Content Writer vs. Copywriter: Definitions & Key Differences.

Have a marketing campaign you’re hoping will reach the right people at the right time? That’s where content comes in—playing a central role in conveying brand message and purpose. This means content creation should be a priority and a factored cost in every marketing plan.

If you’re new to the concept of content marketing, though, it can be easy to confuse the roles of a content writer and a copywriter. To help your business make the most of storytelling and effectively reach your target audience, use the bookmarks below.

  • What is a content writer?
  • What is a copywriter?
  • Key differences between a content writer and a copywriter
  • Content writer vs. copywriter key differences breakdown

What is a content writer?

A content writer delivers high-quality, relevant, and engaging content, like blog posts, articles, and how-to guides. Their purpose is to inform readers so they begin to view the business as an industry leader.

Good content writers can adapt and match brand voice and possess a substantial amount of knowledge related to search engine optimization (SEO) best practices. Overall, content writers write valuable content geared toward building relationships with a target audience and helping businesses gain relevance in search engines.

What is a copywriter?

A copywriter provides businesses with sales copy with the intent of persuading the target audience to do something. This type of content marketing strategy is more about advertising, building brand awareness, and influencing the reader to take a certain action.

They typically work with short-form copy rather than long-form content like content writers. A good copywriter also has the skills to create a sense of urgency and elicit strong emotional responses from readers.

Key differences between a content writer and a copywriter

While content writers and copywriters both serve a very important purpose, they aren’t the same thing. Some key differences between a content writer and a copywriter include:

Content writerCopywriter
Purpose: Build customer trust and create a positive brand associationPurpose: Sell an idea
Informing and entertaining are their main goalsPersuasion is their main goal
Long-form contentShort-form copy
Mainly writes article blogs, social media, ebooks, and email newslettersMainly writes for ads, landing page content, taglines, and slogans
Expert knowledge of SEOUnderstands SEO

There can be some overlap in format depending on the goal and purpose of the content. For example, an email newsletter might be long-form and fall under the domain of a content writer, but an email marketing campaign most likely falls under the guise of a copywriter. This also applies to social media posts. Is the purpose to sell or inform? This answer can help you determine the format and the type of writer you need.

Content writer vs. copywriter key differences breakdown

In the following sections, we break down the key differences between a content writer and a copywriter.

1. Purpose

Content writers and copywriters write content for different purposes. While both can add value to your marketing strategy, they do so in different ways.

The best content writers deliver long-form content that helps build trust and increase brand recognition. Their expert SEO knowledge helps businesses gain attention and improve their search engine ranking.

Meanwhile, a copywriter provides persuasive, short-form copy that spurs the reader into action. Their purpose is to advertise and drive sales.

2. Main goal

While content writers and copywriters both aim to improve the bottom line of a business, they go about this in very different ways. Consider marketing goals to determine the right piece of content you need.

Content writing is a long-term commitment. It takes time to build trust and brand awareness. Businesses can achieve this with regular posts that inform and entertain their target audience. When you provide readers with relevant information outside of your brand, you can show your expertise in a broader sense.

Copywriters supply marketing copy with a focus on the short term. Persuasion is at the top of their priority list and they create compelling short-form copy to summon action. In short, copywriting is landing the sale. 

3. Long vs. short-form writing

By now, you’ve heard long- and short-form writing tossed around, but what exactly do these terms mean? Long-form content delivers in-depth information about a topic and contains a greater word count than short-form writing. Like its name, short-form writing is easy to digest and conveys a message quickly.

4. Types of writing

There are several types of writing that content writers and copywriters can do, depending on their experience and the resources at their disposal. They include:

Content writer

  • Articles and blogs. Supply your audience with informative long-form content that can build your reputation as an industry expert.
  • Podcasts or video scripts. Generate a winning script for listeners.
  • Ebooks. Develop a book to educate and inspire.
  • Social media posts. Create insightful and useful posts for users to engage and share.
  • Case studies. Prepare short-form content around a problem and its solution.
  • White papers. Produce long-form technical content in an easy-to-read, digestible format.
  • Webpage content. Present on-point content for website pages, including short bios, about pages, and homepage introductions.


  • Landing pages. Drive search engine placement with concise copy and calls to action (CTAs).
  • Slogans. Come up with catchy, memorable jingles and taglines.
  • Direct mail and email marketing. Make businesses stand out with creative sales letters, catalogs, and email marketing campaigns.
  • Billboards. Increase target audience reach in high-traffic areas with a large print advertisement.
  • Product descriptions. Produce clear and concise sales content buyers need to make a purchasing decision.
  • Headlines. Stand out from the noise with attention-grabbing headlines.

You’ll likely recall that these writing formats can cross over. This can depend on a few factors, such as the scope and purpose of the writing project and the experience of the individual writer. Sometimes, you can find freelance writers who dip their pen in both pots.

5. SEO focus

There is a delicate balance between pleasing your target audience and writing for search engines. This is where SEO practices come into play.

Digital content must overcome a number of challenges to prove effective. More than just text, content must provide value, relate on a personal level, appeal to the audience, solve a particular problem, persuade, and rank well on search engines. To stand out from the competition, businesses need optimized, keyword-rich content that nudges the reader to take action.

Content with an SEO focus contains interesting, click-worthy headlines, useful, fresh, and original content with long-tail keywords, concise, interesting meta descriptions, and possibly links to relevant pages.

Formats typically held by content writers tend to follow SEO best practices. Long-form articles and blogs inform and demonstrate expertise and make use of targeted keywords, titles, and meta descriptions that can help gain placement—all while forging trust and relationships with the target audience.

Copywriters, on the other hand, develop advertising copy with a focus on short-term goals and don’t always emphasize keyword phrases or other SEO practices. Since a lot of their work consists of ads, taglines, and slogans, copywriters don’t focus as much on SEO.

Which type of writer should you choose?

Choosing the right type of writer for your content strategy can help your business reach its target audience and build a larger online presence. A content writer can supply you with fresh content you can share with your audience and build trust. A copywriter can deliver a snappy one-liner, curate attractive product descriptions, or develop a punchy sales email that will make people click. Consider your present needs and determine the best type of writer for the job.

With Ndiwano.com, your business can find a number of experienced copywriters and content writers who can help add value and boost your online presence. Grow your business and find your match on the Ndiwano.com marketplace.

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