Copy vs. Content: What’s the Difference?


Picture of Laura Paisley Beck

Laura Paisley Beck

Freelance Content Creator

Business owners looking to hire a writer for their marketing needs might be noticing nuanced language in job titles. Do you need a copywriter or content writer? What’s the difference? This question comes up often among clients and writers alike. However, many writers are very particular about the difference between copy and content, so let’s break it down.


Copywriting is sales writing. The words writers choose for your particular project must grab attention and convey many things in very few words: brand voice, emotion, uniqueness, action, mission, and/or solutions to a customer pain point. 

Common examples of copywriting:

  • digital ads
  • product descriptions
  • promotional landing pages
  • promotional emails 

Hint: if the project has the word “promotional,” “marketing,” or “sales” in it, chances are that project needs a copywriter.


Content writing educates. Usually this type of writing requires research or interviews. Sure, many content pieces have a tone and brand voice to them, but the piece is generally designed to inform rather than sell.

Examples of projects requiring a content writer:

  • Press releases
  • Transcripts
  • News articles
  • Blog posts


I can hear your questions already. What about website content? Aren’t blogs promotional? Profile pieces written about a glowing client or proud vendor? There are many interesting (to me) writer conversations around this. Some writers like to draw a very strict line. Others are kicking away that line in the sand. Much of what we’re writing now, especially on websites, is selling a target audience on something.

We’re selling a concept, mission, vision, personality, relationship, or movement. We’re showcasing our client’s integrity, credentials, experience, understanding and wow factor. 

For example: a data-driven presentation can be designed with helpful lures for the reader to take action. A beautiful fact-heavy report with statistics and graphs may be peppered with clever tips, best practices, and catchy reasons why the customer (who provided their email for the report) needs to schedule a consultation today. It’s educational. It sells too.

Ultimately, a good writer with a sales background can help you with both copy and content for your business or nonprofit – especially if you treat them nicely. If you would rather stick a fork in your eye than write your own website content, or if you wonder why your copy or content isn’t working for you, I’m more than happy to take a look for you. Schedule a walk-n-talk or coffee chat with me and we’ll make it fun (and work).

About Wa’am Writes, LLC

Laura Paisley Beck of Wa’am Writes works wonders for small businesses and solopreneurs. She sharpened her copywriting skills as a serial entrepreneur and corporate trained salesperson for decades. Reminder: copywriting is sales writing. The best sales writing is savvy, empowering storytelling. Want a colorful experienced successful writer for your content? Schedule time with Laura Paisley Beck today!