Copywriting Vs. Content Writing

Copywriting Vs. Content Writing


I started in advertising when the internet didn’t exist. Everything was print, outdoor, radio, television, or video. So in the world of marketing, writers were all copywriters. If the firm handled highly technical or medically-related products they may have also had technical writers.

The technical writers wrote the heavy duty informational/educational stuff and instructional manuals. Facts. Lots of words.

The copywriters wrote in a way that exuded the spirit of a brand. Moved people to take action. Think Don Draper and Peggy Olson in Mad Men. Feelings. Few words.

There’s a new kind of writer now, and that’s the content writer. So there’s quite a bit of discussion and confusion about the distinction between the content writer and the copywriter.

From my point of view, the content writer is more akin to the technical writer, albeit they’re writing in a much broader array of media, to much broader audiences. But still, the goal of content writing is to educate and inform…and oftentimes entertain. The intent is to, over time, build trust, create interaction—possibly a relationship—with the reader, so as to move them to eventually connect with a company or acquire/recommend a product, or share the content in social media.

Content writing also has a goal of positively impacting search engine optimization (SEO). The writing needs to pay attention to key words. It is content that needs to market well on the internet.

Copywriting is meant for branding, grabbing attention, engaging, heightening an experience, creating curiosity. Making sure the reader gets why your brand matters, in such a way that they’re motivated to act. Now.

Basically, it comes down to telling vs selling. Optimally, the end result of both is to move people toward a product, company or service; but that’s the immediate goal of copywriting (selling) vs the long-term goal of content writing (telling).

As writer Bob Bly says “If you have a bullet in your text that says, ‘Eating apples reduces your risk of cancer,” that is content: you are giving the reader the information. If you write ‘Delicious fruit can reduce your risk of cancer.’ that is copy, designed to arouse curiosity and get the reader to order your book. Content tells, copy sells.”

A really talented writer can do both, but usually a writer is more skilled or talented at one vs the other. Most commonly (but of course not always) a copywriter can do content-writing, but content-writers have a tough time doing copywriting. It’s usually easier to write more words than get an idea down to a pithy handful of words.

In fact, content writing is often not even being done by a writer—it can be anyone who’s putting out a blog, white paper, instructional or educational article, news release, etc. Whereas copywriting is generally the person’s profession, one for which they’ve been schooled and trained. Obviously, the best content writer has good writing skills.

You really can’t have just one or the other. They both play a critical role in your marketing.

Is Amazon the new North Pole?

Is Amazon the new North Pole?


Let me just start off by saying this: I freaking LOVE Amazon. So I may come off a tad biased in this article. 

I have completed the entirety of my Christmas shopping at home, from my PHONE. So, what do I need Santa for anymore? He takes all year to get me what I want. That's a bad deal. All jokes aside, when it comes to the battle of in-person vs online shopping, online shopping seems to win the holiday season.

I'm not alone of course. My family and friends are also PRIME examples of pro-online shoppers. Some of them simply use Alexa to shop without ever even lifting a finger. There is no feeling quite like coming home to a brown package waiting just for you. I don't think it will ever get old for me.

Objectively speaking, being able to obtain exactly what you need/want without have to leave your toilet is better than going to multiple stores before settling for the best thing you can find. 

I wouldn't be surprised if the Amazon drones of Christmas future were to drop our packages right down our chimneys! But this is all to say that no matter how you acquire them, the holidays are not about giving gifts. The holidays are about getting gifts.

Have a Happy Holidays from Black Rhino!

Our Favorite Holiday Traditions

Our Favorite Holiday Traditions


Around this time of year, whether it's Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Festivus, or what-have-you, every family has a tradition unique to them. Here are some of our custom traditions!

Andrea, Managing Director

My favorite Christmas tradition in my family is Christmas Eve. Every year since I can remember, we go out once it gets dark and drive around, listening to Christmas music to see all the lights nearby. As a child this was a spectacular display as some of the homes in my hometown went above and beyond for decorating with lights. Once we return home, we each get to open one gift. Every year, that gift is a new set of pajamas that we then get to wear for the first time that evening and wake up in on Christmas Day. Despite the fact that all of us are now adults, we still do this every year. My husband has also come to love this Christmas Eve tradition.

Laurie, Communications Director

My family has several Christmas traditions but I’ll just mention three of my favorites.

1. When we decorate our tree, the oldest member of the family hides a pickle ornament (this is a Germanic tradition).  On Christmas morning when we open presents, whoever finds the pickle first gets to open their present first.  

2. But more than that, they distribute all the presents to everyone and we go around the room opening one present at a time, so everyone sees the gift, which creates the opportunity for acknowledgement and comments.  That way, the gift-opening lasts a long time and every gift and every person gets its due appreciation. The experience ends up far more meaningful and joyful (let alone civilized) than a free-for-all.

3. I’ve carried on this tradition since childhood: our Christmas Eve dinner is always homemade chicken and dumpling soup (mine is a bit more seasoning-embellished than the one my mom made with just salt and pepper).

Soulmaz, Graphic Designer

I really like Christmas time! Trees, lights, songs, everything. But let me tell you something, I was born and raised in Iran and since I am not Christian we do not celebrate Christmas like you do and like, lots of other Iranians, I thought Christmas trees and Santa Claus (we say Baba Noel in Iran) were part of a New Years tradition. 

One of the Persian celebrations around the same time as Christmas is Yalda Night also known and Cheleh night. It’s the longest night of the year, but it’s a celebration of light since after that, days start getting longer than nights. It is one the most important Persian celebrations. It’s a time that friends and family get together to eat, sing, and wish for better days.

We have a poet named Hafez who has the most beautiful (and hard to read) poems. Iranians love him and sometimes when we have questions we ask him and open his book randomly to get our answer. This is also part of the Yalda Night - everyone make a wish for the future and we open the book to see what Hafez says! This is my favorite tradition of the night especially because Hafez will never disappoint you. He says if your wish is not coming through it’s because better thing will happen to you.

Jeff, Project Manager

Everyone in my family is reasonably broke and thus can't afford to buy EVERYONE a present. So, to avoid breaking our banks at the end of every year, we decided to start a Secret Santa Grab Bag. Once you reach a certain age, you join the Secret Santa list. This means we no longer consider you a child who deserves a gift from each of us. Whoever you pull from the bag, you must get them one of three gift options previously provided by the person. The spending limit is $50.

This way, we only have to get gifts for kids, elders, and ONE family member. Not only does this help our wallets, it guarantees that everyone will get something they WANT as opposed to a bunch of socks or something. My list has the same three things every year: an Amazon gift card, a Visa gift card, or straight cash.

Dane, Strategy Director

Every Christmas for the last 11 years, on Christmas Eve night we all make our own individual homemade pizza. It's been cool to see how the kids' pizzas have evolved over the years to a point where now Morgan's & Faith's actually look and taste good. Grace, who's 5, is still working to perfect her pie.

After that, the kids exchange the gifts they bought each other - real thoughtful stuff with their own money. Plus Over-priced, I mean OBERweis, eggnog.