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Content Writer vs Copywriter – Which Do You Need? (2021 Advice)

What Content Writers and Copywriters Have in Common

Unfortunately, the distinction between copywriters and content writers isn’t so simple in real life. And this is because some aspects of their jobs overlap. But this is good news for you, the client. It means that, in some cases, you can hire either one.

They focus on your business’s goal

Whether it’s the launch of a new product, a sales increase, or brand awareness, both content writers and copywriters will help you make it happen.


In other words, they aren’t artists creating a piece for the beauty of it. They have a business-oriented mindset.

They write for all senses

Content writers and copywriters don’t write pieces only for reading. They deal with words that can be either seen or heard. So, you can also hire them to write scripts for videos, podcasts, virtual reality games, etc.

They don’t create images or videos

Yes, they can think visually. A content writer can create an article like this one, where screenshots play an important part. A copywriter can suggest what image will match a particular ad. But they won’t create images or videos themselves.


“Ah, but my friend hired someone, and she does both.” Fantastic, that person has two separate skills. You might be lucky and find a multitalented professional who is good at both writing and design, but this is rare. It’s more likely that the person is exceptional at one of these skills and has an acceptable knowledge of the other one.

They don’t write fiction or technical manuals

If what you want is to publish a series of novels featuring your company’s mascot as a superhero, you need a fiction writer.Both copywriters and content writers deal with real facts.

Manuals, instructions, and other technical materials are created by technical writers. They specialize in certain industries and know the right style and lingo. Copywriters and content writers use easy-to-read language to reach a broader audience, even when they are explaining technical information.

What Content Writers and Copywriters Do Differently

I agree with Merriam-Webster’s definition. Copywriters create advertisement materials. This is why they are also known as “sales writers.”

Their ultimate goal is to persuade your customer to buy your product as soon as possible. To do so, they will often:

  • Use as few words as possible, while including strong adjectives and action verbs
  • Create urgency and inspire deep feelings
  • Work with graphic and web designers to enrich the copy with visual elements

A copywriter will create ads, email marketing, sales pages, landing pages, and brochures for you. They produce both print and online pieces.

On the other hand, content writers go for the long run. They want to inform or educate an audience. To achieve it, they will often:

  • Prepare long-form texts based on statistics and thorough research, which can make audiences think (and can also instill an emotion response)
  • Make it look like their text isn’t intended to sell, even at times when it is
  • Apply SEO, user experience, data analysis, and other techniques to attract and engage your customers

Content writers provide blog posts, articles, ebooks, white papers, and case studies. They can work on print materials, but they are mostly into online pieces.

But, above all, copywriters and content writers go about their jobs very differently. Let’s see some examples of pieces that often cause confusion: social media writing, Google Search results, and website content.