Anyone who runs is a runner, right? Abso-friggin-lutely.
Yet, a company which sells running products recently committed the most hideous faux pas by putting out a post detailing how ‘not to be a jogger’. The post comprised a list of the things you shouldn’t do on a run if you want to be considered a proper runner.
This is an ACTUAL line from that post (I genuinely cringed reading it back…): “Let’s face it, if you consider yourself to be a ‘real’ runner, you really don’t want to be seen as someone just jogging around town”. URGH.
If you can string a sentence together, be that in an Instagram post or in a dissertation, you are ‘writing’. Of course, the latter requires a bit more skill and depth in the same way an Olympic runner needs to dedicate their life to their craft rather than running once or twice a month.
If you have ever found yourself struggling to write your new website copy, leaflet content or your latest blog post you may have turned to Google to search for a … copywriter? Or a content writer? Huh, what’s the difference and which one is right for your needs?
I’ll admit, until recently, I didn’t quite understand the difference myself because, as mentioned above, if you can write (which I can) then you’re a writer.
What do you want to achieve?
However, they do serve different purposes and, while a copywriter can turn their hand to content writing, it’s important you know the type you need to achieve your business aims.
If you’re looking to create cracking copy which sells a product or a service or compels people to take action (here’s looking at you third sector) then that’s exactly what you need – a copywriter. Someone with the skill to craft the kind of copy which grabs attention and can turn someone from a website visitor into a paying (or donating) customer.
Content, on the flip side (actually, we’re talking about two sides of the same coin here), is designed to educate and entertain and should cement a business as an authority in their chosen industry.
How do content and copy work in practice?
Still confused? Let me try and unpick that thread for you. When you visit a website, what’s the first thing you see? Hopefully it’s a catchy slogan or tagline which, in just a few words, is compelling enough to make you want to read or see more. It should inspire or excite you, encapsulating the essence of the product or service you’re there to find out about.
That slogan or tagline would have been written by a copywriter. Someone who understands the benefits, target audience and tone of the business they have been commissioned to write for.
Then you may navigate to that website’s blog page to have a little read of their latest content (side note: if their last blog post is from three years ago, what does that tell you? I’ll leave that as a rhetorical question…). And without even knowing it, I’ve just used the word content, because that’s what it is.
A blog post is a meaty piece of content, written to help the reader understand your brand and what you’re about and generate interest in your products or services. It will be well-researched, search engine optimised and focused on a topic relevant to your business.
Can a copywriter be a content writer?
So, can a writer do both? Of course! If I was able to write engaging, compelling copy designed to sell products but wasn’t able to put together a decent blog post I wouldn’t have been able to design my own website and also write this article.
Hopefully that’s provided some clarity so that, moving forward, you’ll know whether you’re after copy or content (or both!).
In case it helps, here’s a list of the kinds of things a copywriter and a content writer can produce:
· Slogans and/or taglines
· Website copy
· Press releases
· Email campaigns
· Leaflet content
· Advertising copy
· Blog posts
· Email newsletters
· Newspaper articles
· Social media posts
So what about me?
If you’ve landed on this page chances are you’ve looked at my services and what I’m able to offer, and you’ll have seen that I have experience writing all of the above. I’ve worked in various industries and therefore have a versatile writing style, able to adapt to many different tones and brand styles.
Your business can’t afford to use half-assed copy, so before you go writing some wishy-washy rubbish and sticking it on your website hoping for the best, get in touch and let’s chat about what I can do for you.
Email email@example.com or call me on 07773604311, or you can catch me out running up and down the North Devon Tarka Trail. To reiterate, that’s running, NOT jogging.