The Long and Short of It: Marketing Writing vs. Blog Writing
My journey at Wix began as a blog writer. For two years, I wrote a few 1,000-word articles a week covering web design trends, small business tips, feature updates and more. The Wix Blog is our company voice on display. It’s an approachable way to communicate with Wix users, potential Wix users and everyone in between.
In time, I became comfortable churning out posts and developed a connection with our audience. And then everything changed:
I moved to marketing writing.
As a marketing writer, I’m writing content that can be found in email blasts, landing pages, banners, video scripts and more. Essentially I’m taking those 1,000-word blog posts and shrinking the content down. Significantly.
Believe me, the transition wasn’t pretty.
“Try to cut this down.”
“Great! Say all that—but in 2 sentences.”
“Any way you can shorten this?”
These are comments I’ve learned to anticipate now, 8 months after changing roles. At the end of the day, content for a blog and marketing content is meant to educate. The approach, however, is different. Here are some tips that have helped me make the change from long form to short form content.
01. Understand the goal
Blog Writing: A blog is a great way to connect with your audience and really pull back the curtain on your business. Keep this in mind when shaping your tone, overall style and thinking up blog topics. Each blog post you write has a different goal.
Let’s say I wrote a blog post on a new feature for Wix Video. The ultimate goal of the specific post is to get readers to learn about that feature and try it out—while accomplishing the underlying goals of the Wix Blog: educating and empowering our readers.
Marketing Writing: Typically, marketing content has harder key performance indicators or KPIs. Simply put, a KPI is a value you can measure. As a marketing writer, you must think about your KPI when crafting your content.
For example, if I’m writing an email and I know the goal is to get people to subscribe to the Wix Blog, I will put a clear call to action (CTA) that says, “Subscribe Now.” This will direct the reader to where I want them to go, helping me reach my goal or KPI.
02. Do your research
Blog Writing: Whatever topic you’re writing about, get comfortable with it. You won’t be able to teach it to others until you have a firm grasp yourself. If you’re writing about something more complex, talk it out and explain it step by step—as if you were having a conversation. That conversation will help shape the foundation of your blog post.
Marketing Writing: As with blog writing, it’s essential you get comfortable with your topic. Test the product, explore the industry and become a pro. Then, you can highlight the key points in your text and effectively market it to your readers.
Tell your story
Blog Writing: You have room to write. Take that conversation you just had with yourself and start to elaborate. A good story will keep people reading, even if the topic is less than exciting. As a blog writer, I tried to come up with an analogy or a personal anecdote to begin with. Then, I would weave that storyline in throughout my post, (hopefully) enticing the reader to continue on. Tip: Make your content easy to skim by including the important points in your headers.
Marketing Writing: Most of the time, space is not your friend. Say what you need to say in a clear and concise way, while still being mindful of the story and the order in which you tell it. In marketing, you want to reel in your audience and keep them on your website, LP or YouTube channel. But since you don’t have time to be long-winded, you need to tell your story quickly, while making sure you pack a punch that your readers will remember.
03. Do your [keyword] research
Blog Writing: Blogs are SEO fuel tanks. Use a tool like Google AdWords to identify some keywords related to the subject of your articles or include the keywords that you’re given in the brief. When you use lots of keywords in your blog articles, folks searching for topics you’re writing about will have the best shot at finding your posts on search engines.
Marketing Writing: SEO is a big part of marketing writing as well. In a landing page, you will have to incorporate keywords into the text, SEO title and meta description. I’ve felt the push and pull of being stuck in the middle, navigating between the requests of our SEO team and a team of designers who don’t want to compromise the Wix homepage layout for the sake of a few keywords. Yep – including those words is no easy feat when you want your text to sound natural and your design to look stunning!
04. Remember that what you’re doing matters
Whatever kind of writer you are, remember the significance of your work. Content is the bridge that connects people to a product. Make every word count, whether you’re writing a 1500-word blog post or a 160-character SEO description. After all, words matter.
The transition I made from blog writing to marketing writing has been quite the ride. Having started on the blog, I came to marketing content with a totally different writing process. But I’ve learned to adapt and, along the way, I’ve strengthened different muscles. As a writer, it’s important to seek out the uncomfortable, because it’s the only way you’ll grow.
Next stop, UX. (Just kidding!)
Hey writers! Tell us about your experiences being stuck between design and SEO, in the comment section below.
The Wix Writers' Guild