Copywriting VS Writing: 9 Key Differences

Many people come to copywriting with burning eyes in search of self-expression and self-realization. They like writing. They feel an inner need for it and want to generate new images and metaphors with inspiration. To be like serious masters of the artistic word. There is only one problem. Masters of the artistic word are writers, and writing has the same relation to copywriting as jurisprudence has to journalism. It seems like the words and sentences are the same, but the directions and their tasks are fundamentally different.

Therefore, in today’s selection, I want to talk about nine key differences between writing and copywriting. As well as to explain why they are two completely different niches.

Copywriter and writer are completely different jobs

Looking ahead, it is worth saying that you can also earn money from writing, just like from copywriting. For example, publishing your book and receiving a royalties for it. Or writing stories or poems for your audience, and when people support you monthly through the services like Patreon. All this can be done, and all this is money. But this is not copywriting. And that’s why.

1. Different goals

In the art of writing, the final literary work is the goal itself. As soon as the author wrote it and published it – that’s it. You can breathe out. In copywriting, the text is just a means to an end: sales or other commercial effect. After launch, there is a high probability that it will have to be rewritten because it did not work. That is, the main work is still ahead.

2. A different approach to writing

In writing, the brighter the images, the more beautiful the description, the more colorful the characters, the better. This is not necessary for copywriting. At all. On the contrary: the priority is simple and quick conveying of meaning, and many images are usually transmitted through images in order to simplify perception and quickly get the desired effect from the target audience. Read more about the target audience here.

3. Different complexity

This is a consequence of the previous point. Writers’ books develop the reader’s brain, forcing him to imagine the images that the author wanted to convey. In copywriting, due to simplification, there is a game with the most simple images and ready-made pictures and photographs, which further cultivate the craving for simple content. It’s sad, but it can’t be otherwise. There is too much competition, and most people simply don’t read detailed art descriptions. This is an unaffordable luxury for a copywriter.

4. Different effects on emotions

The writer makes sure that a person is completely immersed in the text, feels the atmosphere, empathizes and is imbued with what is happening. It is like a wave that covers a person and does not let go. In copywriting, this is rarely used, and the impact on emotions is fast and targeted, with the help of psychological techniques of influence.

5. Writing principles

Writers use a sequential principle: from the introduction and the plot to the climax and denouement. In copywriting, the principle of the “inverted pyramid” is most often used, when the key essence is conveyed in the title and the first paragraph, which is then revealed further in the text.

6. Text structure

The writer creates the text in a monolithic way: some images and scenes flow logically into others. The copywriter, on the other hand, makes the text modular so that at any time you can pull out an ineffective fragment and replace it with another without changing the text itself.

7. Work for the name, fame and recognition

The writer invests him or herself in the work, and it is often inextricably linked with the author. If the work is successful, the author is surrounded by honors and glory (for the time being, we will put ghostwriting out of brackets). In the case of copywriting, everything is different: the copywriter almost always remains in the shadows. And if the text is successful and brings a lot of money, the name of the author, most likely, no one will know (except for the customer). And the readers don’t really care.

The opposite is also true: if the text fails miserably, then there is no one to disgrace. Unless, there may be an unpleasant conversation with the customer, but the text of a copywriter in 95% of cases can be corrected and rewritten.

8. Creativity element

Writing is usually a creative profession that involves constant experimentation and the creation of something new. Copywriting is a craft. There is practically no creativity, no inspiration, no elements of novelty in it – only proven approaches, models, algorithms and formulas. A copywriter, unlike a writer, does not need a muse to work. Yes, you can experiment locally and pointwise, but the space for experimentation is nothing compared to the one that the writer has.

9. Different earning models

The writer usually receives royalties for the work. And the better the reviews of readers and critics, the more famous the name – the higher the fee. The more sympathy, noise and intrigue – the larger the circulation. The copywriter gets paid for the commercial effect that the text brings. The better the text sells, the higher the income.

If the copywriter’s text is considered brilliant by everyone around, but it does not bring money, then this is a bad job, and there is a high risk of getting a scolding or a net loss instead of honors and fame, because advertising money has flown down the drain.

So, we looked at 9 main differences between a copywriter and a writer. If you want to learn more about copywriting, then check out this free and systematic course.

Best regards, Dan.

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