First, let’s define the difference between content writing and copywriting so we’re on the same page: Copywriting is advertising and marketing writing; words that are designed to sell or persuade. Websites, emails, banner ads, brochures, magazine ads, billboards, etc. Content is writing that’s designed to educate, entertain, or inspire. Think: blog posts and articles.
They’re both forms of writing, but copywriting requires more training, more skills, and more mastery and, thus, it pays much better. I’m not saying that content writing is easy, only that it’s easier. They’re both climbing mountains, but one mountain is steeper.
Why Content Writers Aren’t Paid As Well as Copywriters
You’ll find that, in general, content works pays a lot less because it doesn’t require as much training or skill as copywriting. There is a lower level of skill required (please see previous paragraph; I’m NOT saying there is NO skill required), and many people who hire content writers don’t even know how to screen for that level of skill, and, so, the market is flooded.
Are there content writers who are paid well per article? Absolutely. (Many of them are also copywriters charging their copywriting rates for content writing.) However, too often content writers charge by the word. As a copywriter, you know this makes absolutely 0 sense. You’d be penalized for doing your job well. Even content writers know that writing more for the sake of writing more doesn’t produce a quality product.
Why Copywriters Are Paid Well
Copywriting, on the other hand, pays well because it requires a higher level of skill and often directly translates to helping a client increase revenue. Of course, there will ALWAYS be some clients that try to get great copywriters for cheap, just as there are always people trying to get anything for cheap. But in the professional world, clients are generally willing to pay well for good copywriting.
So, all of this is why I teach copywriting: it’s more challenging, more interesting, more versatile and it pays better. If you want to make six figures as a copywriter? It’s absolutely possible. If you want to make six figures as a content writer? Unfortunately, good luck.
Copywriters Can Charge Copy Rates for Content Writing
But here’s the thing: Just because we’re copywriters doesn’t mean we don’t write content sometimes. In fact, I have a couple of clients who ask me to write a few blog posts periodically in addition to their copywriting projects.
So what does a copywriter charge for content work? Do we charge the 10¢ a word (or less!) that many content writers have to settle for? In three words:
Oh HECK no.
When I (and my students and other professional copywriters) write content for our clients, we charge our copywriting rates. Why? Because our clients are still getting the extra level of strategy and insight that our copywriting training has given us, now infused into their content and content strategy.
Becoming a copywriter doesn’t mean that you’ll never write blog posts again if that’s what you like to do. It means that you’ll write them better and you’ll command higher rates for your services—which is a win for both you and your client.
How to Add Content Writing to Your Copywriting Services
If you’re a copywriter looking to add content writing to the services you offer clients, watch this video before getting started. (And, make sure you’re charging your copywriter rates!)
Your turn! What appeals to you about copywriting versus content writing? Or vice versa? Let me know in the comments below.
Last Updated on April 19, 2022 by Kate Sitarz