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Copywriting vs. Content Writing
As a digital entrepreneur trying to build your online presence, you know how important quality content is for your website. But do you know the difference between copywriting and content writing, and when to use each?
When I was first getting started in the online space, I didn’t understand these differences, but now I see how important they both are and how effective they can be when used together for your website and the other places you show up online.
Defining Copywriting and Content Writing
Copywriting and content writing are both vital for crafting compelling content for your website, but they serve different purposes.
Copywriting is the art of using words to persuade people to take a specific action. It is designed to sell a product or service, and is often used in advertising, sales letters, and email marketing campaigns. The goal is to get your reader take immediate action.
Content writing, on the other hand, is more focused on providing valuable information to the reader. It is designed to educate, inform, and entertain, and is often used in blog posts, articles, and social media updates. The goal is to build trust and authority around your brand.
The Key Differences Between Copywriting and Content Writing
While copywriting and content writing are complementary, there are some key differences:
- Copywriting is more promotional, while content writing is more informative.
- Copy is typically short and punchy, while content is usually longer and more in-depth.
- Copywriting uses a direct, conversational style, while content writing uses a more formal, educational tone.
- The goal of copy is to “sell”, while the goal of content is to engage and add value for the reader.
By utilizing both effective copywriting and content writing strategies, you can attract and engage potential customers and then convert them into loyal fans.
Goals for Copywriting vs. Content Writing
Keeping your objective in mind helps you to understand whether to use copywriting or content writing.
The goal of copywriting is to persuade the reader to take a specific action, such as purchasing a product or subscribing to a service. Copywriters use language and techniques to create a sense of urgency and persuade the reader that they need the product or service being offered.
The ultimate goal of copywriting is to increase sales and revenue for the business. On your website, you would use copywriting for high-converting pages like opt-in forms, sales pages, and product descriptions.
It can also be used in other forms of marketing, such as email marketing and social media ads. In these cases, the copy is tailored to the specific platform and audience, but the goal remains the same: to sell.
The objective of content writing is to provide valuable and informative content to the reader. Content writers use language and techniques to engage the reader and provide them with useful information that they can use in their daily lives.
Content writing can take many forms on your website, such as blog posts, guides, and about pages. The focus is on providing value to the reader, rather than promoting a product or service. However, content writing can still be used to achieve marketing goals, such as increasing brand awareness and building trust with the audience.
While one type of writing may come more naturally to you, a combination of copywriting and content writing leads to maximum impact across your site.
The Role of Copy and Content in Digital Marketing
Now that you understand the differences and overall goals, let’s look at some of the key ways copywriting and content writing can be used to grow your business online:
Driving Brand Awareness Through Copy and Content
Website copy introduces your brand, communicates your value proposition, and shapes perceptions of your company. It also serves to give your brand a recognizable voice and personality.
Blog posts, videos, podcasts, and other media you incorporate into your website are designed to establish your expertise and thought leadership in your niche.
Copywriting and content writing work together to build familiarity and trust with your ideal audience.
Generating Leads With Strategic Copy and Content
You may start with content writing by creating informative and engaging content that attracts potential customers to your website and encourages them to learn more about your products or services.
Once your ideal customer lands on your website, you would then focus on copywriting with your messaging as you encourage your audience to take action, whether that’s filling out a contact form, subscribing to a newsletter, or making a purchase on your site.
By combining the two, you can create a powerful lead generation strategy that attracts potential customers to your website and encourages them to take action. Whether you’re creating landing pages, email campaigns, or social media ads, your messaging should be clear, concise, and focused on the benefits of your products or services.
Creating DIY Copywriting and Content for Your Website
Many entrepreneurs take a DIY approach to crafting copy and content for their website. Here are some tips to create quality copywriting and content yourself:
Tools and Resources for DIY Copywriting and Content Creation
- Use free editing tools like Grammarly to polish your writing.
- Try a simple content brief template to clarify your goals before writing.
- Create an editorial calendar to map out your content strategy in advance.
- Use free and low-cost stock photos to visually enhance your content. (I’ve used many stock photos from Ivory Mix on this blog post and throughout my site.)
- Reference competitors’ content for inspiration, but make your content unique.
Optimizing Your Copy and Content for SEO
- Research keyword opportunities using free or paid tools.
- Include your primary and secondary keywords naturally in your copy and content.
- Optimize page titles, headers, image alt text, and meta descriptions for keywords.
- Create useful, information-rich content that also ranks well in search engines.
Measuring the Performance of Your Copy and Content
- Use Google Analytics to track key metrics like pageviews, bounce rate, time on page.
- For lead generation content, measure conversions into email subscribers or signups.
- For ecommerce, analyze how your copy and content impact sales.
- Survey readers or use qualitative feedback to assess engagement.
One of my favorite resources if you’re looking to optimize the writing on your website and attract your ideal clients and customers is the Easy SEO Course by Tara Reid. In this course, you’ll learn the basics of keyword research and how to actually use those keywords in your copywriting and content writing.
She also helps you understand Google Analytics and Google Search Console, which help you understand the effectiveness of your website. And if that’s not enough to convince you, the Easy SEO Course also comes with an About Me Page Copy Generator (Google Sheet) and a Blog Post Outline Template (Google Doc).
Working With a Pro to Level Up the Creation and Publication of Your Copy and Content
As your business grows, you may decide to hand off writing and website updating duties by working with a professional writer, website specialist, or virtual assistant. Here are a few options:
Creative Copy Club Membership
I’m a techy person who enjoys design, but copywriting has been a challenge for me in my business. I’m starting to build up my confidence and skills all thanks to one of my favorite monthly memberships: the Creative Copy Club.
As a web designer, I know that a beautiful, functional website is important, but I also know that the words on your site make all the difference, and that’s why I recommend the Creative Copy Club to my clients and DIYers alike!
I’m not exaggerating when I say this affordable copywriting membership has transformed the writing on my websites. I’ve used templates from this club to rewrite my Home, About, Contact, Sales, and Thank You pages.
While that’s been amazing, I really wanted to kick my copy up a notch with personalized professional help. That’s where the Platinum Level of the Creative Copy Club comes in. As a Platinum member, I can submit any piece of copy I’m working on each week, and Andrea Frey gives me thorough video feedback with tons of tweaks to level up my copywriting.
Looking for done-for-you copywriting, content writing, editing, and proofreading? She can help with all of that, too!
E. Houston Studio Monthly Content Update Service
Once you have all your new copy and content ready to go, whether it was DIYed or written with the help of a professional, let me help integrate it into your website.
My Monthly Content Update Service is perfect for busy entrepreneurs who need regular fresh blog posts and website copy without stressing about updating the website themselves. It’s all part of my content update service that also includes media (i.e. image and video) updates. This service really is ideal for busy entrepreneurs like you because it also comes bundled with my Monthly Care Plan Service—premium hosting, security, backups, and plugin updates all included!
The Benefits of Outsourcing Your Copy, Content, & Website Integration
While your website is always evolving in terms of design, functionality, and the overall user experience, there’s something to be said about launching a website and having a somewhat finished product. Outsourcing your copy during a web design project gets you ready to launch that much sooner.
And on the flip side, if you’re going to be regularly creating educational content or uploading new digital products, that web design project can start to feel never-ending!
This is where handing off ongoing content creation and website updates is so valuable. By outsourcing, you free up your time as a business owner to focus on higher-value priorities and strategy. Website content and maintenance is important but also very time consuming, so offloading those responsibilities removes a burden from your plate.
You also get to tap into the expertise of a professional writer or website specialist. They have the skills and experience to craft optimized content that resonates with your audience and integrates seamlessly into your site architecture.
This ensures consistent messaging and branding across your website. And it enables you to scale up your content marketing and website enhancement efforts in a sustainable way—without burning yourself out!
When writing for your website, remember to start with your goals and target audience. Use copywriting on high-converting pages to convince readers to convert into leads and sales. Content writing is perfect for relationship-building pages focused on providing value. Optimizing both will lead to greater brand awareness, increased lead generation, and higher conversions.
Taking a DIY approach to copy and content can work initially but has limitations. Invest in professional help from knowledgeable copywriters and website specialists as you grow. The right experts can save you time, provide guidance, maintain consistency, and enable scaling through ongoing content creation and seamless website integration.
The key is finding the right balance of copywriting and content writing, determining which tasks to DIY versus outsource, and leveraging professionals strategically. With the right copywriting and content writing strategy tailored to your business goals, you can craft content that attracts your ideal audience and drives real results.