Content writer or copywriter

Which one does your business need?

Not sure what the difference between copywriter and a content writer is, and whether it’s copywriting or content writing that you need? Don’t worry, you’re far from alone. Here’s a quick guide to what they do and how to tell which one you need.

  • Copywriters write small amounts of words (copy) that persuades people to take action: do this thing, take this action, buy this product, download this ebook. Advertising in newspapers is a good example of copywriting in action – short, direct, to the point. Copywriters come up with slogans, for example, and will never charge by the word.
  • Content writers create longer content that engages the reader. It’s not about selling right now, it’s about building a relationship with the brand – building interest, trust and loyalty. Content helps readers to understand, to solve a problem, or make a decision. Blogs, websites, ebooks, social media posts and articles are usually written by content writers. 

Since generative AI came on the scene, the word “content” has been become strongly associated with it. But content isn’t just about producing a certain amount of words. An experienced content writer has many additional skills – research, empathy, creativity, originality, as well as a deep understanding of the audience and what humans like to read – that AI can’t currently emulate.

Do I need a copy writer or content writer?

It all comes down to one simple question – what do you want the writing to do? 

  • If you want to sell something right now, and you have an audience already, you probably want a copywriter. 
  • If you want to build brand awareness, or build an audience, and to create something the business uses in the longer term, like a website or blog, get in touch with a content writer. 

There is some crossover, of course. Many writers can do a bit of both but most will be experts in one or the other. You can expect copywriters to be expensive. Both types should be able to show you samples of past work.

At Red Rock Writing, for example, we specialise in strategic business writing – this means longer form content (reports, websites, business plans) and copywriting – and we have the samples in our portfolio to back that up.

Writing is a skill, and content and copy are specialisations within that that take time to build expertise in. If you’re hiring a writer and they say they can do everything equally well, it may well be a sign they don’t know the difference themselves.

Still not sure what you need? Get in touch and we can help you work it out.

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