What is a content writer?

A fairly web-savvy professional service person asked me, “What is a content writer?” I found this just a bit humorous, but very revealing. This accounting professional is considered to be a leader at using social media to market his firm. He has Facebook and LinkedIn profiles and a blog is built into his website. Yet, content writer was a foreign term. Here is how I answered his question:

Your question about content writer makes me smile, because that question is a good one, and it puzzles me in this new age of social media marketing, content marketing, Internet marketing, inbound marketing and a bevy of other related and current buzzwords.
The simple answer to your question is that a “content writer” is a writer. Just delete the word “content.” From my point of view, content writer is the same as copywriter (not to be confused with copyright law), business writer, communications writer, writer-editor, publicity writer, etc. A writer is someone who makes a living by crafting words into sentences, paragraphs, articles, white papers, books and more. “Content” implies that the writer has a level of expertise that allows him or her to successfully write copy for online marketing purposes. Examples include writing copy for static website pages, blog entries, email newsletters, Facebook entries, Twitter posts, LinkedIn updates and more.
I’m using the term “content writer” to describe myself these days because it seems that people believing in the power of the Internet want to work with a content writer, versus a “plain old business writer.”  I have made considerable effort to understand and practice the nuances of online content and how the writing differs, how to use keywords, etc.
My hope is that professional and financial service people think of me when they decide they need help in writing that email newsletter, Facebook message or blog post. Too many firms start a blog, for example, and then only populate it every now and then. Using a ghostwriter (one with industry knowledge, like me) for that purpose can make a big difference in creating a beneficial Internet presence.
Sorry I was a bit long-winded. Best wishes,

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