When your business has a handful of content needs, its easy to lump them all together into one overarching category.
However, if you want to make sure you have the right people creating your content, it's important to distinguish between two main types: conversion copywriting and content writing.
A balanced sales and marketing strategy uses both, but it's not always the case where one writer can provide both.
Content writing is a marketing function. It refers to the stuff you can't measure right away in relation to your sales conversions. You're reading the work of some content writing right now— a blog post. An effective blog focuses more on adding value than converting buyers. The purpose of blog material is to earn your buyers' trust and create a continuous line of communication that keeps you in their lives when they choose to subscribe.
A blog that focuses mainly on selling deters buyers and scares off conversions. This happens when content that prioritizes selling over value diminishes the trust of its audience. You've probably seen this in a blog that revolves every article around why you should buy whatever they're offering. That sure leaves a bad taste in your mouth and can make you feel like the company doesn't care about you at all.
Conversion copywriting is a sales function at its core, even though it's sometimes presented as marketing. This type of content leads to an outcome you can directly measure. For this reason, it tends to cost more than content writing. If you're using a conversion copywriting service, you'll be able to measure outcomes directly related to conversions. One example of how a company uses conversion copywriting is to turn clicks into sign-ups from their website.
You can think of conversion copywriting as the star off the show and content writing as supporting actors. Both are integral to an engaging story, but not every writer does both. Just like an actor who learns how to lead, it's easier for him/her to learn how to perform a supporting role than jump from supporter to main actor.
In a similar sense, a conversion copywriter must have a direct sales background, whereas a content writer doesn't need one. In order for a conversion copywriter to produce copy that sells to people, it's best to have sold things before, A typical conversion copywriter who also produces marketing content will be able to provide portfolio samples of each service.
The learning curve is steep for each of these avenues, so a writer who offers both services will very likely have at least 8 years of experience.