When we talk about content marketing 101, people usually expect to talk about basic writing skills, the do’s and don’ts of content writing and other stuff like that.
But here I am talking about copywriting and content writing so I bet you’re wondering why.
You see, content marketing isn’t just about writing. As a matter of fact, it’s a lot broader than everyone thinks.
To start off, let me share with you a brief story about how my content writing career began.
I remember my first time in the content marketing industry.
I was working for an SEO company. My job was to write guests posts for different websites for the purpose of link building.
It wasn’t long before I was introduced into the world of freelance writing.
My co-workers have been freelancing for quite some time and they were the ones who taught me all about it.
I guess they liked my writing too, because they would often refer me to their clients.
Well, it felt really good to earn some extra cash so I decided to get my own clients. Ii dive into the world of freelancing.
I’d usually get lots of blogging gigs but there was this one time that a client hired me to write a copy for his website.
Well, the point is, from then on, I’ve always thought that the term copy can only refer to the words that you see on landing pages.
The more I got deeper and deeper into content marketing I realized how wrong I was. It’s not about whether content is for a landing page or for a blog post.
It was more about the purpose.
What’s the difference between content writing and copywriting?
Well, let’s start with content writing.
When I just got into this industry, my job involved writing numerous content, but I really had no idea what content writing even meant.
What is content writing?
Content writing is the process of creating content for the purpose of getting leads, whether it is for marketing, business, branding, commercial affairs and many more.
Content writing is usually done through writing blogs, press releases, articles, the list goes on.
What is content writing for?
According to SEJ, content writing is made for content marketing. What does that mean? It means that when you do content writing, you write content that’s going to capture the attention of a specific audience.
Content writing is a procedure of getting leads. It requires not just good writing but also good research.
Well, you’d have to conduct research about your target audience. You have to know to know all about their interests. You have to know how to line their interests with yours.
You’d want people to purchase your product or service. You’re never going to do so by giving them a sales pitch.
You have to bait them. That’s were content writing comes in. You write content that will trigger the attention of your audience and just when you’ve got them hooked and then that’s the time that you launch the dragon.
That’s the time you try to introduce your product or service.
Well, if that’s the case then what’s copywriting?
Most people think that copywriting and content writing are different terms. I once did too but as a matter of fact, copywriting is the life of content.
All great content has to have one.
Copywriting is the process of creating compelling and high value content.
So, how is copywriting different from content writing?
It’s one thing to write content and it’s another thing to write a copy.
What do I mean by that?
Well, let’s say you decided to create an SEO website.
You see, people who come to your site won’t be availing your services just because you say that you’re an SEO company. There has to be a reason they are going to choose you over other companies.
You can’t just wish that they find that reason. You have to be the one to give it to them. Well, anyways, that’s where copywriting comes in.
You have to give them all the reason why purchasing your service is going to be beneficial for them, but in the language that they understand.
I’m not getting any closer to knowing what sets content writing apart from copywriting
I got you, which is exactly why, I made this subhead so that I could give more concrete examples.
So, let’s say you have this website.
You already have everything ready for your landing page. You’ve written content specifically for that landing page.
It contains all the reasons why your company is better than the rest. Are you ready to set that landing page up?
Well, of course not. Well, at least not yet.
You might have all the details ready but doesn’t mean that everything is complete. You still have to optimize your content for your audience.
I’m going to be honest with you.
If you fill that landing page with the content that you’ve written, then chances are people are just going to jump from your site to another.
People won’t read just any text that is laid out right in front of them. As a matter of fact, most people usually ignore texts.
With that, you have to make them want to read your stuff.
So, what do you do?
You change your boring text into a more reader friendly tone. You have to make your reader feel as if he wasn’t reading a sales pitch.
Make him feel as if he was just listening to a good friend. Make him feel as if a friend of his is just trying to convince him that this certain product or service is good.
Why would I want to do that?
Well, let’s face it.
If you were the buyer, there’s a bigger chance that you’d listen to a third party saying that this certain product or service is good, rather than if someone else from the company itself was to say it.
Here’s my advice to you
Don’t just settle for just content writing. It’s good to have content that has been well thought of and has undergone research but data just isn’t enough.
Your content also has to be optimized for the audience. After all, the audience is the one who’s going to be reading it anyway.
That’s where copywriting comes in handy.
Likewise, you also shouldn’t settle for just copywriting. Remember that content still has to give value to the reader, because if not, then it wouldn’t matter how compelling your content is.