Content writers and copywriters are like Left Twix and Right Twix:

They look the same but differ inside.

A content writer crafts long-form assets aimed at informing and educating the audience. It’s about SEO writing, driving organic traffic to a website, building brand awareness, and warming up users. Content writers are Left Twix: drizzled caramel on a crunchy cookie enrobed in creamy chocolate.

Copywriters are Right Twix: cascaded caramel on a crispy cookie cloaked in velvety chocolate. They craft short-form ad assets aimed at persuading the audience to buy. It’s about converting the organic traffic from content writers into leads.

While most know these definitions, the line between content writers and copywriters often gets blurry. After reading this article, you will never confuse these two professionals again and know which tasks to assign to each for maximum results in your communication campaign.

Purpose and Intent Behind Their Content

Copywriters work to persuade users to make a purchase. Their content reflects your brand voice and persona, and they write it to sell your brand to the audience. While it’s never hard-selling, it’s about making a person take action: to buy, subscribe, follow, download, etc.

On the other hand, content writers aren’t about selling.

Their focus is on engaging, informing, and educating. Their assets don’t persuade but build relationships and establish your brand as a thought leader in the niche.

Content writers drive traffic to your website; copywriters convert that traffic into leads. Both use SEO writing basics, though content writing is more SEO-prolific because of its nature and length:

It can pack more keywords, links, and topic clusters without sounding too robotic.

So, long story short, here are the differences:

Content Writing


  • creates engagement;
  • guides readers via web writing structures and internal/outbound links;
  • drives traffic;
  • builds brand awareness and loyalty;
  • includes long-form assets like blog posts, newsletters, tutorials, and newsletters.
  • creates conversions (sales, leads);
  • guides users via a linear approach and proven copywriting frameworks;
  • guides prospects through consideration to decision stages;
  • includes shorter-form assets like ads, landing pages, product descriptions, and emails.


What They Create (Given a Sales Funnel)

First, a tiny confession:

I’ve been in content writing for ten years already. During this journey, most of which was in-house jobs, I’ve got many names from managers:

Copywriter; blogger; rewriter; SEO copywriter; writer; guest blogger; text writer; SEO assistant; tech writer.

Now, I get offers as a freelance content writer on LinkedIn, and most come from those looking for… a copywriter. (Despite I mentioned the content types I create in the description.) It makes me think that many still feel no difference between these two, and it’s among the reasons I decided to write this article. Let’s use it as a cheat sheet when looking for a proper specialist for our projects, huh?

So, back to the assets a content writer and a copywriter create:

Content writers craft long-form assets, like blog posts or whitepapers. They stand at the beginning of a buyer journey: In a sales funnel, their work serves for awareness and consideration stages.

Their materials are in-depth, informative, and educational. The goal is to keep readers’ attention and earn their trust before they might decide to make a purchase. Content writers deliver comprehensive written materials without selling or encouraging a sale directly. They may use AI writing tools to assist with topics, content ideas, or references.

Ask a content writer to create:

  • Blog posts
  • Guest posts
  • E-books
  • Topic clusters
  • Newsletters
  • White papers
  • Infographics
  • Power pages
  • How-to guides
  • User manuals and documentation
  • Press releases
  • Video scripts

Copywriters are usually darker and shorter. (It’s not because they can’t write long-form copies; the copies they write just can’t be lengthy because of their nature.)

Copywriters craft marketing materials aimed at pushing users to buy. In a sales funnel, their work serves for consideration and decision stages. They know the target audience inside out, ensuring their message aligns with that audience’s values and needs to trigger action. They play on emotions and address specific psychological triggers to encourage a desired decision.

Ask a copywriter to create:

  • Social media taglines
  • PPC ads
  • Marketing emails
  • Commercials
  • Print advertisements
  • Case studies
  • Landing pages
  • Billboards
  • Slogans
  • Marketing text messages
  • Product pages
  • Sales emails
  • Brochures

Instruments They Use for Content Creation

Both copywriter and content writer want to engage and influence a user, but a copywriter’s instruments to do that are more emotionally evocative.

The goal is to convert readers into leads, and that’s why a copywriter focuses on sales strategies. They use triggers like fear, nostalgia, or urgency to connect with the audience on a deeper level and ultimately boost action.

The top ten emotional triggers that help a copywriter:

Why emotions? 

They are among the easiest ways to influence decisions and persuade to take action.

Content writers, on the other hand, are more straightforward. Given their copies are aimed at earning authority and trust, they use more direct language.

Sure, content writers want the audience to feel something when reading their texts. But unlike copywriters, their instruments aren’t psycho triggers but word choice, tone, and literary devices, which help—and  to create a sense of connection and trust.

The goal is to engage readers and keep them interested, thus bridging the gap between the audience and the brand. So, no direct sales strategies here; the focus is on adding value, clarity, and depth of content.

Some tactics of a content writer:

  • Storytelling
  • Humor
  • Conversational tone (relevant for blog posts)
  • Literary writing techniques (metaphors, imagery, contrast, analogies, paradox, etc.)
  • Structuring content according to the rules of web writing to encourage reading, prevent high bounce rate, and influence dwell time. (Catchy intros, bucket brigades, compelling CTAs, custom visuals, relevant links)

In a Word

Good content is a cornerstone of efficient brand communication and marketing. For this content to work, it would help to understand the purpose and intent behind different content types, delegating their creation to the right person.

Many still confuse content writers and copywriters, though these two work with different content types, serving distinct goals on a buyer journey:

  • Ask a content writer to craft long-form assets, engaging readers and driving organic traffic to your website. 
  • Ask a copywriter to polish shorter sales copies, persuading users to act and thus turning them into leads.

Ideally, your business needs both. So, do your best to understand how each can benefit your branding and marketing endeavors.

Olesia Filipenko

Olesia Filipenko is a seasoned content writer who offers ghostwriting, SEO writing, and blogging services. She works with B2C businesses, providing digital marketing content that increases search engine visibility. A big fan of Stephen King and Ernest Hemingway, Olesia also writes fiction (one story has already been published in Ukrainian) and is working on her novel right now. When not writing, she spends time at the gym, reads tons of books, and struggles with her country's invaders on the informational frontline. She shares her reflections on the war on Medium and X (formerly Twitter).

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