The difference between a content writer and a copywriter

A Content Writer and a Copywriter is exactly the same thing, right? They both compose words used in offline and web content, so surely they are just fancy names for what’s basically a writer?

In actual fact, they are very different. They both act as a cornerstone for another; consider these as two distinct faces of the same coin, as though there are similarities in both skill sets, there are also some clear differences.

From a traditional marketing standpoint, the answer is fairly simple. Let’s explore…

What is a Content Writer?

Quite simply, they compose content. Although there must be more to them than that, surely? Well, yes, Content Writers create an array of different content types using written word; typically long-form, rich-content which is search engine optimised.


When a Content Writer creates digital ┬ácontent, they are most likely considering using keywords, Meta, and the way that links and shares to the item will enhance the content. A Content Writer may also be understood to make ‘evergreen content’; posts, blog posts, newspaper pieces, magazine features, whitepapers and some other kinds of long-form, content.

Content Writers are very journalistic in nature, with editorial copy in their remit, generally writing content with longer word counts and intricate details — those authoritative pieces function better when being shared online also.

And how, you might be wondering, is that any different from a Copywriter?

What’s a Copywriter?

A Copywriter is of a similar vein because they also write copy. But, Copywriters are usually employed as advertising vehicles, typically specialising in short-form copy, like straplines, headlines or media ads.

Now that is not to say that Copywriters should not have long-form copy in their toolbox. In actuality, what we’re seeing is a transition of Copywriters to internet writers in advertising, such as display advertising, making a much more powerful online presence.

Copywriters are praised for the creation and ideation of phrases in campaigns, where the advertising material is used to convince an individual or a group to think or behave in a specific way. This is usually accomplished in short-form copy or storytelling, evoking emotion and a personal connection with the viewer; it also lends itself to a funny or jovial tone — ideal for straplines or headers. In actuality, for a Copywriter, brevity is crucial.

That being said, there’s a cross within remits.

How Do Content Writers and Copywriters Work?

Arguably, they are two of the same and in no uncertain terms is one simpler than the other as a profession. However, there are definitely differences that appear to get overlooked and these could be convenient if you’re trying to hire a writer for particular work.

Nowadays, it’s imperative to be well versed in both.

Further differences between the two lie with deadlines. Even though this isn’t always the case, Content Writers seem to have more lead-times than Copywriters. Their work is due to well-planned content with the support of road maps, timelines, content calendars and such. Whereas a Copywriter can be called on at the last minute to offer copy. Whilst being reactive and agile should maintain both skill sets, Copywriters are less likely to plan in their workload as concisely as a Content Writer.

In saying this, Content Writers should keep working to tight deadlines as part of their skill set and Copywriters on the other hand, may not always have the luxury of a working extension.

Moving forward, Content Writers and Copywriters should work arm in arm to form traffic, create relationships with clients and consumers and build the brand. So, although they have slightly different responsibilities, it is paramount to include them both when building sites. However, since Copywriters develop to combine strategic writing with great content, they might just have the best of both worlds. As the expression Content Writer remains in its infancy, perhaps we will continue to see a cross over as it evolves.