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Copywriters and content writers bring different skills to increase your traffic and boost sales
Your online business needs good writing the way a bricks-and-mortar shop needs a good location.
Effective writing boosts your content marketing success which you need because, according to serpwatch, 70%–80% of users ignore sponsored search results and small businesses with blogs get 126% more leads.
Freelance writers, such as copywriters and content writers, are experienced in producing types of copy that brings in rewards long after the piece has been published.
Benefits of effective copy:
- Your copy and content is multi-layered and persuasive. The voice, tone, and information matches the readers’ needs at strategic points in the purchase cycle
- It helps search engines rank your site
- You’re building trust through showing up in search engines all the time. Your content has a focus on helping others and this is building trust that you’ll follow through and won’t let people down.
Before you decide on content writing vs copywriting, you need to understand what a content writer and copywriter do because they each bring different skills to the table.
It’s like bricklayers and architects both build houses, but you need each at the right stage of the project. Sometimes, you only need a part of their skill set, not the entire shebang.
So, in this article, we’re going to do this:
- Examine the differences between a copywriter vs content writer vs content marketer
- Look at their impact on the pieces of content that form your online marketing material and blog posts.
- Show how content marketing is a clever arm of digital marketing and boosts your business reach
- Explain when you should hire freelance writers, and when you should write the copy and content yourself
As usual, I’ll keep the information practical and relevant.
What is a Copywriter?
A copywriter writes marketing materials encouraging people to take a specific action. This could be to hit the buy button, sign up to your mailing list, book a webinar, or take up a free offer. They work on your social media marketing too, as well as on websites and printed material.
Copywriters are skilled in:
- Writing words and phrases that elicit an emotional response and buy-in from the customer. They won’t tell you to go sit on a boat before dinner. They want you to experience a sunset on champagne waters followed by a beach barbecue barefoot under the stars.
- Focusing on a single action they want the reader to take and they’ll build in multiple ways for that action to be taken on that page.
- Setting the tone and build-up so the reader is carried from their current mindset to a mindset that will most encourage them to take the action they want.
If you owned a high street coffee shop, the copywriter is the equivalent of comfy armchairs, soft music, a dog-friendly area with a special menu for Fido, and a license that permits a touch of brandy to your customers’ Winter Warmer Americano.
Copywriters bring your product to life in the eyes of your customers, encouraging engagement and participation.
What is a Content Writer?
A content writer writes the bread-and-butter blog posts, articles, and white papers you see on websites. Their skillset varies, some are generalists, while others specialize in fields such as healthcare, technology, finance or travel. Some will conduct research and interviews for your articles and some will create written material out of your podcasts.
While experience and motivations vary hugely in this group of freelance writers, the typical content writer will:
- Produce content fast and meet deadlines
- Write engaging types of copy that connects with your audience
- Proof-read and edit their work in line with your branding stylesheet. If you need US spelling and political references, that’s what they’ll give you
Website content gives people a reason to stay on your website and it helps them learn about you.
But wait, there’s something else.
A Content Marketing Writer is a content writer’s who’s taken his/her skills to a higher level. So if you’re looking for a content writer, you also need to know what a content marketing writer is:
What is a Content Marketing Writer?
Content marketing is an online marketing strategy where content is optimized to make it super-attractive to search engines and people alike.
Content marketing is a long-term digital marketing strategy and perfect for businesses that want to extend their reach across the internet in an organic and evergreen way. The content can be the written word, videos, and podcasts.
Here’s what an experienced and skilled content marketing writer gives you:
- Strong SEO skills: they know how to get your website on the front page of google.
- Clickable headlines: they know how to write headlines that people want to open.
- Strong research, interviewing, and structuring skills to give your content integrity.
- Outreach to influencers and partner websites to encourage sharing and even more views
- Help with your long term content marketing strategy, including web content calendars and social media content calendars.
Content marketing puts an infrastructure around your business.
Going back to our high street coffee-shop analogy, if a copywriter invites people to sit in those comfy armchairs and buy from you, content marketers are like the roads and taxis that bring the people to your shop.
Research suggests companies that blog receive 97% more links to their website.
Content Marketing Keeps You Relevant
Content Marketing is a form of digital marketing whereby you produce evergreen content and leave breadcrumbs to it in all the places that your target clients hang out.
It’s estimated there are currently around 1.72bn hosted websites around the world with around 380 new websites being created every minute.
It’s clear, people are eager to build something of themselves online. Yet only 10-15% of these websites are actually in use, the rest are parked or abandoned.
Play detective: Find an article with lots of comments on one of the popular blogging websites. The article should be at least three years old. Now click on some of the comments to visit that person’s site. You’ll be shocked at how many websites lie dead or abandoned, even though the original comment was full of life and hope for their business idea.
I don’t want this to happen to you.
Whether your business is starting from a hobby or you’re established and looking to grow, you need to keep reminding people you exist. This is why even the biggest and most established brands continue to produce marketing material and advertising campaigns. Coca-Cola talks to you in magazines and on drinks cabinets in grocery stores. They’re not complacent about you even though you’ve been their customer all your life.
Content marketing goes a long way. Done correctly, you’ll see the results for years because your blog posts and articles will keep popping up in search engines reminding people you exist. Slight updates from time to time keep it fresh and relevant.
A well-planned content marketing strategy keeps the road outside your shop in good condition and visible from every map. Parking is easy, the window display is gorgeous, and people come in droves because:
- They see you as an authority in your field because the articles you produce are useful, evergreen, and relevant to your target audience
- You’ve formed mutually beneficial connections and relationships with people in supporting businesses who introduce you to their own audiences
- You’re catching people at all stages of their buying cycle. Some find you through a “how-to” article, others find you through a product comparison article, and others through your product description. Your only task is to make sure you have enough content out there for people to find.
CopyMarketing: A Copywriting and Content Writing Hybrid
So far you’ve learned:
- Content writers and content marketing bring people to your shop
- Copywriters encourage people to take action and invest in you in some financial or emotional way
To a business owner with lots of things to worry about, you now know how to classify your freelance writers, but you don’t really want to hire two writers for a piece of content.
You want a writer to produce effective copy that both brings people to your shops and has them invest in you when they get there.
This is where Copymarketing comes in. The term Copymarketing isn’t in widespread use yet but it describes a more strategic, growth-orientated approach to managing your website content and marketing.
Copymarketing combines copywriting and content marketing to produce hardworking types of content:
- It’s engaging, useful, and optimized for search engines
- It encourages people to take action
Landing pages, marketing campaigns, social media marketing, press releases, website service and about pages are some of the areas where content writing and copywriting skills work better combined.
Wednesday Genius Creative Consultancy
Here, at Wednesday Genius, you don’t have to worry about knowing what kind of freelance writing you need to pin down, because you get it all:
- Content (content writing)
- Traffic (content marketing)
- Conversion (copywriting)
You’ll never need to ask me, “I need some piece of writing content but I don’t know if I need to hire a copywriter or a content writer.”
All you have to say is, “I want an article about XYZ that ranks on page one of Google and marks me out as an authority in my field and compels people to sign up to my mailing list.”
That’s exactly what we’ll work on.
Should you Hire a Copywriter, Content Writer, Content Marketer or DIY?
If you’re not getting engagement or the digital marketing results you expected, take a look at the quality and types of content you have to see what needs to change. A website audit is useful if you’re too close to the topic to see it yourself.
Your website stats will give you some clues:
- Copywriting: If your page is getting a lot of traffic but few sales, then assuming your pricing policy and technical factors are okay, examine your product descriptions, sales pages, and call-to-action.
- Content Marketing: If you’re not getting traffic, be patient because it can take a few months for a content strategy to show results. But do double-check that your articles are well optimized, there are enough of them, and that you’ve done plenty of outreach.
- Content: If you’re getting some traffic but little engagement, you may not have enough content on your site to help people get a feel for you and understand your values and approach. Set a regular posting schedule for your blog.
A lot of businesses hire content writers simply because it’s impossible for them to produce enough quality content themselves. Here’s a recent article I wrote for Truity.com – you’ll notice it suits their business perfectly and from the comments, you can see how well the content resonates with their readers and builds site credibility and authority.
The decision to hire a copywriter, content writer or copymarketer will depend on:
- Your writing ability
- Your time
- Your budget
Let’s look at each one in turn:
You don’t have to be the greatest writer in the world. Passion, commitment, and a willingness to learn go a long way. Focus on getting these areas right:
- A tone that resonates with your audience
- A consistent message
- A single, clear purpose for every piece of content, including social media
Hire a writer if you’re not confident with your voice, or if you have trouble making words say what’s in your head. Once you’ve seen what a professional writer does with your content and your subject, you’ll have a better idea how to make it sing on your own.
As a business owner, you wear multiple hats. Content marketing as a business strategy needs a regular time commitment. Top ranking articles need to be well thought out and researched. They’re not usually knocked out in a couple of hours since a lot of effort goes into structuring them to meet customer needs and attract search engines too.
- Set a regular writing and outreach schedule and keep to it
- Make a content calendar so it’s faster to outline and write one main concept for each article
Hire a writer if you find you can’t write fast enough for your schedule, or if you keep skipping your writing appointment.
While cash flow is important, the decision to budget for a writer often comes down to mindset, preconceptions about writing, and the clarity of your business model.
Think about your budget in line with your overall goals – will a professional writer get you there faster? Words are a strong marketing tool and a professional writer knows how to connect with your target audience.
If you want to do your own writing and prefer to boost your own skillset, you have a few options:
- Write a draft and hire a writer to edit and optimize your article
- Take a quality copywriting course
- Hire a writing/marketing coach for personal, focused tuition
Your Words are How People See You Online
Good relevant content increases credibility, engagement, and buy-in from potential customers.
As a business owner, it’s your job to produce content that:
- Brings people to your site
- Encourages them to stay, browse and get a feel for you
- Converts them to subscribers, buyers, and fans
Sales pages, landing pages, product descriptions, email sequences, opt-ins, social media, blog posts, website pages, and social media posts.
You have a lot of writing content to work on and you’ve learned the different writing styles used to make the writing effort pay off. There are all sorts of freelance writers waiting to help you no matter what stage your business is at – copywriters vs content writers vs content marketers. Copymarketers too.
And whether you hire a professional writer or work on your copy alone, consistency in producing content is key because it reminds people and the search engines that you’re there.
There’s a whole content strategy to put in place for your business, and a world of opportunity awaits once the road to your shop is on the map.