Difference between copywriting and content development

August , 17 2020

Is it copywriting? Content developing? Newsflash! They are not the same thing. While these terms may be used interchangeably, they do not necessarily entail the same meaning. Though there is some overlap between the two, it is important for young writers to know the differences between them in order to determine the job most suitable. Differentiating between copywriting and content development is also necessary because each job comes with specific skills, challenges, and objectives that must be clear to any person considering a job in the field. In this article, we discuss the main differences between copywriting and content development as well as some overlapping characteristics.


Copywriting is the art of writing texts that encourage people to take a certain action wanted by a service or product provider; the purpose of the writing is to sell or advertise. Writing good copy entails that you engage your readers in a way that makes them want to buy your product or service out of enjoyment and interest, not out of obligation. Copywriting is mainly used for marketing and advertising purposes and can be used interchangeably with “sales writing”.

Copywriter’s Skills and Knowledge

A copywriter should be able to grab the reader’s attention from the headline until the last word, thus, knowing the basics of persuasive writing, copywriting skills, and some consumer behavior tricks would be of great benefit. Based on the service/brand/product, a copywriter would need to:

  • Emotionally affect the reader 
  • Try to eliminate risks 
  • Answer any concerns or questions
  • Promote what is offered
  • Tell why the price is reasonable 

Content Development 

Content development is the creation of the full content of a website, blog, newspaper, channel, or magazine with the purpose of informing, educating, or entertaining. The process includes strategizing, writing, optimizing, publishing, and promoting. A website’s content, newsletter, blog, online channel content or other deliverables include, but are not limited to company profiles, blog posts, landing pages copy, podcasts, videos, presentations, and social media posts.

Content Marketing Related Vector Illustration. Flat Modern Design for Web Page, Banner, Presentation etc.

Content Developer’s Skills and Knowledge

Ultimately, a good content developer should be able to:

  • Gather a lot of information about the client
  • Analyze collected data
  • Set goals
  • Strategize and make plans
  • Write flawless pieces
  • Manage search engine optimization
  • Publish
  • Promote
  • Review the work constantly

Knowledge of online marketing and journalism along with research and writing skills would be very important assets in this field. Being resourceful in gathering sources of information and understanding how particular topics operate is always a plus.

Relationship Between Copywriting and Content Development

“The human brain is essentially two interconnected brains, right and left. Until 1962, it was thought that the two hemispheres performed roughly the same functions. Roger Sperry finally proved that some functions are located predominantly in one or the other side of the brain. It seems that we have two minds. For example, the left brain specializes in verbal and language understanding and the right in visual and mathematical problems. 

So in terms of producing successful ads, the best strategic, creative team (or individual) is one that/who possesses a balance of logic and imagination, verbal and visual skills, etc. 

(Many creative teams resemble the classic funny guy/straight guy comedy team, where each member is almost totally reliant on the other in order for their act to succeed.) At the other end of this equation is another human being: the consumer.

As readers and viewers of ads, we respond best to ads that possess a similar balance. In turn, we make purchases for inner logical, practical, and rational reasons, as well as for emotional and creative ones. Whether you like or dislike an ad is determined by one side of the brain, whereas the other side decides whether or not the ad has convinced you that the product is worth buying/using. 

In other words, too much logic will most likely produce a boring, factual, “hard sell” ad, and too much creativity and emotional pull may lack substance or a selling idea. Therefore, the goal for any agency is to ensure that every ad appeals to both sides of a consumer’s brain/mind.” 

From: The Advertising Concept Book – Think Now, Design Later by Pete Barry

Accordingly the content developer and the copywriter compliment each other’s work in enriching information and promoting a certain business. 

Content developers help provide all information that a reader would need in the case of making a decision, while copywriters help push the reader towards a certain decision (the one desired by a client). Thus, content developers establish trust, which is important when it comes to sales. If a company/organization centers around the idea of selling a product, idea, service, or brand, then its website’s content would include a lot of copywriting within it. The content created on the website would be present to inform the readers about what is offered, and the copywriting would encourage people to buy it out of enjoyment, trust, and desire.