We all know that copywriting and content writing require different skill sets. Copywriting is action-driven with the goal of conversions and content writing is more value-driven with the intent to educate, entertain, or inform an audience.
Businesses need both copy and content in their sales funnel. If you’re only focusing on copywriting, you’re essentially leaving money on the table.
Content Writing Contracts Mean Recurring Income
In general, freelance copywriters can charge more money than content writers for one-time projects such as web copy for a full website or product descriptions for an online catalog.
But what happens when the project is over?
Businesses still need content to keep their audience engaged and their website relevant in the eyes of search engines.
And this type of writing is ongoing.
So, even though copywriters can charge more initially, content writers have a steadier stream of income with recurring client work such as blog posts, social media captions, and email campaigns.
If you’ve honed both your copywriting skills and your content writing skills, you can pitch your services on an ongoing basis.
This isn’t just to the benefit of the writer, however. Having the same writer create both copy and content is hugely beneficial to the client.
Continuity of Voice & Tone for Your Clients
As a copywriter, you understand the impact of brand voice. Even if two writers have similar writing styles or have the skills to emulate a specific style or voice, there will sometimes be subtle–but noticeable–differences.
And inconsistency can destroy the perception of a brand, and therefore performance.
If you understand content writing nuances along with copywriting, you can help keep your clients’ brands consistent and recognizable across all marketing materials.
Not to mention how much simpler it will be for your clients to not have to train a brand new writer on their business. You can just slide right into the content writing position.
A Deeper Understanding of Your Clients’ Marketing
Having the same writer creating both copy and content isn’t just good for client voice and tone.
It’s good for marketing as a whole.
If you’re writing your clients blog posts, their social media captions, email copywriting, and other marketing messaging, you’ll be more in tune with their marketing goals across the board, meaning you’ll be better equipped to write content that complements the overarching strategy.
What Skills Does a Content Writer Need?
Content writing skills and copywriting skills are different. If you’re primarily a copywriter, you’ll need to temporarily “mute” the sales-driven part of your brain.
Content writing isn’t meant to be “salesy” and is meant to build trust with the audience before they move to the next stage in the sales funnel.
Content writing needs to be informative, entertaining, or educational to show audiences that a business is knowledgeable, reputable, and can be trusted.
Some of the key skills a content writer needs are:
- The ability to break down topics into understandable, explainable bits of information
- Understanding of engagement techniques like bullet points and bucket brigades
- Search engine optimization (which isn’t required for every project, but knowing how to write for SEO to get a piece to rank make a writer even more in demand
This is, of course, not an exhaustive list, but these are a great foundation to build from.
How Do You Develop Content Writing Skills?
Developing your content writing skills is similar to developing your copywriting skills where the core of writing great content is to research and practice.
To develop your content writing skills, try the following exercises:
- Keep a list of content you found interesting to read all the way through. Pay attention to where you found it. Was there a link on social media with an intriguing snippet that made you want to read the entire article? Did it come up in a search query?
- Take an SEO blogging course to build your foundational SEO skills and learn how best to structure blog articles.
- Look over previous pages of copy you’ve written. Pick several topics that you think could be expanded upon and write how-to content that goes into detail.
- Practice content writing by creating “listicles.” Listicles are a common content writing format that are meant to be easy reads and are a great way to practice writing that maintains engagement.
Supplement Your Skillset With Content Writing
Copywriters who can write content are an asset to their clients, and content writing skills will be an asset to your copywriting business. Knowing how to do both helps you keep your calendar packed.