So what’s the difference between Content Writing and Copywriting?
Copywriting is about selling. It’s about using psychology to persuade someone to do something.
Content Writing is just writing something. It’s more “journalistic” in nature.
Let’s take the example of an article about trimming rose bushes. This could be on a website, or a magazine, or a newspaper:
Content Writing version of rose bush article:
The end goal of this content writing is to simply explain the topic. There is no alternative motivation involved:
To trim a rose bush you should:
1.) Prune the stems to expose fresh wood.
2.) Measure out the desired shape of the bush.
3.) Use a tool to hedge the edges into the desired shape.
If you follow these steps, you will successfully trim your rose bush and still have blooming roses.
Now let’s take this same article and inject some copywriting into it. Here’s how it would go:
Copywriting version of rose bush article:
Copywriting is the act of modifying the information to where it makes someone want to BUY. So we can still give out great information, but tweak it in such a way that gets someone to buy. This version will still give information, but also entice the person to buy a specific product:
See the difference in the copy? There was a very specific emphasis on buying the trimmers. Whether your company sells these trimmers or you placed an affiliate link for those trimmers, you stand to make some money with the Copywriting version of the article.
Now just because an article also sells something, it doesn’t mean has to be a crappy or scammy article! In fact, if you’re being genuinely helpful, then you HAVE to recommend tools/courses/resources to people in order to help them.
Shitty Copywriters will be super aggressive to sell you something. They will use scammy tactics or flat out lying to make sales:
There’s always been copywriters like this who will stretch the truth to make a sale, and count on people’s laziness not to return or refund the product…..but these people don’t last. Especially in the modern day when consumers can thoroughly research a product before purchasing, this kind of marketing is going out of style.
At AppSumo I remember we once pushed out a product (I won’t name) that was very “affiliate-y” and tended to stretch the truth in it’s sales pitch. Since the AppSumo audience is mainly smart people with a super high bullshit sensor, people REVOLTED at the way the product was sold.
However they LOVED when we would blatantly bring up a products shortcomings or weaknesses. Smart people appreciate the brutal honesty far more than trying to stretch the truth.
Which brings me to this point:
Great Copywriters blend Content Writing and Copywriting into one beautiful article that’s simultaneously helpful to the reader AND makes the author money by selling or recommending helpful products:
There’s nothing wrong with selling helpful products. In fact, just giving out information without selling or recommending tools for the job is just silly. We want to have a Win-Win situation where the customer gets great information for their problems, and the copywriter can make a sale off a small percentage of those readers.
If they buy, great! If they don’t buy, we still put out a great piece of content enjoyed by many people.
You don’t have to be a scammy asshole to make a lot of money.
A lot of people tense up when they are forced to inject “selling” into their writing. They think it’s somehow unethical or scammy. But if you’re genuinely providing a real solution and recommending great products, then it’s not unethical or scammy.
This is why I recommend you get GREAT at Content Writing, but then inject about 10% – 30% of sales copywriting into it:
You can make money from your great Content Writing, if you inject a bit of Copywriting into it:
What a lot of people don’t realize is you NEED to inject Copywriting into your Content Writing in order to SELL A CONCEPT TO THE READER.
If you’re writing a relationship help article, and you don’t SELL them a solid concept or action to take, then the point of the article is lost, and everyone just wasted their time.
Copywriting isn’t just about selling products, it’s about selling a CONCEPT. This actually makes your content better.
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