Can You Be a Content Strategist But Not a Copywriter?

We’re continuing this week, with the theme of articles that can be summarized as “yes.” Can you be a content strategist but not a copywriter? Yes.

Plenty of organizations misunderstand the difference between a copywriter and a content strategist. To me, the main difference is the deliverable expectations.

  • A copywriter is responsible for delivering copy decks, site copy… in other words, copy. Sometimes, if the copywriter is more of a general content creator, he or she is responsible for final drafts and publishable versions of copy, images, and videos.
  • A content strategist is responsible for delivering voice and tone guidelines, content audits, content evaluations, content templates or a core strategy. This all accomplishes the goal of planning for the creation, delivery, and governance of content.

With that in mind, of COURSE you can be a content strategist but not a copywriter!

Why do People Think Content Strategists Need to Be Copywriters?

They are two different roles. Yet because many organizations don’t need a full time content strategist, their strategists also serve as content creators. And that’s ok – but it’s not mandatory!

There’s a lot of work to be done. There’s information architecture and sitemap creation, metadata research and creation, CMS creation, governance plan building, voice and tone creation –  none of this requires copywriting. The skill sets required are different! It’s terribly unfortunate when an organization passes up a brilliant strategist because they’re expecting to find a strategist + copywriter.

Content strategists, don’t sell yourselves short. Hone your skills, and do what you do best. When we do our jobs well, copywriters have the tools they need to do their jobs equally well.

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