01 Feb What are the Differences between a Copywriter, Web Editor, Ux Writer and Content Editor?
In a world where even writers have branched off into increasingly complex (and connected) occupations, we have decided to bring a little clarity. So here are the main differences between copywriter and web editor, content editor and ux writer.
Let’s start with the first, the oldest of the four, and perhaps the most romantic and fictionalized: copywriting.
One thing is certain. Whether they’re working in a communication agency, as a freelance writer, or internally within a company (public or private), copywriters write with a specific purpose in mind, which is to sell.
From the very beginning – the first professionals date back to around 1860 – through the heyday of the 60s and 70s (Mad Men mean anything to you?), the mass media and ultimately the Internet, the substance and purpose of a copywriter’s work has never changed. Copywriters write to persuade the chosen target audience, to convert reading to action, whether immediate or long-term; they turn needs into words, dreams into slogans, products into narrative descriptions, stories into emotions. Copywriters build the brand image and values and present them to consumers.
They are the historic allies of graphic artists and art directors: an alliance that has remained just as strong with the advent of digital technology and continues, day after day, to shape the world of advertising and of both traditional and digital marketing. Copywriters write brochures, posters, billboards, promotional items for newspapers and magazines, as well as creating jingles and radio and television commercials, writing scripts for sponsors to act and, often, shape the brand itself. What about the Internet? Yes, of course they write on the Internet too!
With the advent of the world wide web, web 2.0, and the Semantic Web, the identity of the copywriter has changed, the professions have expanded and diversified. The work now covers websites, paid ads on Google, social media, and videos on other media (not only on TV) and much more. In short, copywriting is the tree from which all “commercial” writing professions have sprung. Professions which, given the now inevitable consolidation, should be called by their own name…
What we are about to say may come across as somewhat simplistic, given that all these writing professions have promiscuity and flexibility as their main characteristic. It is worth saying, however, that web editors (or web copywriters) do everything that traditional copywriters have always done in print, and on radio and TV, but on the web. This means web pages (SEO optimized), social media, Google ADS, newsletters, descriptions on e-commerce sites and so on. Web editors are important not only because they hand their pen (and keyboard) to other digital media and channels. But precisely because of the relationship between these and their copy.
We all know that web users and readers behave differently than on other media. Not only in the way they use this media, but also in their cognitive processes, in accepting calls to action first, and welcoming them later, in reading times and in their attention span. The web floods PCs, tablets and smartphones of people around the globe with multimedia content every day, in a self-oriented way that would have been insane just 15 years ago.
Many people make the mistake of believing that a copywriter can easily replace a web editor and vice versa. Print media, television, brochures are related worlds of course, but totally separate from the world of the web. And all these worlds require exclusive study, experience and observation.
Given the continuous evolution taking place in the market, web editors, like copywriters, have witnessed diversification in their profession with the appearance of SEO editors (or copywriters), social editors and micro copywriters, better known as UX writers
UX writing is definitely the latest addition to the taxonomy of writing professions. This contemporary branch of copywriting has attracted a great deal of curiosity and demand for training, and above all created a lot of work. UX writing is the latest digital writing super skill, and is increasingly requested by companies in all sectors. Why?
UX stands for User Experience. The writing in this case is linked to the user experience, swapping the Product > Consumer paradigm for the more frequent Consumer > Product one. In short, taking the omniscient Funnel approach, the guide to any content planning on the web.
Calls to action, micro texts, landing pages, pop-ups and automatic emails, which were deemed useless and superfluous, are now treated as protagonists. Thanks to UX writers. UX writing and UX Designing are inevitably part and parcel: their synergy makes the user’s journey complete and unique in every detail. The goal of the UX writer is to build user loyalty, to keep users hooked on any given website or social media page, making them perform certain actions by using increasingly dynamic and personalized portions of text.
And Content Editors?
Content editing basically arises from the merger between writing and multimedia content, and is therefore fundamental where multimedia content is required: websites and social media.
Content editors, who often evolve into content designers when graphic and video content is required, must be able to write and create content as well as having analytical and organizational skills. They are required to constantly update the editorial plan of their organization or company, evaluating its targets, resources and objectives.
We hope this little handbook about the differences between copywriter and web editor, content editor and ux writer has been useful. Whether you want to work in the field of writing and language services (or already do), or you need language services and content yourself!