Content and copy are two different types of writing, though some people believe them to be the same. Both types of writing have different objectives, styles, and require different skills to write. Let’s take a look at what each one is.
Content is about informing the reader. It gives information in a factual way, and is focused on the reader’s interests and needs. Content should be engaging, aimed to inform, and create discussion or interest. Blog posts are an example of content writing.
People read content for answers, info, and out of curiosity. They usually aren’t looking to buy anything. To keep them coming back to the same website, content needs to be engaging, accurate and useful.
When writing content, we have more freedom to be creative, as it can help build the connection with your readers. Using established frameworks and layouts isn’t so important; as long as it’s informative, people will read it.
Content writing is about getting the message/information across. Good explanation skills are a great help with this, as is the ability to do in-depth research.
Copy is what fills sales pages, product descriptions, brochures, ad letters, and commercial websites. It’s less about information and more about influence. We aren’t focused on informing people about a variety of things, just about your brand/site/business or your product/service/list.
Copy will inform the reader about your product/brand and use influential words and techniques to help ‘lead’ them. A good copywriter will use established techniques and stick to successful frameworks for their writing. They write each word very carefully, often with many, many edits to get the flow and choice of words perfect. These words are chosen based on who their target audience/customer is, in an attempt to create maximum influence.
People usually read copy when they’re curious or interested in a product/service/brand, so it aims to identify with these people and create a connection. This is then used to influence the reader and hopefully lead to a sale or sign up.
Put simply, content can be about anything and is about the information provided. Copy is more for creating sales/sign ups and influencing your audience. There are a number of more subtle differences between the two, though these key points cover the main differences.