What is the difference between blogging and copywriting? I can imagine that this question surprises you a bit. Well, you’re not the only one. For a long time, I was also unaware that there was a difference. This changed when I got a temporary job as a content specialist. At that time, I had already written a couple of blogs myself. That made me aware that you don’t just write a blog post. It took me more than six months (!) before I published my first blog because it was a constant process of writing…deleting…putting it aside…..and rewriting.
What I mostly learned was that writing an instructive blog post is an educational process for the writer. Despite the topic you write about.
With that in mind, I went to work. I soon found out that in this company, blogging meant something completely different. I had to finish each blog post in one hour. When also a visual had to be created, it decreased the writing time. It felt like a competition, with the goal to write as many copy as possible. This obviously affects the quality of the blog. Blogging and copywriting are two entirely different things.
Since then I have noticed that the word ‘blog’ is also used when people actually mean ‘copywriting’. Copywriting is completely different from writing a great blog post.
Blogging versus copywriting
Copywriting is something that usually has to be done quickly, because people don’t want to fall behind in the ‘content race’ and they want to see quick results. Many of these texts have to be actively written with the aim of putting the reader directly into action. While blogging is much more about providing valuable information to educate the reader.
Blogging is part of content marketing. It means that you write online articles in which you share valuable information to engage an audience. So that eventually the audience knows where to find you for a particular product or service instead of cold calling yourself. So blogging is a way to reach and attract potential customers.
The differences between blogging and copywriting are summarized in the table below.
Depending on what you want to achieve, you can choose copywriting or blogging. Keep in mind that, when you choose blogging, you can only aspect long term results because of the status you have to acquire and the audience you have to build. When you write copy it often involves short- term results.
Michael Brenner, of ‘The Marketing Insider Group’ says we focus to much on content that needs to help sell our products. The result is that we choose copywriting but sell it as ’blogs’ and that’s incorrect. Blog posts are created to educate or inform people instead of selling something because a long-term customer relationship is acquired.
The aim of copywriting is to sell products in a short period of time, often without focusing on the needs of the (potential) customers. Chances are that your audience won’t see the copy you’ve created, because their needs differ enormously. That’s a pity, because in these modern times you can learn a lot about your (potential) customers online and use it in your advantage. Like the needs they have. It’s a pity when you won’t benefit from it.
Whatever you write, thoroughly think about what you’re going to write by asking yourself the following questions:
- What’s the purpose of your blog?
- Who do you write it for?
- Where are you going to publish it?
- What’s the result your aiming for and how are you going to measure it?
DIY: Creating a great blog post
It takes time when you really want to create great content. Regardless of whether it’s video, audio or a blog. It’s the same process for all your content, but in this blog post I only explain the process for writing a blog post.
The first thing you start with when writing a blog post is the structure. You roughly set out what you are going to say. This is your framework. To determine the structure, it’s important to think about the purpose of your blog post.
Next, you start your research. This means you are searching on the internet for similar blogs about the topic you choose for your blog. When you do this you’ll ask yourself the next questions:
- What’s already written about this topic?
- What resources can support your own blog?
- How do you decide the trustworthiness and usability of these resources?
- How can you create value with your blog in addition to what’s already out there? (this depends on what you’ve found)
- What will be your header?
- What’s the tone of voice of your blog? (funny, informal, formal etc.)
When you write a blog it’s also essential to think about the way you want to ‘speak’ to your audience.
Measuring = knowing
Besides the writing it’s also important to check the data of your blog after publication. Look at the statistics. How many people have read your blog post, how many shared, liked or commented on it. You can use this data to attract your audience even better. Because the numbers are visible you can align your blog post with your audience.
The above process takes time. When you want to write a good blog, it’s important to take the time for it. When you’re an online marketer in an organization, or when you create content as a freelancer, the adjacent picture can be interesting. Maybe you know it as the ‘project management triangle’. It’s used in project management, but is also useful for when you create content. This triangle shows that the three factors (fast, cheap and good) together aren’t a great match. Each combination of these factors creates a different tension.
- Fast and good = expensive (not cheap)
- Good and cheap= slow (not fast)
- Fast and cheap = inferior (not good).
The next time someone asks you to combine the aspects from the ‘project management triangle’ in a blog you can identify these factors, intervene and act on it.
In short, it depends on the strategy and planning you choose, if blogging can add value for your audience. As long as you have a clear vision on what you want to achieve with the blog post you create. But do it consistently and analyze the results afterwards.
What about you? I’m curious for your thoughts about the difference between blogging and copywriting. What experiences do you have?