Here’s a complete guide to the types of content writers.Whether you are a marketer or an aspiring content writer, this information could help you organize a stronger content marketing team.
There are many parameters to consider before deciding which category your content falls in.
Identifying the right types of content writers will also speed up the process of hiring, project briefing, and avoid any possibility of unpleasant surprises in delivered assignments. This knowledge will go a long way and save marketers from the effort of a detailed explanation of the kind of content you desire leading to back and forth editing cycles that waste everybody’s time.
This is also necessary for the content writer as it taps into the specialized expertise of specific writers who prefer to work in a particular niche. For example, some content writers write exclusively on academics, some on technical subjects, some on culinary arts, some on promotional content that sells products, and so on. These are the different types of content writers.
Each of these types of content writers properly understands the appropriate semantics followed by the target audience, their psychology, their preferences, owing to their experience in the niche. For example, a social media content writer is better equipped to create a potentially viral post compared to an e-mail writer, who is adept in increasing conversions with relation to a definite call-to-action.
Many marketers experience a challenge to take out time to invest in hiring the appropriate talent for their marketing needs. But to effectively achieve their business goals, it is important to possess the right team that consists of not only the best but also the most appropriate talent whose skills coincide with your business aspirations.
In addition to marketers, this list of types of content writers is also helpful for those candidates aspiring to become content writers or are at the early stages of their content writing career. They can decide what kind of content writer they’d like to become and which type falls consistent with their skills and degrees. For example, a student with a technical degree or a tech or IT professional would be much suited to technical writing projects for various organizations and publications.
So, without further ado, let’s dive into the details about types of content writers.
Types of content writers
There are many kinds of content writers who specialize in different skills, have different communication strategies, understand different types of readers of the content, and target different platforms. Some write exclusively for blogs, some for promoting products, while some write solely for social media platforms.
Blogging has come a long way since the inception of the phenomenon. Today, blogging is a serious and well-designed activity directed at acquiring customers and earn real conversions for product purchases, or for promoting a brand, or an individual.
Earlier, blogs were widely written by many amateur writers and people experimenting in their professions who treated it merely as a hobby. They took the enjoyment out of contributing to their community and helping or educating readers. Many of the blogs written this way went on to become hugely popular soon enough.
This behavior was caught the eye of many marketers who identified the potential in blogging for promoting their products and often themselves. This led to the emergence of a whole industry of professional content writers who possessed a fundamental knowledge of marketing and could identify and target the right kind of audience for every kind of business.
The aim of blogging is to help search users find relevant content that solves their problems. Bloggers use SEO or Search Engine Optimisation techniques to help search engines find and rank their content high up in search engine results pages or SERPs.
The most popular search engines today are Google, Bing, Yahoo, and DuckDuckGo, of which Google takes away the biggest chunk with 86.02% of all online searches worldwide.
The major responsibilities of a blogger or content writer include looking for appropriate topics that are popular as well as relevant to the blog, and are at the right position in the sales funnel considering the marketing goal, looking for keywords, writing user-friendly and helpful content, that leads the reader to fulfill the end-goal of the content, that is often to buy a product or a service.
Every blog article is part of an SEO strategy or a larger content marketing objective. A blogger needs to understand this strategy to acquire the right kind of search traffic. The right kind of traffic makes it many times easier to convert readers into customers.
2. Technical writer
Not to be confused with a tech writer, technical writers aim to describe the nitty-gritty of the technologies. These descriptions are often not meant to be applicable to an ordinary consumer and is aimed at specific industry professionals who understand the complex terminology and the industry jargon that comes with it.
Another type of content writer, known as tech writers is different from technical writers. The purpose of tech writers is to deliver content to be understood by the general public. Therefore, these kinds of content writers often leave out complex technical details about their architecture, their mechanism, and their functioning. Instead, only focus on the effects and benefits of these new technologies for the general public. These types of content writers often work for mass publications or tech blogs meant for popular consumption.
An example of technical writing would be a detailed analysis of a coding platform for software developers which describes how a new update will solve persistent issues with the older version and make the platform perform much better, to the chagrin of its rival. Another example of technical writing would be regarding the different grades of steel, which forms a part of a blog for a steel manufacturer, aimed at B2B customers.
As is clearly understood, the audience of this type of content is not the general public and only technical professionals or interested parties who form the management of such enterprises that offer technical solutions. Technical writers are often not concerned with toning down the complexity of the subject to make it easily comprehensible to a layman because of this precise reason.
Technical writers spare no detail when it comes to writing their content. These writers are experts in the field and have often worked in the role that happens to be the target audience of the content. You can refer to a software blog to witness this type of content.
Technical writers are often industry professionals who write part-time. They are employed for writing technical blogs, how-to guides, FAQ sections, product descriptions, manuals, internal corporate publications, and so on. The major fields that employ technical writers are highly-skilled fields like software, construction, robotics, biotechnology, rocket science, etc.
Copywriting is a highly competitive field of writing that demands knowledge of several fields and a deep understanding of different markets. Copywriters are the most creative but the work is also the most demanding out of various types of content writers.
Copywriters combine knowledge, experience, literary skill, and audience insight to form a perfect ‘copy’, as the content is called in agency jargon. In big agencies, the copy goes through various levels of editing and fine-tuning to transform into the absolute best at reaching the audience and fulfilling the purpose.
The objective of copywriting is to captivate the attention of the audience in the shortest amount of words. The window to capture attention is often only a few syllables. A copywriter works under high constraints of words as well as budgets to deliver marketing objectives.
A copywriter may be employed to write jingles for a product, write ad copy for newspapers, television ads, radio content, hoardings, write digital ad content, product packaging content, tag lines for brands, headlines, and by-lines for articles, create podcasts, website copy, and so on.
As cool as the name sounds, that’s where its coolness ends. Ghostwriters often write for various big publications and individual writers, but there is a catch. The reason they are called ‘ghost’ writers is that they often do not get credit in public for the exceptional work they do.
But to compensate for this shortcoming, ghostwriters are paid very handsomely and often forge great industry connections that eventually are indispensable when it comes to their personal projects. Ghostwriters usually work under CEOs and CFOs, to write content under their name.
To become a ghostwriter, one needs to be adept at the skill of quickly adopting the writing styles of various writers so that the fact that they were not the procreator of the work, goes unnoticed. The writing style of the ghostwriter must effortlessly blend with that of their employer. They also need to learn to imitate and work with different tones of voice for different brands or publications.
Ghostwriters also work for website blogs, writing in place of the organization or the individual that does not have the time or willingness to make the effort to produce content themselves. Ghostwriters are also widely employed to write e-books, in addition to web content.
5. Social media writer
Social media writers are the voice of a brand or an individual over various platforms. These are professionals who have an in-depth understanding of the social media culture pertaining to specific platforms, the variation of language for maximum impact among the target audience, frequency of posting, interacting with the audience, and such details.
The purpose of social media writing is to post content that has the potential to go viral and engage with the audience. The larger aim is to build a favorable image of the brand or the individual and build trust among the segment of the market that uses that particular platform.
Social media writers are the type of writers that have to properly understand the full possibilities of various features of the platforms. They also need knowledge of how the algorithms work so that an effective time, frequency, and promotion technique, such as hashtags, can be applied to the post. This is executed in order for the post to get maximum reach.
Occasionally, social media writers may also be required to organize a poll among their audiences. They may also need to formulate an official statement on behalf of the brand for taking a stand with regards to any demanding socio-political issue.
Another important role of a social media writer could be a public relations professional. In that case, social media posting would be just one of the skills in the job profile.
6. E-mail writer
E-mail writing in itself has its own peculiarities. The purpose of e-mails is very different from any other form of written content. Also, it has its own set of conditions, merits, and constraints.
All e-mails have one common purpose, as justified by the call-to-action. Almost every time, the call-to-action only takes the reader to the website or a product page. In other words, the sole objective of sending out e-mails is lead generation.
But there is a challenge. People’s inboxes are full of spam. A lot of promotional e-mails even go straight to the junk folder, elusive to the account holder. Even the ones that do end in the inbox go to the promotional folder, which is seldom opened since it is full of brands trying to sell things.
In that case, how does an e-mail writer ensure that the emails they send out, reach the inbox, catch the attention of the reader so that they open it, and, most importantly, click that brightly colored button to reach the website?
This is what e-mail writers are adept at. The major prerequisite of increasing impressions for an e-mail campaign is to actually e-mail people who are interested in your product. This will require a proper understanding of their interests and motives.
Writing captivating subject lines is also a skill that these types of content writers must be proficient at. Since an enchanting opening line is a precursor to an enthusiastic reader.
E-mail writers are employed to write newsletters, transactional emails, promotional offers, etc.
7. Long-content writers
Long content includes written content like e-books, subject material, case studies, white papers, and lengthy blog posts containing cornerstone content.
These types of content writers are often subject matter experts. They have the necessary knowledge and capability to provide in-depth content based on facts and research as well as experience.
Long-form content is often filled with data and insights, owing to their expertise in the subject. These types of writers are often employed to write a book for schools, colleges, or corporations about topics such as physical chemistry, quantitative aptitude, applications of .NET framework for web apps, etc.
With the rise of many specialized educational services on platforms like Youtube as well as mobile applications, publishers require professionals who possess the expertise to formulate study material for their students. Many classroom coaching nowadays also employ similar tactics.
Another area of consistent work for long-form writers is writing ebooks. With the onset of free publishing over platforms like Kindle, which have democratized publishing, we are witnessing an increase in long-form content gigs. There is a demand for writers who can churn out 6000+ words, or more, of detailed content on various subjects as part of a larger publishing campaign.
8. Thesis writing
Research or thesis writing is a booming profession in India. Students across the globe outsource thesis writing jobs to India, due to cheap labor that also happens to understand and write English.
These gigs are often termed unethical. The student who is supposed to perform detailed review and analysis of their subjects just pay someone to do their tedious work so they are spared of the effort. Many content writers refuse to do such jobs and instead limit their service to ‘consulting’ students on their thesis.
But since this segment is fairly large and employs many thousands of writers in countries like India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, it needs to be included in this list of types of content writers.
The thesis tends to be long content that is extremely detailed. It involves extensive research, literature review, knowledge of the subject domain, and proper understanding of the abstract. In case of any discrepancy, the brunt is to be borne by the student, but it would damage the reputation of the writer.
9. Press release writers
Press releases or PR, as it is commonly known, are used to broadcast information about any development related to a company, an organization, or an individual, that may be of interest to the public.
Press releases are often published on the website of the concerned party. But in case of its utility to a wider audience, it is often published in popular publications and even telecast on television channels.
Companies use press releases to inform about the launch of a new product, the opening of new stores, new departments, new mergers and expansion of business, CSR activities, or general announcements.
Press releases real strength is when it is published in one of the popular publications. In those cases, it uses the credibility and trust that its readers put upon the publication. In that case, PR is not even identified as a marketing tool. It is only a means of disseminating information.
But in order for PR to be effective, the brand needs to perform acts that are worthy of captivating people’s attention. A press release is only a tool that notifies information about actual events. Ideally, it is non-promotional in nature. Therefore the event that it is covering must be worthy of attention.
The most important skill of a scriptwriter is storytelling. Therefore scriptwriters are mainly employed in audiovisual projects and related work.
With the rise of video content platforms and accessibility to basic filmmaking tools, the means to filmmaking has become available to everyone. But this also requires types of writers who can produce content that is entertaining, captivating, and connects to the viewer.
But scriptwriting is also widely used in corporate films. The purpose of these films is to provide a brief introduction to interested parties like investors, and customers, about their history, values, operations, mission, product range, and so on. A corporate film is a much more powerful tool than hour-long PowerPoint presentations and boring self-promoting talks.
Scriptwriters are also employed to take video interviews of notable persons, creating a list of questions, and managing the flow of the conversation.
Podcasts are another medium where scriptwriters are needed. This medium is seeing signs of major growth due to a lack of advertising in that medium. But also because podcasts can be listened to passively while doing other activities like working out, or on a commute, and so on.
Like all things in the world, every content is not the same. Every kind of content has different purposes, different audience expectations, different rules, different skills required. Some forms of content need to be instructional while some need to be extremely creative.
That is why different content writing jobs require different types of content writers.
Q. How much can a content writer earn?
Ans- Well, there’s no such limit to what a content writer can earn, in fact, there are freelance content writers who have scaled 7 figure income solely through content writing. However, for an entry-level job with basic knowledge of content writing, one may expect INR 22,000-25,000 a month.
Q. What are some tools that are very important for content writers?
Ans- Grammarly, UBERSuggest and SEMrush are the tools you must learn if you aspire to become a professional content writer.
Q. Are there any good courses for content writing?
Ans- Yes, there are several courses for content writing and one must pick courses based on features, highlights, reviews and things like that. IIM SKILLS appears to be the best option for learning professional content writing.
But even diverse types of content writers must possess one skill in common – the ability to put their thoughts into words. It is easier said than done. Oftentimes, it takes years to develop this craft.
If you are aspiring to become a content writer, once you are proficient enough, you can start getting paid work for various content requirements. You can start with paid or unpaid internships and build your skill.
If you are a marketer, now you have a much better understanding of the profession. This will greatly help you find the right kind of content writer for your marketing needs. This will help you save time and you’ll hire someone whose skills are consistent with your marketing objectives.
We hope this article was helpful to you. We hope to help you build a stronger marketing team to guide you in your growth. If you are a student, we hope this article helped you gain detailed insight into the profession and where you’d like to fit in.