While it’s not necessary to build a successful copywriting career, adding complementary skills to your toolbox can be advantageous. And–despite its name–content strategy can actually make a great pairing with copywriting.
Experienced content strategist Amanda Hand joins Nicki and Kate in this week’s episode to dig into this role further and what it takes to create high-performing content that drives business growth. For anyone interested in the dynamic field of content strategy and SEO, Amanda is a must-listen voice!
(Content writing…content marketing…content strategy…we know how confusing all the content buzzwords can be. But don’t panic–all will be explained in the episode!)
Looking for closed captioning or a transcript? Watch the episode on YouTube!
A Sneak Peek at the Episode
[2:39] Amanda has worked for the last five years as a content strategist, and has recently been promoted to SEO management. She has experience of writing for a range of industries including travel insurance, home services, and education.
[4:10] Nicki reminds us how to tell the difference between copy and content writing.
[5:24] Content strategy is about understanding the goals of your client and the goals of the user, and being able to effectively marry both of those goals together. As a strategist, your work is much more data driven than if you were just writing the assignment.
[6:12] When putting together a content strategy, content is delivered in a way that ensures your target audience is consuming the messages that you want them to consume, at the time that you want them to.
[7:13] Reverse engineering your goals can help you create an effective content strategy by working backwards to understand the content that helped customers convert.
[9:02] As a writer and an editor, you’re using language as your most powerful tool. As a strategist, you’re using data.
[10:30] It takes the same amount of time to do the strategy as it does to do the writing. So if you think that you need to be doing both, then make sure you accommodate for that time, don’t overschedule yourself, and charge enough to make it worthwhile.
[11:37] Newer copywriters often think they have to learn it all but search engine optimization (SEO) and content strategy are specialties in their own right.
[13:30] Amanda has always used SEO to help her understand the user and communicate with them in ways that make sense to them.
[15:18] Using SEO tools like Semrush or Moz can help you get a little bit deeper into the heads of the target audience you’re writing for. Amanda advises advocating for yourself and asking clients for the tools that you need so your work really shines.
[18:33] If you want to dig deeper into SEO or content strategy, there are many free courses available online to help you. Once you start educating yourself on SEO through the eyes of a writer, you’re going to naturally start strategizing your content differently.
[19:58] If you’re ever working with a strategist as a writer, ask them the “why” behind everything that they’re doing–it’ll help you write your assignment a lot better!
[21:08] Nicki warns us about ‘shiny object syndrome’ derailing our progress. Remember that if your primary goal is to build up your copywriting career, dedicating too much time to learning other skills will slow down your success in all of them.
[23:14] Asking the right questions of the strategist or whoever prepared your assignment can help to strengthen your skills as a copywriter and make sure that you become an expert before adding on more services.
[26:38] SEO involves putting yourself in the user’s shoes to make sure content is valuable for the target audience. Technical SEO ensures visibility and functionality for the right audience. Finally, the writer’s role is to engage and convert visitors by offering relevant and inspiring content.
[33:54] Sometimes clients will want to focus on keyword density, but this is not more important than your user. Educating clients on the ins and outs of what you do and showing them successful examples can help them let go of a bit of control and trust you as the expert.
As with every episode, we highly encourage you to listen to the entire conversation! But here are a few of the highlights:
As a writer and an editor, you’re using language as your most powerful tool. As a strategist, you’re using data. So I think that that is the biggest differentiation.” – Amanda
“From the strategist perspective, if I’m strategizing for this, it’s the same amount of time to do the strategy as it is to do the writing. So if you are thinking that you need to be doing both, then you need to really accommodate for that time and make sure that you don’t overschedule yourself and that you charge enough to make it worthwhile.” – Amanda
“You have to be your best advocate to enable yourself and empower yourself to do your work. And your clients do not know what you have, what you don’t have, what you know, what you don’t know and it’s okay to ask and to advocate for yourself to get the tools that you need so your work really shines.” – Amanda
Mentioned on this Episode
- What’s the Difference Between Copy and Content?
- #1 Secret for Copywriting Success
- LinkedIn SEO Keyword strategy course – a basic introduction to SEO keywords
- Here’s a basic course Amanda asks writers to take on her team. It’s less than 2 hours and it helps them think about keywords and how to use them to help understand the user when writing.
- Find out more about Amanda’s SEO agency
- What is Content Strategy? And How Is It Different from Copywriting?
- What You Need to Know About Being an “SEO Copywriter”
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About the Build Your Business Podcast
Ready to turn your love of writing into a successful copywriting career?
Join professional copywriters Nicki Krawczyk and Kate Sitarz to get the tips, tools, and training to help you become a copywriter and build a thriving business of your own. Nicki and Kate have 20+ and 10+ years of experience, respectively, writing copy for multi-billion-dollar companies, solopreneurs, and every size business in between.
Whether you want to land an on-staff job, freelance full-time and work from wherever you want, or make extra money with a side hustle, the best place to start learning is right here.