Copyediting vs Copywriting: Is There Any Difference?

by Gabe Arnold


Did you know that you may have never before seen the names of the best editors and writers out there? 

You might not have even heard of them. 

And that makes their work all the more enticing. 

So who are they? We’ll never tell, but we will give you a hint: they are the people who write blog posts and most of the online content you see. They are those who edit said content, too. 

In short, they are the copywriting gurus whose work you love so much. Maybe you love it enough to think about becoming a copywriter yourself. 

Or, perhaps you are a business professional or owner looking for some solutions. 

Let’s jump right into copyediting vs copywriting and all the details that come along with it. 

What Exactly Does a Copywriter DoWhat Exactly Does a Copywriter Do?

First, we need to talk about copywriting. It is our specialty, after all. 

You might first think of editorial copy, which is any text within a publication that is not advertising. 

But the technical definition for it is when you write text (or copy) with the intention of selling a business’s products or services. 

To sell those products or services, copywriters have to take advantage of conversion copywriting, or persuasive writing. In other words, they have to really persuade the target audience of whatever business they are writing for to make a purchase. 

You could be a freelance copywriter and work for however many companies possible. Some in-house writers just work for one organization. 

But whether you choose freelance writing or staff writing, your goal is always the same. 

Every piece of copy you create has to be thoroughly researched and attract the right audience. And there are a lot of  Generally, though, copywriters share the same tasks day-to-day. If they work for a marketing or advertising agencies, they collaborate with other departments to deliver an excellent copy. They write blog posts, social media posts, newsletters and more. 

They have to understand their company’s and client’s vision to the fullest extent. Only then can they transform a simple idea into a full-fledged piece of copy. 

Top performers can make up to $74 thousand a year. And the best news? They are always in demand. 

Where is Copywriting Used?

We know we just went over a lot of information. We have to in order for you to understand copyediting vs copywriting. 

Don’t just think of writing copy as a sales-centric position, though. Today, copywriters also do content writing for tons of different industries. 

In fact, you do not realize that you interact with copywriting every day, even if you are not in the industry yet yourself. 

Anywhere that there is a market of people who want to buy something, so too is their copy. 

Here are some examples of where you have seen it: 

  • TV commercials
  • Radio ads
  • Print ads
  • Email newsletters
  • Direct mail
  • Websites
  • Blogs 
  • Catalogs
  • Out-of-home advertising
  • Brochures
  • Billboards
  • Social media posts

And the list goes on. 

Many industries take advantage of their unique skill sets, such as: 

  • Non-profit organizations
  • Healthcare and pharmaceuticals
  • Tech
  • Start-ups
  • PR 
  • Marketing 
  • Finance

What Exactly Does a Copy Editor Do?

Okay, so we have given you all the details on copywriting that you can think of. But what about that “copyediting vs copywriting” concept we have been making such a big deal about? 

Now, we’re going to tell you all about copy editors. Because at the end of the day, you cannot have copywriting without them. 

A copy editor serves as a copywriter editor, to put it in simple terms. Each time a copywriter finishes a piece of copy, the editor steps in to review it. They ensure that the writer is using their writing skills to the best of their ability. They do not want to see errors in grammar, punctuation or spelling, although they happen anyway. 

They are experts at their company’s and clients’ style guides and masters of a brand’s tone. Often, copy editors fact-check, too. It is their ultimate responsibility to make sure that whatever copy goes out for publication flows well and maintains consistency. 

Think of them as creative managers. They have to develop interpersonal skills and master the craft of writing themselves. 

Both parties in copyediting vs copywriting do often share a similar income range, with top copy editors raking in $72 thousand per year. 

Where is Copyediting Used?

Again, you will find copyediting anywhere you find copy. So here, it is not so much a matter of copyediting vs copywriting, but more so a matter of the two working together to succeed. The two are a package deal. 

At least, that’s the hope if a business wants to stand out as a professional industry name. 

You cannot expect to gain respect from your target market if you do not respect their own intelligence. And believe us when we say that they will catch any glaring issues in writing. Especially if that writing is supposed to entice them to buy from a particular brand. 

Copywriting vs Copyediting How Do They Differ

Copywriting vs Copyediting: How Do They Differ?

Now, you are starting to learn the many details that go into both job titles. But when it comes down to copyediting vs copywriting, what are the key differences

Here, it is best to look at the dissimilarities with a step-by-step approach. Ultimately, even though both are creative roles, writing and editing copy is a process. 

First, copywriters draw on the power of words to put forth a persuasive message. They take deconstructed ideas and turn them into logical text. You can think of them as inventors of the great machine that is copy. 

Then, copy editors come in, as the mechanics that tune up the machine. They fix the mistakes and turn them into something that is ready to bring forth to an audience. 

So when all is said and done, they are two sides of the same coin. A copywriter can put out endless copy all day. But that copy might not be up to snuff. 

Enter: the copy editor. They have the training to put together the final pieces, all while they do their own writing, too. 

Can a Copywriter Be an Editor?

If you wonder whether a copywriter can be an editor, you’re starting to get the idea of how well the two mesh. 

Of course, they can! 

Editors first start out as writers. Otherwise, they would not know the ABCs of what to look for in copy. 

Plus, copywriters should also edit their own work. This gives them an edge when they want to move up to an editing position. If you are a copywriter, work diligently and take part in copywriting courses as needed. You can advance your career quicker than you might think. 

What is Editing vs Copyediting?

There is also a difference between editing and copyediting. 

Editing, or content editing, is when you fix the content of a particular piece. Their purpose is to boost the overall quality of writing. It happens in the early stages of writing to offer proactive suggestions. 

Copyediting gets more into the nitty-gritty. Copy editors look at the copy in the typographical and professional sense. They break up paragraphs and sentences and ensure the copy is in active voice. It happens at the tail-end of your writing process. 

What is Content WritingWhat is Content Writing?

Also take into consideration the value of content writing, which you do for the purpose of content marketing. This type of content fuels practices like: 

  • Blog posts
  • Podcasts
  • Video scripts
  • Case studies
  • Webinars
  • White papers
  • Social media updates

Namely, it is different from copywriting in that it has its own individual value. The general goal of copywriting is to bring readers to a final decision about a specific product or service. 

Conclusion

If you’ve finished reading through this and have come to the realization that being a copywriter or copy editor is the career for you, welcome! We are happy to have you here. For more resources and tips like copyediting vs copywriting, head to our blog

And if you are a business owner who needs copywriting services, we also welcome you! But you may be thinking: 

“Wow. That’s a lot to consider. I need copywriting services for my up-and-coming business, but I didn’t realize that so much went into it.” 

Indeed, a lot of work does go into the process. But that’s why we are here. 

At Copywriter Today, we offer sales, blog and email copy. 

But we don’t just offer run-of-the-mill content like so many other businesses or freelance services might. We are part of a full-service marketing agency that puts our tagline at the forefront of all we do: “Driven with heart, fueled by relationships.” 

So when are you free to start growing your business? Contact us today to see that long-term marketing growth happen for you.

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