If nothing else, this year has been a battlefield of two pairs of characters we know so well. They’re people whom we look up to and aspire to be one day. We’re wowed when we see their results before us, yet we can’t really decide on which side we’re leaning.
I’m not talking about Iron Man vs. Captain America or Batman against Superman. I’m referring to the never-ending dilemma of many bloggers out there. Am I just a writer or a content marketer? Should you choose? Can you be both? We’ll look into everything in just a second.
It’s a well-known fact that a successful blog needs both a professional writer who will go into all the trendy and evergreen topics whereas someone would have to promote it. It gets confusing at times, but don’t worry. Here are the top differences between a content marketer and a writer.
What’s a content marketer anyway?
For starters, we all know what a writer is. However, the problem increases when we throw the term ‘content marketer’ into the mix. It’s a job title that has been gaining in popularity in the recent years, although it existed a long, long time ago.
According to several dictionaries, a content marketer can be defined as a person who strategically creates text, audio, video or imagery with a message to the customers (that’s what great content is about) while at the same time trying to put a dollar into the pocket.
Both, the writer and the content marketer, should write like their target audience speaks, know the grammar and spelling rules, use clear language and something along those lines. The job description is kind of the same with the one of the writer, but not the same. That’s why I used ‘kind of’.
#1: The writing voice
One of the distinct differences between the writer and the copy marketer is the voice with which they write. That’s the unique combination of word usage as well as punctuation and grammar rules. With the help of the unique writer’s voice, each writer tells their story in a one-of-a-kind way and telling something no one else did.
The writer is usually the one who tells things. For instance, while describing an object, the writer in you wants to break down all the features and facts and in the end put a call-to-action. That way the audience or the customers are, in a way, told what to do and are expected to act on that.
The content marketer, however, doesn’t tell, but shows. Yes, writing is important; it’s the base of the whole process. But simple writing doesn’t make for an awesome content. Instead of using that call-to-action, the content marketer in you can put infographics stating all the benefits of the product or just explain why the audience and potential customers need precisely that in their lives. You show and try to sell it, while you’re not explicitly telling them to buy it.
For example, if you’re writing a blog post or an article about dresses for the summer, you can state in bullet points how to choose the perfect dress based on an occasion, color, length and so on.
#2: Looking into the future
The writer may spread the story of the product or service through several articles, but in the end, everything would be aimed at buying it. The emphasis on the product and the call-to-action suggest that the writer wants a one-time transaction.
Whereas the content marketer would think ahead. To illustrate, you can launch a series of articles where the first ones wouldn’t even speak of the product itself. Instead, they will be focused on the need for it on the market and why people would want it. Then, after the crowds are engaged and eager to find out what it’s about, you will mention the product. This strategy will lead to an increasing number of people being interested in your brand thus building a relationship that will last for a long time.
#3: The emotions
In order for the writers to be effective, one mustn’t put words in their throats. When they’re carefully connecting words, it’s best to leave them alone. The sentences you would write can be moving and touching, but as a content marketer you should go back to them and make them poignant with the right images, the right focus on several parts that stand out. Take a look at this example:
• We offer shoes for all kinds of events and occasions. All you should do is come to us and we’ll take care of everything.
• As a small girl, you surely wanted to be Cinderella. Of course, you did. Our store offers unique shoes for every occasion. Be special and divine on your wedding day, stay sharp while on a business meeting and feel comfortable when you’re hiking.
What do you think – which one would sell more women’s shoes? Yeah, the second one, definitely. To write like that, you may take inspiration from fiction, poetry and all kinds of non-academic books.
#4: The structure
The successful blogger should have two alter-egos: the writer and the content marketer. The first one would come up with the raw material of the post. But we all know that there’s so much more to a great blog post. Here’s one well-known structure, the content marketer takes care of.
• An attractive, gripping headline
• Awesome sentences in the intro that will make the reader stay
• Concise, helpful information that could be found on the pages of a magazine
• Lots and lots and lots of examples, and for-instances, metaphors and stories that will interact with the readers and stay with them after they close the page
• A purpose. Just like in every children story, the moral and the lesson of the story should be revealed in the end.
• Suggestion of what to do next
We went on and on about the importance of the writer and the equal importance of the content marketer. They simply coexist. Where one stops, the other one continues. It’s as simple as that.
Have you thought of merging these two personas into one? Do your body and mind have enough space for both – a professional writer and a content marketer? Of course, they do. At least if you really want to prosper in the blogging industry.
Don’t let the last full stop be the end of your job, but instead, thrive to think the way a marketer would. Train and exercise and after all, you should:
• Write in a captivating, unique writer’s voice that will distinct you from all the others
• Have a great understanding of SEO and its benefits
• Possess great skills in researching the right topics
• Be able to craft a social media strategy as well as content strategy to the max level
• Know who your target audience is and what they want
• Try to make your blog more attractive by making interesting headers, playing with fonts and images
Those were the basics! However, there are so much more things to take into consideration when trying to become a world class content marketer and writer. Try to experiment with your style, offer useful information and think of the most interesting way to sell products/services. Prioritize the content and ignore everything around you. Good luck and tell us whether you are only a writer, a content marketer or both in the comments!
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Also published on Medium.