Copywriter vs. Copy Editor – What’s the Difference?

What is a copy editor? How do they differ from a copywriter? Only a few content people and publishers know the difference between copywriting vs. copy editing.

This guide explores the diverse job descriptions, tasks, and required skills of a copywriter and copy editor. Find out which profession suits you.

What Does a Copywriter Do?

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A copywriter is precisely how it sounds. They write copies of all types of content, from blog articles to social media posts. The act of copywriting is different from writing since it’s designed to sell products or services.

Some freelance copywriters have writing careers in short stories, novels, and ebooks. The most common genres they write include inspirational, educational, and self-help. But these ebooks are mostly linked with a business owner to market products or educate consumers.

Most copywriters write content for websites. Other types of writing they produce include:

  • Journalistic articles.
  • Articles for publication.
  • Catalog descriptions.
  • Emails.
  • White papers.
  • Webpages and landing pages.
  • Scripts for video, radio, TV, and more.
  • Magazine articles.
  • Speeches.
  • Technical manuals

Remember that not all writers of blog posts, editorial content, and other kinds of content writing are copywriters. Some simply have a career in writing that does not involve brand decisions or selling products.

Copywriters need strong advertising skills when writing occasional blog posts and other original content to sell products to their audience. They must understand the intended audience thoroughly and center the content around them.

The aim of a copywriter is to get a customer to perform an action. It can include making a purchase, becoming a lead, or signing up for a newsletter.

You’ll find full-time copywriters in content agencies, marketing firms, PR agencies, and other industries. But there are also freelance copywriters on Upwork, FlexJobs, and Freelancer.

What Does a Copy Editor Do?

There are many types of editors for a wide range of content. But you might be asking, what is a copy editor? A copy editor is a professional that checks content for grammar errors. They also evaluate the piece of content for spelling mistakes and style issues.

Some copy editors offer extra services by checking the writer’s structure and voice. They can also suggest edits regarding the copy’s characters, story, and other elements. Online copy editors are also knowledgeable in graphics selection and SEO.

A freelance or full-time copywriter may work with a content writer, publisher, or book author to edit content. However, they do not create the raw content for the business. Aside from excellent editing skills, here are some abilities they should have:

  • Language skills.
  • People management skills.
  • Writing skills.
  • A creative and curious mind.
  • Attention to detail.
  • Organized.
  • Time management.

If you’re a business owner, it helps to hire a trusted copywriting company that offers copy editing and copywriting services. This choice is sometimes better than working with freelancers to ensure that the employees have undergone copywriting training.

Look for a one-stop copywriting shop that offers excellent services and has customer service skills.

Copywriter vs. Copy Editor: Key Differences

Copywriters vs. copy editors have separate skills that complement one another to produce creative, well-written web content. A regular copywriter writes copies for businesses to attract more readers or customers.

For example, you sell sports apparel and need help creating brand-new content for your sports blog. You’ve listed a few title ideas which your content marketing partners approved. However, no one has adequate writing skills to produce them.

A perfect web copywriter can fulfill your specific needs by expressing the ideas in prose. Make sure to hire a skilled copywriter who creates engaging posts for its target audience without spelling and grammatical mistakes.

A virtuoso copywriter also knows how to structure ideas, use your brand’s voice, and follow the house style guide. Aside from sales materials, they can also help you with marketing materials, reports, and blog posts.

A professional copy editor evaluates the work of the copywriter for errors in spelling, grammar, style, and punctuation. Some offer additional services for rewrites, fact-checking, and developmental editing.

If you hire an inadequate copywriter, you need a copy editor to make the content perfect and polished. These experts not only ensure error-free content but also a smooth and consistent one.

Is an Editor a Copywriter?

Editors are not copywriters. However, they require excellent writing skills to identify whether a text clearly communicates information to the audience. Editors need to know how to stick to the style guide requirements for effective content production.

Successful copy editors also ensure correct structure, tone, and voice. If you’re applying as an editor, you should memorize the grammar and punctuation rules.

Do Copywriters Need Editors?

Every copywriter requires a professional editor to evaluate their writing. Even the most experienced writers and authors commit unintentional mistakes like typos and grammar slip-ups.

Hire a professional copy editor and proofreader to analyze the content at all levels. If you write stories, you might also need a developmental editor.

Copywriter vs. Copy Editor Comparison Table

Check out a side-by-side look at the differences in skill sets.

Copywriter

Roles:

  • Helps businesses sell products or produce an action in the audience through content writing.
  • Writes blog posts, social media posts, magazine articles, TV commercials, etc.

Required Skills:

  • Advertising skill.
  • Marketing skills.
  • Research skills.
  • Great listening skills.
  • A wide vocabulary.
  • Attention to detail.

Copy Editor

Roles:

  • Fixes grammatical, style, and spelling errors.
  • Ensures the document is in the right order.
  • Suggests rewrites and improvements.
  • Sometimes modifies page layout and formatting.

Required Skills:

  • Language skills.
  • Attention to detail.
  • Attention to detail.
  • Creative and inquisitive mind.
  • Time management.

Copywriter and Copy Editor in a Nutshell

A copywriter and copy editor have different sets of skills that allow them to perform different roles. The definition of copywriting is writing to evoke interest and encourage action. Meanwhile, copy editing involves fixing spelling and grammatical mistakes in a copy.

Because copywriting and copy editing are not traditional careers, professionals can define their own working circumstances and job descriptions. Start training to be part of the content industry and earn more money!