Knowing the difference between content writing vs copywriting is important when most marketers are producing more content than previously in 2020. Content writing is more about creating the words while copywriting is more focused on organizing the words to be as user-friendly and persuasive as possible. To go over the difference between content writing vs copywriting, we’ll go over what each is and what the two types of writing focus on when presenting information.
To start going over the difference between content writing vs copywriting, lets go over content writing. Content is that which is written to convey information. Content writing is used for SEO, product placement, instructions, blogging, marketing, and otherwise dispensing information.
How Content Writers Keep Readers Interested
Since the purpose of most content is to keep readers on a site or to guide them through a process, keeping readers interested in the content is a sign of good content writing. There are a few ways to do this (this is also a part of technical writing).
One way is to change how to start sentences. The subject/verb sentence structure is the most common structure. It can get repetitive and dull after just a few sentences. Finally, many readers lose interest and focus due to common or boring sentences; many poorly-written textbooks are guilty to this. This is important to technical writers. Changing the way you start a sentence makes writing more interesting.
Another way to keep readers interested is to tell a story. Starting with a story is an excellent way to start a document or speech as long as it is not too long. Human beings are keyed into listening to stories, particularly if they are lively or unique. Stories can help you add pathos (emotion/feeling) to your communication (and ethos (credibility/believability) too if it is something that happened to you). There is a reason most charities and nonprofits use this technique in their advertising. Just make sure your story is relevant and ties into your topic.
Lastly, statistics are a good way to keep people reading. Using statistics gets people’s attention because they sound important and add ethos and logos (logic) to your conversation, speech, or document. Statistics help answer questions like ‘why should I care’ or ‘how big a problem is this’. Make sure you cite where you got your statistic.
How Content Writers Write Well
Good content writers not only use the 8 parts of speech; they master them. First are verbs. Unlike powerful verbs, verbs that are weaker don’t explain situations well and are inaccurate, leading to reader frustration. Many aggravating instructions and descriptions are guilty of using these words. To increase accuracy and precision of articulating information and data, use powerful verbs that help readers understand what is going on and keep them engaged.
Not only do writers want to make their descriptions accurate; they want to make sure the audience understands what they are describing precisely.
Next are adverbs. Adverbs are the part of speech that modify verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs. These helpful words help support actions by expanding upon how, where, or when something happens. They help explain how often or how soon something happens or is happening. Make sure to match your adverb with the time and occurrence of your verb and the rest of the predicate.
-ly adverbs are words that end in the suffix -ly; using them makes sentences more specific and descriptive without adding extra words that makes reader scanning more difficult. Readers like to get the basic ideas easily and quickly, so keeping topics concise is critical. These adverbs also make sentences seem more refined and fancy.
Note: Not all words that end in -ly are adverbs, so check which function the word performs (adjectives only ever modify nouns and pronouns) before using them. This includes adjectives such as: friendly, cowardly, motherly, comely, kindly, and chilly.
The next part of the difference between content writing vs copywriting is to go over copywriting. Copywriting is about perfecting the way the info is presented. It’s usually prevalent in marketing, product descriptions, the behind the scene scriptwriting for videos or speeches, newsletters, and emails to clients and users.
How Copywriters Create User-Friendly and Persuasive Documents
Communication is the successful exchange of information and/or ideas between two or more people either through written, other visual, or spoken form. It is also one of the most important skills in the workplace and in life, and yet communication breaks down daily to varying degrees of consequences. As such, learning how to improve clarity in communication needs to be emphasized and increased for projects, meetings, and instructions to work and harmonize well.
The writer should try and keep the information and ideas as concise as possible. Too much information will leave their reader lost and overwhelmed, and redundant information just frustrates the reader, so keeping the writing as minimal as possible is helpful and user friendly.
The first way to improve clarity in writing is using plain language. Plain language is content that is written to ensure that the reader can easily scan a document, understand its main points, find specific details quickly, and use the document as intended. It includes using active voice, using second person, using bulleted lists, and avoiding jargon and slang.
Good copywriters use visuals to get user attention and support ideas. They use images to reinforce facts, topics, and other information. Images include cartoons, graphics, graphs, and photographs (yes, stock images too). Since most people are visual learners, use beautiful yet relevant images to reinforce ideas of the text. It is best to use/make your own to avoid copyright and make your site unique. Whatever images you use should be large and clear without being garish or overwhelming. If possible images, particularly cartoons and graphics should be flatter rather than 3D; this makes the image smoother and more a part of the overall design.
For extra information, key definitions, or elaborations they want to draw the reader’s attention to, bordered boxes of information helps critical points stand out from the rest of the document. They should not interrupt the flow of the organization and should be to the side of the main text, perhaps with an icon to show what kind of information it contains.
Lastly, copywriters know how to make a good infographic. Infographics show information in a visually appealing and memorable form. Usually rectangular, they explain concepts that may be hard to understand or comprehend. One of the features of the infographic is that they rely on visuals so people are more likely to remember them. Another of the infographic features is that they are easy to share as well, making them user friendly as well as SEO and digital marketing friendly.
To confirm the the difference between content writing vs copywriting, a content writer creates the infographic on the right while a copywriter ensures clarity like the one of the left.
Content writing is more about creating the words while copywriting is more focused on organizing the words to be as user-friendly and persuasive as possible. To go over the difference between content writing vs copywriting, we went over what each is and what the two types of writing focus on when presenting information.