Content Writer or Copywriter: Which Do You Need?

The difference between a content writer and a copywriter is the difference between a fast food joint and a Michelin restaurant. Both have their place in the world, but their value depends on the appetite of the people in the room.

Content vs copy, displayed as a short order cook vs a high-end chef

A content writer deals in quantity

Content writers churn. And they do it well. Give a content writer a hundred topics and they’ll come back to you with 100 pieces of writing that hit all the SEO benchmarks, meet the minimum-word requirements and deliver the information well enough.

If your aim is to flood the web with drivers to your website and establish your business as one with an interest in (or even a passion for) something, a content writer can do the job amicably. Will you compel real action? No. But that’s not the point. The point is presence, awareness and page ranking.

A copywriter deals in quality

Copywriters persuade. And they do it equally well. Give a copywriter a desired business outcome and they’ll come back with two or three versions of a message that hit all the right emotional and psychological tones, and drive real-world results.

If your goal is to drive sales or sign-ups by establishing your business as the unmistakably right choice and a leader in your industry, you want a copywriter on the case. You’ll pay more for a copywriter’s time and expertise, but you’ll get more than just a pair of eyeballs. You’ll get more feet moving and more wallets opening.

All copywriters write content. Not all content writers write copy.

Content has become this catch-all term to connote the consumable information we find online. And since content has become THE currency of choice in the new economy, people who can produce it en masse have become among the most sought-after folks by ad agencies and marketing departments.

And because so much content has to be created on a regular basis (consumers today will look at three to fivepieces of a company’s content before reaching out for a quote), it makes financial sense to bring in a content writer to pump it out quickly and regularly.

But here’s the question you have to ask yourself: what good is an investment in content if no one wants to read it?

It’s a fair question, especially given how much content you’ll compete with for every keyword and every subject.

This is why, as a marketer, you always want a copywriter

Like a short-order cook, a content writer will fill you up. But like an award-winning chef, a copywriter will make it an experience. They’ll make your reader feel differently about a topic or force them to question their stance on an issue. A content writer can present the facts about an issue. But a copywriter will force you to take a side (and more often, the side that leads to an action). They’ll present the argument in a voice that speaks to readers instead of speaking just to the subject matter. And they’ll get you real results.

An eCard that talks about the benefits of copy over content