I know the difference. Do you?
Content writing informs, instructs and educates.
Copywriting sells and nothing else.
Yet, isn’t a copy essentially a piece of content? Isn’t content ultimately a different form of copy?
Think about it: through a piece of content, do you simply bother to educate your prospects? If so, nobody would do it – for free. Why fill up a blog with thousands of posts without any commercial goal attached to it? As a matter of fact, every content piece is about expanding the market reach and escorting the reader through the marketing funnels (TOFU, MOFU and BOFU).
Does your content also not aim to work on the emotional matrix of the reader?
Does your content also not ask the reader to take action in the form of an eBook download or sharing on social media?
Content writing is actually a special form of copywriting that eventually “sells” a particular premise to the reader―the ultimate aim of which is to let him or her connect with your brand.
Now, come to think of it, every promotional copy I have written was also more or less full of substance. You cannot just start with the sentence, “You have this problem. You need our solution.”
Whether it is a health or finance copy, I would have to do extensive research, zero in on a big idea, and then write about it. You have to fill it with enough information, facts and statistics in order to convince the prospect that you are knowledgeable enough about the topic and are in a good position to solve it.
For example, if you are providing a solution for auto-immune disorders, and did not care to write a whole section on the medical scope of gut health and its treatments, you would not drive enough credibility in the first place.
In this light, almost every promotional copy (especially, the long ones) are filled with “content”, and can also be considered a special form of content writing.
As a writer, your main task is to influence and persuade your reader with words, whether it is content writing or copywriting.