What’s The Difference Between Blogging and Copywriting?
With the constant innovation of the technological age, more people are trying their hands at writing. People write online to reach a larger audience while expressing their thoughts, feelings, and opinions. Two of the most common ways are through blogging and copywriting online. But what’s the difference between blogging and copywriting?
I’m so glad you asked.
Over the course of this article, I will compare and contrast two of the most popular modes of writing, today: blogging and copywriting. Once you know the difference between blogging and copywriting, you can utilize these styles to make your writing and website the best it can be!
One of the most popular modes of writing online is through blogging. Blogging is where an author writes regular posts in a less formal tone. The author publishes these posts on an online platform, like WordPress. An author can choose to blog about whatever interests them. It’s a more conversational platform for readers to connect to.
Typically, bloggers attempt to capture the attention of passive readers with short and snappy sentences that replace lengthy and informative paragraphs. The format is accessible and easy to use. Because of this, the web is dominated with countless blogs for even the most niche subject you can imagine. (German knitting anyone?)
Blogging may seem like an insignificant evolution of the writing form but look again. Blogging has become popularized across the internet and it’s not just for wannabe writers anymore. There are a number of professional blogs bringing in over six figures a year.
Even businesses are turning to blogging to better connect with their audience. Using education and entertainment in equal measure, blogging allows for writers to strike up an emotional connection with readers.
Copywriting as defined by Wikipedia is “The act of writing text for the purpose of advertising or other forms of marketing. The product, called copy, is written content which aims to increase brand awareness and ultimately persuade a person or group to take particular action.”
Today, copywriting is one of the most common online writing jobs you can find. Websites like Flex Jobs, Scripted, and the Freelance Writer’s Den offer tons of opportunities for writers to find copywriting jobs.
In marketing terms, copywriting is a useful skill to master to make your writing more accessible and to make more money. However, just like writing a blog, this method of writing is a craft that must be honed and polished. It’s more than just writing your thoughts and feelings. It takes a lot of practice to become a good copywriter.
Take David Ogilvy for example. Ogilvy, an advertising executive widely hailed as “The Father of Advertising” is a supposed inspiration for Mad Men’s Don Draper. Ogilvy popularized the art of copywriting in the 1950s and 60s. He’s famous for coining several taglines and headlines that subtly sold products and brands without overtly pushing.
In 1972, Ogilvy wrote 38 essential guidelines to create advertising that sells. He stressed that the most important decision is how you should position your product to an audience.
Consider the following:
- Should you position a fizzy drink like Schweppes as a mixer for adults or a soft drink for children?
- Should you position Dove as a product for dry skin or a product which gets hands clean?
This simple use of sentences and positioning in situations like these were essential in the success of many large companies.
In such a competitive market like blogging the use of copy is intrinsic in helping sell your writing, your product and yourself.
A great blogger can write and write and write till their fingers bleed, but it is from the nuances and skill that the copywriter adds a few cleverly placed words on a page. The position those words take with the audience can make or break the blog’s overall success.
The question is when to use it strategically in a blog format?
Merging Blogging and Copywriting
Despite the now obvious difference between blogging and copywriting, a case can be made for merging both styles on your own website or blog. In 2010, Professor Barbara Kaye at the University of Tennessee published a peer-reviewed article entitled “Going to the Blogs: Toward the Development of a Uses and Gratification Measurement Scale for Blogs” in the Atlantic Journal of Communications.
This study outlined nine key reasons why modern audiences and readers seek out information and entertainment from online blogs, rather than more traditional media outlets like newspapers and journals.
These nine reasons are:
1. Convenient information seeking
2. Anti-traditional media sentiment
3. Affiliation to a certain online community
4. Seeking guidance or opinion
5. Positive ambiances
6. Personal fulfillment
7. Political debate
8. A variety of opinion
9. A specific inquiry the reader may have into a chosen subject.
Readers invest in online blog content because of blogging’s informal nature. Blogging offers a writer’s voice that is uncompromised in opinion and not manufactured for any other purpose. When copywriting is utilized, it can make the end product better.
When looking at how you should effectively use copywriting principles on your blog, you should look at it all like a recipe for a cake. The blog and the content make up the bulk of the recipe. The eggs, the sugar, the flour, the butter. Measuring and applying these individual ingredients appropriately are what make the cake edible, let alone delicious.
Mixing quality content, the appropriate tone and the right style is the paramount function of the blog. Copywriting can be seen as the icing on the cake. It is the element that sells it and makes it look nice. But even with the most extravagant ornamentation, without a good cake underneath it, the product will not sell.
While the difference between blogging and copywriting is wide-sweeping, using both styles effectively is essential for the success of any website. The informative or entertaining content on the blog should be the main focus. From there, you can weave in copywriting tricks to make the call-to-action more persuasive. With practice and in finding the proper balance, even the smallest blog can find the right audience! Happy writing!