When it comes to freelance writing, there’s more than a few options out there. You can focus your efforts on journalistic or article-based writing, such as writing news stories, listicles, or factoid pieces. You can enter the slightly less fun (but often more profitable) world of SEO blogging and copywriting. Or you could try your luck at an often overlooked option: content writing for websites.
Content writing can be just as fun and profitable as blogging and article writing, but is better suited to those of us with a more technical mindset. How does content writing differ from blogging? First, let’s define it.
Content writers write and polish the text you read on professional websites. This makes it a mixture of copywriting, SEO, and corporate content creation. Content writers often wear many hats, but they are primarily concerned with delivering concise, highly readable prose for a private company’s website.
While it’s still totally possible to make a living as a blogger or article writer, writers who specialize in general content are a dime-a-dozen. That’s because this type of work retains a highly artistic and personal element, and ultimately allows for more creative freedom. As a content writer, you’re bound to whatever your client wants you to write.
Content writers often wear many hats, but they are primarily concerned with delivering concise, highly readable prose for a private company’s website.”
As a result, you’ll find less private clients as a blogger. In fact, you’ll probably have to stick to blogging networks and constantly search the freelance boards. This works great for some people, but others want more stability.
As a content writer, you are a one-person business. It’s mostly up to you to find clients and convince them you’re right for the job. But once you do, you’ll likely have a contract with them that guarantees a certain amount of work—and the profit margins are much, much larger. It takes more time and energy to get started, but once you do—a steady stream of referrals and return business is in your future. Assuming you’re good at what you do, of course.
As a content writer, you are a one-person business. It’s mostly up to you to find clients and convince them you’re right for the job.”
“Professionals want someone who is able to review the resources we give them and work closely with us to effectively communicate our ideas to potential clients,” says Kevin Todd Simon, a Los Angeles bankruptcy attorney. “Accuracy is key, there’s no room for personal opinions.”
Bloggers and article writers often take for granted the fact that their work sometimes allows for the interjection of personal opinion. Their goal is to create something compelling for readers to enjoy—they aren’t trying to communicate a specific message to a particular demographic. They write to be thought-provoking, to entertain, or to keep readers hooked. Content writers, on the other hand, consider carefully each word choice. Every sentence needs to reflect the core values of the organization they’re writing for. The goal is not to entertain or enthrall, but to keep readers interested in the message they’re trying to convey—and ultimately to convince them to read more and take action.
It might sound like content writing is synonymous with copywriting. While there are numerous crossovers and the two terms are often used interchangeably, it’s important to note that they’re not necessarily the same thing. Copywriting is an umbrella term that includes content writing work, along with working on direct advertisements and a myriad of other kinds of work.
Content writing, however, refers strictly to creating text for websites. It often has an advertorial slant, but it isn’t necessarily intended for the same purpose as straight-up advertisements. If the reader is on the web page, chances are they’ve already been advertised to. The content writer’s job is to explain the purpose of the website clearly and succinctly, and sometimes to “convince” their audience to take action.
So there you have it, the differences between blogging and content writing. It’s important to remember that you don’t have to choose one over the other. Many freelancers are successful because they take on a variety of work—so mixing your writing outlets up a bit is never a bad thing. Happy writing!