are they a single role?
Quite often I am asked what the difference between Content Strategy and Content Writing is. The origin of this question is quite understandable for several reasons, but there are a couple I would like to highlight in this article.
The first reason is that Content Strategy is a relatively new practice - that became known for the past 10 years, and there has not yet been properly, or better saying, officially defined by the market. It is the groundwork for Content Writing.
That is very frustrating for us professionals that have to explain ourselves constantly, and in a lot of times end up excusing ourselves for not doing both.
The second comes as a result of the first. As content started playing a stronger role in the digital era, content writers were required to start doing a lot more than their specialty - creating meaningful and well-written content. Therefore, with time, they became Content writers and Content Strategists. But it is crucial that we understand that even though many professionals can perform two or more jobs in one – as many of us in the current market, they are two very different and distinct positions.
With that said, not necessarily a content writer is a content strategist, or a content strategist is a content writer - nor they are eager to perform both. But I would like to make clear here that I do respect professionals that enjoy performing both positions.
As a UX Sr. Content Strategist working in the field for the past 10 years, I have met many Content Writers that express no interest in strategy, they just want to do what they love and do well, which is write content. And that is mutual, some strategists like me, have no interest in content writing but we enjoy all the work surrounding the content creation. We feel great in taking this burn off the content writers and being able to provide them with all the resources needed to focus on the creation of meaningful and efficient content.
The purpose of this article is not only to highlight the difference but also to ease up the guilt some of my professional colleagues feel.
As a friend told me once, “jack of all trades, master of none”. After years spent specializing in Content Strategy, I fully understand, agree and evangelize that.
With the importance content has taken in the digital field, the responsibilities around that role have doubled, creating a need for another specialty.
In the current days, meaningful and well-written content does not guarantee efficiency. For that, it also has to be highly informative, concise, straight and well placed. In other words, content should be right, at the right time, and in the right place. Otherwise, it will not be consumed, and what is the point in writing it if no one is reading it, right?
And that is where the difference between the two professions come in place.
Content Strategy is the framing and foundation of content creation, responsible for planning and managing production and consumption. To build a solid foundation of focused content, optimized for performance that meets the business goals, content strategists have to perform several tasks not related to content writing. Among those tasks are the content audit, competitor research, persona development, information architecture, user journey flow development...
No wonder why not all content writers want to be a content strategist, and also no reason to feel guilty about that.
If you are a good content writer or content strategist that loves what you do and most importantly enjoy doing it, do not worry you have plenty to do; and focusing on that is what makes you excel in your field.