In recent years the need for copywriters has risen substantially with an ever increasing number of platforms and ways to contact your customer.
Back in the day rarely would you have heard of a copywriter, it was one of those jobs people didn’t really know existed. Certainly, when I was leaving school in the late 90s I didn’t know it was a career option.
I ended up in journalism, and weirdly, almost by default I became a copywriter – even though at the time, I didn’t know I was one. I had found niches within my industry that allowed me to write corporate material under the guise of journalism.
Now every blogger thinks they’re a copywriter and so they add “Copywriter & Content Creator” to their LinkedIn profile and BAM, it must be true.
Problem is, those who are contracting this new flurry of “copywriters” and “digital content creators” and more don’t understand what exactly copywriting is, why it’s different from content creation and why not everyone who is a dab hand at writing can be a copywriter or content creator.
I know the difference, only because over the last two years I’ve pivoted professionally away from journalism to publicity, copywriting and content creation. It doesn’t mean I’m not a journalist anymore, I’ve just adapted, learned and recognised other skills I have that, in today’s freelance world, are much more lucrative.
So let’s take a look at some dictionary definitions:
Journalist: “a person who writes for newspapers, magazines, or news websites or prepares news to be broadcast.”
A journalist will be writing for a specific audience. They will be aiming to present facts in a manner than is interesting, informative and entertaining.
Copywriter: “a person who writes the text of advertisements or publicity material.”
A copywriter will always have a specific audience in mind, however, their primary aim is to pull that audience through some sort of funnel and encourage them to take a specific action either through an obvious call to action or through a series of subtle pushes in the right direction.
Content Creator: “someone who is responsible for the contribution of information to any media and most especially to digital media.”
A content creator is taking existing content or creating new content and presenting it in a way that fits the particular channel they are disseminating it on. This can take the form of written content, photography, videography and other types of content.
Blogger: “someone who writes for a regularly updated website or web page, typically one run by an individual or small group, that is written in an informal or conversational style.”
Usually a blogger will be someone who is highly passionate about the subject they are writing about. They will have a deep connection to that subject, topic or issue and will be aiming to deliver that to their audience in the most engaging and conversational style.
Very different skills
There’s no reason to suggest that one person can’t be all these things. Here I am, a journalist of 25 years, writing a blog post as someone who has been copywriting for most of my career and who regularly creates professional content online for clients.
However, I’m not a copywriter because I’m a journalist. Although I have a lot of career experience as a copywriter it was only after I started really learning about the difference between a good writer and a copywriter that I was in a position to sell this as a service.
So how do you know what you need? For me, it’s simple! If you want your copy to resonate with your reader in a way that will help persuade them and encourage them to take a specific action that you have already laid out and planned them it’s a copywriter you need.
If you want to create an engaging story with an equally engaging headline that might be picked up by your audience or the local media then it’s definitely a journalist you want.
If you’re in business either of these people with a good understanding of your industry, audience and end goal can write blogs for you.
Of course then there’s the “Content Creator” which many people in the communications sphere are mistaking for being the same thing as all of the above. Definitely not! Being a skilled content creator I find are skills that even I admit I haven’t mastered in the way I would like.
The best content creators are digital natives who not only understand the language of social media but they have the ability to take digital trends and apply them to your business. Or, they are people who can translate content you have written or created and package it in a way that suits the digital space.
No point without strategy
Regardless of which skill you choose to contract for your business (HINT: you probably need them all), one thing’s for sure – without an initial strategy there’s no point blindly stabbing in the dark.
From finding your unique selling point and figuring out what your purpose and goal is, to having a sales and marketing funnel with all the infrastructure behind it, it’s imperative to have created a strategy AND a plan for moving forward.
By doing the work now with your communications professional you can ensure that everything you invest resources into will have very clear KPIs (key performance indicators) and you’ll know what your ROI (return in investment) is meant to be. It will also help you manage your expectations and give you a practical reality check as well in the early stages meaning you can properly budget for the work ahead.
Do you need help creating content for your business or reaching out to the press and media?
At Excalibur Press we have a team of over 12 publicists, content creators, copywriters, journalists and bloggers in a variety of specialisms writing blogs, website content, video, photography and more for clients on a daily basis.
If you would like to speak to a content creator or publicist or would like more information about our rates and process just call 07305354209 or email [email protected].
Find out more about Excalibur Press at excaliburpress.co.