Content Writing vs. Copywriting – Which Should You Choose to Start a Freelance Writing Business

Content Writing vs Copywriting

Stuck at choosing between Content Writing vs Copywriting?

Are you curious which one is best for you if you are just starting out?

Or do you seem confused about how these two differ from each other?

Should you position yourself a content writer or a copywriter?

These may be some of the questions you have in mind right now.

Please allow me to share what I know about each.

While these two are both good skills to master in the freelance writing industry, knowing the difference between them will help you decide which one to pursue. So, whether you are a seasoned writer or just a newbie, I hope that this blog post will help you understand the unique features and benefits of these two.

What is Content Writing?

Content writing is writing articles that are informative, educating, and entertaining to your readers. It also aims to build or gain the trust of your target readers so that they keep coming back to your website. That is – if you provide great value in these articles that the readers want or need.

Business owners use content to announce new products or events, share stories about the company, let their target customers feel heard by providing value, and provide engaging articles to train them to take action.

content writer

Content Writing Services Samples

Online Freelance Content Writing Services

SEO Blog Post Writing

You will write Search Engine Optimized (SEO) blog posts to help your clients generate organic traffic to their websites or online stores.

Social Media Content Writing

You can just write captions for social media posts for your clients to match with an attachment or you can act as an overall Social Media Content Strategist. The latter means that you will plan out the overall strategy such as what contents should be published, when to publish, and where to publish.

Email Newsletter Writing

Newsletters are sent to your clients’ subscribers to broadcast something such as new events, product feature updates, announcements for technical difficulties, and others. You can also write newsletters to inform the readers if there are newly published blog posts, podcasts, or videos on YouTube.

Case Study Writing

Business owners use case studies to gain the trust of their prospect clients or investors. As the writer, you will help your clients come up with written case studies or reports to impress and win the hearts of their prospects.

Research Writing

You could be tasked to write academic or technical research articles for your clients. Please don’t ask me anything more about this because to be honest, it’s not something I’m knowledgeable about.

Offline or Print Content Writing Services Samples

Article Writer for Printed Magazines

If you love writing feature articles, this could be for you! I was once a Feature Editor for a local magazine and I loved being one but I enjoy the perks of being an online copywriter now.

Content Writer for Brochures and Flyers

You write informative and educational contents that will be printed in brochures and flyers. It could also be short product descriptions or information about a company.

Freelance Journalist

Freelance journalists write news reports and don’t work with only one publication. The are free to work with different companies.

What is Copywriting?

Copywriting is writing articles online or offline for advertising and marketing purposes. It aims to persuade your readers to do something. The ultimate goal is to close a sale with urgency.

Copywriting Services Samples

Facebooks Ad Copywriter

Obviously, Facebook Ads are everywhere on our news feeds for a reason. Businesses spend a lot of money in this and your goal is to help them make the most out of their budget by writing copy that convert at the same time pass the FB Ads guidelines.

Google Ad Copywriter

This is much more common to foreign business owners. Like Facebook Ads, business owners are also willing to invest money on Google Ads because there’s a definite ROI – that is, if the ads are executed right. Your goal is to write copy that are attention grabber and persuasive enough that will make a reader click on the link.

Sales Page or Landing Page Copywriter

This is an example of what we call the long-form copy. Your goal here depends on what your clients need.

Email Copywriting

This is different from the newsletter or broadcast email mentioned earlier. You may be tasked to write an email sequence that has a specific goal at the end. It is another important part of a business’ sales funnel.

In marketing, the purpose of written copy is to attract, raise interest, and persuade readers to take action – it could be to book a call, register for a free or paid event, or buy a product or service.

Now that you know the difference between content writing vs copywriting, are you able to assess yourself now?

If you are good at educating and entertaining, you can start as a Content Writer.

If you are good at persuading or selling overall, you could be a Copywriter.

Whichever you are good at, master your skill, and prosper in the freelance writing industry.

Now, maybe you are asking what are the skills you need to equip yourself to start with?
Just learn the basics of one skill and start from there. Yes, find a client even if you don’t feel like you are an “expert” yet. Remember, mastery of skills means investing time and most of all, effort.

Set aside time to learn more about the skill as well as time to reach out to clients who need your service and value you offer. Ever heard of the line, “learn by doing”?

Build a strong self-confidence and level up your skills. Make an evaluation of what expertise you need to master and grow from where you started.

content writing or copywriting

Content Writing vs Copywriting as a Skill

Content writing might require:

  • Knowledge in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – Learn how to optimize articles such as blog posts and product descriptions to make it rank in the Search Engine Results Page (SERP).
  • Knowledge in content marketing – this is also a must for a content writer who wants to write effective articles. Learn how to identify the specific goals of your content and why you are writing it. Know how to engage and connect with your audience.

Copywriting might require:

  • Knowledge about the Sales Funnel or the Customer Journey –  These are the stages that a customer goes through before buying from your client. It starts from the time the customer becomes aware of your client’s products and services up to the time they will close a sale.
  • Persuasive Skill – Copywriting also requires a deep understanding of how your potential readers feel at the moment and what they need to get out from their challenging situations or problems.
  • Skill in marketing and advertising
  • Ability to do in-depth Market Research. Have a Market Research strategy to help you craft copy that is focused on the specific goal of your clients, connects with your readers, and converts them into leads or buyers.

Conclusion: Could both be combined in one approach?

Yes, content writing and copywriting can both be combined in one article. You can write articles that provides information, entertains, and persuades a reader to take action all at once. Experiment on how it works for your client’s business and their target audience.

“So, can I be a Content Writer and Copywriter at the same time?”

When you are starting out, you are free to do so.

Eventually, you’ll discover your specialization and my advice is for you to focus on it until you will become the master in your specific craft.

Hey, has this blog post somehow help you get unstuck at choosing between content writing vs copywriting? I would love to hear from you.

Do you have any more questions regarding today’s topic? Let me know by sending me an e-mail at: charlynjune@gmail.com.

I am also inviting you to join our Freelance Writing Side Gig Community – it’s FREE. I actually share information there before I post here on the blog.

But, hey, don’t feel sad, all our blog posts have more information in it as it was carefully “re-planned and brainstormed” by yours truly. 🙂

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Charlyn June
Blogger/Web Developer/Content Writer/Mom of 3
Charlyn June helps Filipinos create their own blog and teach them how to monetize it.

On the other hand, she writes for other people's blog for a living. She uses her blog as an online portfolio and has now been a part of several online businesses abroad (Australia, US, and UK). She also creates Wordpress websites for clients and does other Virtual Assistant jobs.

Overall, She is a full-time mom, juggling business, work, and home to the best of her ability.

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