forum know the difference.

    Currently, I concentrate on writing eBooks which falls under content writing.

    But when writing webpages the line does blur somewhat.

    The trickiest thing to deal with is this: you will often be asked to write copy at the price of content. Copywriting requires a lot of extra work and a different skill set (if done correctly).

    If you're going to do both it's best to set-up two different websites or at least have very clear prices for each type of work.

    Rose
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    • Profile picture of the author ParkerArrow
      Thanks for these awesome replies! Steve, that is encouraging, because you really do have to wear many hats as a writer. There's much to benefit from learning as many writing techniques as possible. Thanks for the advice, will definitely take it to heart.

      Michael, I agree, because content writing has its own set of rules. It's easy to rag on cheap content but the truth is, differences in marketing value levels demand different approaches - but it's all just business and niches. Writing is easy to do, and hard to do well - like many professions!

      Rose, great post and spot on! Your advice has already helped me immensely! Your two different websites idea makes a lot of sense! I always have brainstorming sessions trying to put different practices into one mix - but simpler is better!

      It's really inspiring; I mean, when you think about it, Copywriting is a specialized service, and really that's a personal brand-type consulting service. Value pricing.

      Content writing jobs tend toward quantities and competitive pricing.

      And as you say, some copywriters really know the difference - and that's where content writing can possibly damage the value image of a copywriter. (But it's great for enjoyment, quick jobs and a constant supply of work).

      It makes a lot of sense to split these services into different websites. Thanks!
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      • Profile picture of the author wordwizard
        Welcome to the WF, ParkerArrow!

        Here's my take on this:

        Copywriting and content writing are two different genres, and I write (and enjoy writing) both, but not usually at the same time.

        Then again, if you're doing a great job with your content, some features of copywriting may well (or even should) be part of it, though they may be subtle.

        I'm thinking of articles or blog posts that subtly presell a product or service. The lines between pure content and copywriting can become quite blurred. This is especially true for things like presell reports, where the two categories blend together.
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    • Profile picture of the author discrat
      Originally Posted by Rose Anderson View Post

      I assure you that the people in the copywriting section of the forum know the difference.

      Currently, I concentrate on writing eBooks which falls under content writing.

      But when writing webpages the line does blur somewhat.

      The trickiest thing to deal with is this: you will often be asked to write copy at the price of content. Copywriting requires a lot of extra work and a different skill set (if done correctly).

      If you're going to do both it's best to set-up two different websites or at least have very clear prices for each type of work.


      Rose
      Have to agree with Rose on this one. I am a content writer but have no real experience in Copywriting as far as taking up any actual copywriting projects for specific products.

      I stick with building Content. Maybe someday I will venture into Copywriting. But make no mistake you can use certain Copywriting skills like writing headlines into the Headlines of a blog (which is considered Content writing.)


      BTW, This is an excellent thread !

      Robert
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  • Profile picture of the author Matt121
    I prefer content writing because you can be original and create some really high-quality, juicy stuff.

    I've dabbled in the field of copywriting as I had to create the stuff on some business websites I've previously worked with.

    I like being creative. I like having to dig around for ideas. I love content writing a lot.

    And yes, it does seem appropriate to split these services. Content writing covers a wider field than copywriting, although the pricing scheme for both does seem to fall under the same range.
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  • Profile picture of the author derfootmarcus
    I dont know, I think that when you are "content writing" you are still looking to "sell" something to your visitor, even if it is not actually selling a product as you should always be looking to monetize your traffic. In the instance of content writing, you should be trying to move the traffic to your sales pages or onto your email list so that you can sell to them and earn money... so it may not be as clear cut as you seem to be making it out to be.

    Sorry for being off topic, as to the question... Id say that I enjoy writing content more, it is in my opinion more unique than copy writing ad you are really trying to add value to the visitors in order to bring them back to your site.
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  • Profile picture of the author HeySal
    Re: Who prefers Content Writing over Copywriting?
    Me. I can do sales, and am well educated in the subconscious aspects of language. I prefer, however, to write informational stuff. It's just less of a pain in the patoot.
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  • Profile picture of the author Lloyd Buchinski
    Originally Posted by ParkerArrow View Post

    persuasive copy takes a special knack, yes?
    The knack would come after you have the inclination to get into it. I don't really feel like doing that.

    I prefer being useful, interesting, or artistic. That goes with content writing, but it's at the 'difficult to monetize' end of the scale.

    Nice pen name, ParkerArrow
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  • Profile picture of the author Thomas Michal
    Content writers focus on a business model of page view journalism or per word pay.

    Copywriters get off on persuasion, closing deals and seeing orders come in.

    Most content writers are not sales people, and that is certainly fine. But if you ask me the income of a copywriter has much greater potential.

    Aside from writing blockbuster novels.

    Imo.
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  • Profile picture of the author ParkerArrow
    I want to thank you all for your great replies, and the warm welcome!

    I've already learned so much and figured some things out. It seems to me that:

    Both content and copywriting cross over no matter which you focus on, so you'd better understand both.

    It's better to market one or the other aspect so you can set the pricing accordingly: per word for content, per project for copywriting.

    Content writing is better with a pen name and specialized topic samples. And lots of writing for lots of people. Calling businesses as a kind of supplier.

    Copywriting is better with personal branding and Big Brand Logos portfolio. Personal Flagship blog, syndicated guest blogging, social media, and calling businesses as a specialized consultant.

    Branding yourself online as a Content writer benefits from value marketing and efficient quantity production. More projects, lower price.

    Branding yourself as a Copywriter uses exclusive marketing and custom tailoring. Fewer projects, higher price.

    Both have to guard against any hint of substandard product.

    Both are devalued by the ready availability of cheap spam, so both take careful selling and helping people see the real value.

    Gosh, it makes so much sense to split these services and market them separately! They both have totally different marketing needs. Wow, you guys blew my mind. But then in the end, we remember they are two sides of the same coin.

    What do others think?
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  • Profile picture of the author celente
    I think you are not seeing this for what it is worth.

    Remember this, CONTENT is what gets you your traffic.

    COPYWRITING is what converts that traffic.

    We are in several niches this works for, and Even use content in the newsletters we send out. As some people would not have seen it before, so you can recycle and get more traffic and keep your paying members happy at the same time. Its win win. STill Copywriting is a good skill to have.
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  • Profile picture of the author asha91
    I am only now starting to learn the art of copywriting, but I have to say that content writing does need less work. I've been writing content for a while now and find it not at all as tricky as copywriting. Content writing is intended to convey information and get the reader interested, while copywriting is all-on sales and promotion. I have to say, I'm still not so good at the latter, but I am trying to learn it because it can be a very profitable skill to have as a writer.
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  • Profile picture of the author ParkerArrow
    Originally Posted by celente View Post


    Remember this, CONTENT is what gets you your traffic.

    COPYWRITING is what converts that traffic.


    Perfect, Celente. Just perfect!

    Asha91, I feel your struggle with copy. Me too!

    I tend to write for knowledge and information. This is more factual.

    But with copywriting, I struggle to shift mental gears from information to emotional benefit from the buyer's (or client's) point of view.

    Like today; I rewrote a line from "Ranges from A to B" to "Adapts to your entire range of needs."

    Trips me up every time!

    Ha, good luck.
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    • Profile picture of the author MissTerraK
      I'm not exactly sure why informational and factual articles are being separated from the emotional pull writing.

      There certainly are some articles that call for informational and factual writing only, but I find being able to combine the facts and information with emotion are what converts. I actually love being able to create a piece that readers can empathize with and without that emotional pull, you don't get the empathy. My clients prefer the combination as well.

      As a matter of fact, I continue to write for a physician just for that very reason. He finds the conceptualizations I incorporate into the pieces he orders are loved by his patients and colleagues alike.

      I don't think we should differentiate the two when discussing content creation at all.

      Terra
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