When in need of a writer, businesses often find the best ones amongst freelancers. They are skilled, knowledgeable and produce content that drives traffic and conversions to the business. However, once a business goes on the market in search of a freelancer, they often stumble upon a problem – they don’t know who to hire.
There are so many remote copywriters and content writers available.
What is the difference between a B2B Freelance Copywriter and Content Writer?
Some business owners claim that there is no difference between the two – according to them, both write and both do so for the purpose of gathering leads and driving conversions. It may seem that way to you as well, but when you look closer, you’ll see that their work is fundamentally different.
A freelance content writer informs, to put it simply.
They produce high volumes of optimized, informative content. This content is made to drive traffic to your website and convert those visitors of your website to customers by sharing this information. However, the content is not specifically made to compel real action – it’s not made to convince readers to buy from you but to maintain a presence, search engine ranking, and awareness of your business.
In B2B markets, this can mean writing for email marketing campaigns as well as writing for websites – the content needs to be formulated in a way that builds trust and a good relationship between two businesses. Good content makes your partners respect you more and sees you as a higher authority on the market.
A content writer has the necessary skills to proofread and edit their own work, whether manually or with the help of tools like the Hemingway App or Rated writing. This long-form content can be shared on social media in excerpts, quotes or links – all of this certainly helps build a wider audience for the company for which the article is written.
A freelance copywriter, on the other hand, persuades.
Their focus is to create messages that are specifically designed to convince your audience to purchase your products, establish your presence as a leader in your niche, or gather more leads. Their work can be more expensive, but relies on quality rather than quantity. You can see the work of copywriters wherever you look – from short, snappy lines in commercials to headlines in newspapers. They tell a story which entices engagement and establishes a relationship between the customer and the business – this makes people feel or think about a brand in a certain way, usually how the company wants to be thought of.
Their focus is to be concise as well – a short piece of writing needs to hold a lot of valuable information. Some of the best known copywriting services like UK Service Reviews or Grade on Fire work to turn confusion into clarity.
“Copywriters are supposed to make you feel emotions related to the story you just read about the company they are working for. It is hard work and it is a magical thing. The power of words – employed properly, and especially in the way that copywriters use them – is astonishing.” says Aston McGuire, a Marketing Manager from Write My Australia.
Who do I hire?
The right question would be: What kind of writing do I need?
A business needs a wide variety of written pieces. Who you’ll hire to write is only a matter of knowing whether a copywriter or a content writer does it better.
Blog posts / articles
If you need someone to write your blog posts regularly, hire a content writer. They are far less expensive than copywriters and are usually skilled in SEO so you’ll have better rankings on search engines in addition to sharing informative, quality content.
Sales page / landing page
Sales pages are best left to copywriters. They tend to have the marketing skills that are necessary for writing good sales and landing page copy. Content writers rely on length while these types of writing require brevity and the right persuasion tactics.
This form also relies heavily on the persuasive skills of the writer, as well as short-form expertise, so a copywriter would do excellently with these.
B2B businesses often need quality white papers. These establish their position on the market and are fairly inexpensive materials to produce. Some would argue that a content writer could write good white papers, but in most cases, these require marketing skills as well. In that case, it’s good to have a copywriter do them.
Another type of content often needed by B2B businesses is email newsletters. This is work for a content writer as it’s not as much focused on persuasion as it is on brand awareness and information.
If your goal is to have an ebook written, you’ll need a content writer to do this task. They are skilled in long-form work and they have a passion for detail so you can rest assured that your ebook will be well-written.
The Basic Difference:
As you can see, there is a required skill set for each form and the form itself will usually decide which writer can create it. A rule of thumb is to choose a copywriter for any short-form, advertising type of content where there is a clear desire to sell. Otherwise – when the content is long-form, more informative, and without a direct goal to sell – choose a content writer.
Since the type of content a content writer creates is needed on a regular basis, you’ll want to hire a remote content writer who can commit longer-term. They will create your daily blog posts, social media updates, and emails. You can hire a copywriter on a per-project basis – when a copywriting task comes up, like listing products or creating ad copy.
With remote freelancers, you’ll have a wide variety of choice within these two basic spheres. For instance, there are specialized white paper writers and specialized brochure writers. There are also niche specialists among content writers so you can find one that has experience writing for a business like yours.
How do I hire a remote freelancer?
One of the biggest mistakes when hiring a writer is not looking further than your area. Since there are so many experts in this world, you’ll have a much better chance of hiring the best one if you search for a remote freelancer.
Most companies that have misgivings about hiring remote worry about the possibility of fraud or wasting time looking. This is why it’s important to hire through a marketplace like FreeeUp that pre-vets freelancers and provides protections in case things go wrong.
Then, finding a good writer becomes a whole lot easier. Most of them have their own blogs or portfolios where they share their work and personal insights. If that’s not enough, you can look through their LinkedIn and other social pages.
Before hiring a freelance writer, you’ll be able to check out their past work and see if their style suits yours. You’ll also be able to see if they can create B2B content and whether they are a content writer or a copywriter. You can test them as well with a task that is similar to the tasks they will have if they start working for you. This way, you’ll determine if the writer is suitable for your needs long-term.
Here are some actionable steps you could take to hire a great remote professional:
1. Figure out what you want
Each copywriter has a specialty. You have to know what you want and need before you start looking for people. The same goes for good content writers – they all have niches that they are experts in.
2. Decide on the skill level you need
Determine the skill level that you’ll need. One of the best things about freelancers is that you get to choose who you want to work with. You can hire one of them for your one-off project but you can also keep them on to work on more projects, or maintain communication so they are close by when you need them again.
3. Don’t hire an SEO writer
This may seem a bit counterintuitive, but it’s not. With a good SEO writer all you’ll get is an optimized text, but no guarantee of how valuable it would be to the reader. Instead, hire a copywriter or a content writer with some knowledge of SEO. They focus on copy or content first and add SEO, which means a quality read as well as rankings.
4. Don’t ask them about analytics
Both copywriters and content writers are there to write – they should know how well their writing performs so they can write the best content or copy, but doing an analysis is not part of the work per se. In your initial interviews, steer clear of those topics.
5. Ask about previous work
This is one of the best ways to get a good feeling about what kind of copy or content a writer can produce. That should give you a clear understanding of whether a writer will be good for what you need.
6. Perform a test
Before you settle on anyone, test them. Give them a paid task that’s smaller but similar to what they’d actually be doing. If they do that one well, then you’ll know that they can definitely write the copy that you need.
Before you ask yourself if you need a freelance B2B copywriter or content writer, first ask what kind of writing you need. Then you can determine what kind of professional you require. Remember that you don’t have to hire just one for long-term. You can work with both a freelance B2B copywriter and a content writer only when you need their specific services.
Brenda Berg is a professional with over 15 years of experience in business management, marketing and entrepreneurship. She also is a consultant and tutor for college students and entrepreneurs at AustralianReviewer and Student Writing Services. She believes that constant learning is the only way to success.