Content writing and copywriting: your website needs both

Content writing and copywriting
Some of us are too busy to care about the nuanced points of content writing and copywriting.

I’m not at all busy. I hate being busy. Charge more, do less. Fuck. Yes.

Most people running a business (busy or not) don’t know (and don’t care) about the endless debate between content writing vs copywriting. 

It bores the living shit outta me too, tbh. 

Just like Bobby Brown, it’s your prerogative to avoid that particular writer’s discussion, but having a basic understanding of this thorny issue will make your website content much better. 

Content writing

Website content writing is SEO optimised text that attracts organic traffic.

Its entire purpose is to get you found by the right kind of people. Blogging is a huge part of content SEO and it’s considered (by me, at least) as the long game to attraction.

If you blog, think about the process.

I’m guessing you research the topic. You figure out the keywords you want that post to be found for and I dare say, you SEO the bejeesus out of every aspect of that post. Once it’s done, you promote the life out of it.

All that is part and parcel of brand awareness.

I nearly typed ‘bland awareness’ which for many is so apt.

All this content is building a reputation. 

And a reputation sets you up as an authority, which in turn, cultivates trust (lest we forget the E-A-T principle of SEO).

This is a drip-feed of information about what you do and what you sell to potential customers. We do that, not only on the basis that they will find us but also, remember us.

Content marketing works in a similar way to TV ads. 

You’re constantly reminding prospects who you are so when they need that thing you sell, they’ll know who to turn to.

All this happens over a long-ass period of time. 

Producing online content is relentless. It’s hard graft. But a website without a content strategy is a lame duck, and without it, your organic traffic efforts are fer nuffin’.

Copywriting

So, you’ve got some clients mooching around on your homepage, great, but now you’ve got to do something with them. 

We need to give those visitors a reason to stay and we absolutely want them to take some kind of action – an action that we have orchestrated.

Direct response copywriting is how we convince customers to do that thing. 

If you want to sell a product or get a blog sign up, you write using that technique. And it’s a technique that has hard and fast rules.

(I struggle with rules. I’m not great with authority either.)

Unlike content writing, copywriting has a short term goal.

And that goal is to elicit a decision from the reader. A decision that requires some urgency, in the same way, that infomercials want you to act now to get that half-price Dormeo mattress.

Content writing and copywriting are similar

Both techniques require you to know your target customer like your own mother.

If you don’t know your own mother, sorry. 

Content writing and copywriting is only effective if you establish a problem that you can solve.

Both also ask that you speak directly to your client. In the same way that you might have a one-to-one conversation.

Why do you need both?

Selling a product and attracting organic traffic are two different things.

The writing style you use is determined by the pages of your website, the purpose of which can vary.

A landing page, for example, has one purpose, a short term goal that requires urgent action. You’ll predominantly use copywriting on those kinds of pages.

A blog post is all about long term brand awareness so you’re much more likely to adopt content writing techniques to engage your audience.

Can you combine content writing and copywriting?

The marketing technique of mixing shit up has already been invented and it has a snazzy name… wait for it… 

Brand Response.

Christ.

Brand Response is the marketing communications industry’s Genius of the And. It sounds too good to be true. It asks us to live with two apparently contradictory ideas at the same time. It can be defined simply as a strategic and executional campaign approach where brand-building drives response and this response, in turn, builds the brand in a virtuous circle of effectiveness.”

Marketing Society

In summary, you’re getting both short term and long term goals in a single hit.

You’re doing the thing of creating a buzz around your business – building on the desire to want to be remembered for a long while to come, whilst asking of those reading your content to do something immediately after the fact.

You can do exactly that with your blog.

The dark art of merging both content writing and copywriting to murderous effect. 

I’m clearly thinking about my own blog.

If you apply the rules of direct response, all the while keeping your brand awareness sensibilities, you’ve got the basis for a cracking business blog that not only informs but converts.

Interestingly enough, direct response copywriting is often long-form, and according to Crazy Egg, it outperforms short-form by 30%. 

Oh, and the grandmaster of advertising, David Ogilvy said something along the lines, “The more you tell, the more you sell.”

What a wordsmith. Sadly, he was nowhere near as pretty on camera as his nephew. 

So, what do you do now?

Well, I suggest you mull all this over.

Take time to fully appreciate how brilliant using both techniques (and even merging the two) could be for your website. If you’re still on the fence about employing someone to write for your business, then you’ve either missed all my other posts or you don’t understand the value.

If however, you’re starting to see the proverbial light, you know where to find me.

(Hint. Click the button below.)

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