By Amy Isler, MSN, RN
Senior Reporter
April 20, 2022

6 minutes to read

    Grammarly Writing Support

    What is the Difference Between Content Strategy and Content Writing?

    content strategy vs writer

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    Leaping into nurse writing is an exciting and meaningful way to transfer your knowledge from the bedside and clinic to the world wide web, educating thousands, if not millions. 

    While healthcare knowledge and experience make nurses invaluable contributors to various topics and stories, navigating the nuances of content creation can be challenging, especially all the new lingo (what is SEO, anyway?), terms, and job descriptions that circulate in the writing world.

    Many nurse writers scratch their heads at all the different roles, elements, and analyses encompassing a company’s content master plan. This article breaks down some of this confusion by outlining the difference between a content strategist and a content writer. 

    What is Content Strategy?

    A company’s marketing plan plays a significant role in its overall success. No matter how good your product is, if you don’t have clear, concise marketing to connect with your target market and audience, your story will never rise to the top.

    Content strategy is a crucial building block to a successful marketing plan. A content strategist is a thought leader who recognizes the big picture marketing goals and makes them a reality. A content strategist is in charge of, you guessed it, content, which can encompass articles, copywriting, web pages, and social media campaigns. Basically, they are in charge of telling a compelling story in a way that is both engaging and meaningful to their audience.

    While writing is a small part of content strategy, a content strategist must fully understand who their audience is, what they want, and how to deliver that in a nice package using tools such as:

    • Data analytics
    • Research
    • Understanding of psychology
    • Integrating SEO best practices
    • Video production 

    These tools help them craft, edit, and distribute content across multiple online, mobile, and social platforms with the overall goal to:

    • Generate leads
    • Raise brand awareness
    • Engage customers and prospects
    • Build audience trust
    • Complement the marketing plan

    What is Content Writing?

    If content strategy is the house, then content writing is the foundation. 

    The role of the content writer is narrower than that of a content strategist, with the primary goal to engage the reader and bring the story to life. While a copywriter’s job is to persuade the reader to take action, the content writer’s goal is to educate and build trust.

    The content writer brings life the content strategist’s vision through various mediums, including:

    • Blogs
    • Articles 
    • White Papers
    • Case studies
    • Websites
    • Social media
    • Email

    Content writers focus on telling a compelling story through research and interviewing, while the content strategist’s role is to keep an eye on the big picture. 

    How They Complement Each Other

    A successful content strategy requires good writing, and to be a good writer; you need to understand the high-level content goal. While the two jobs focus on different aspects, they complement each other. 

    As a content writer, it is essential to understand your role (writing and research) and understand how you fit into your client’s content strategy. This helps you bring their vision, goals, and audience engagement to life. 

    When talking with a prospective client, some good content strategy questions to ask include:

    • How would you describe your target audience?
    • What are your marketing goals?
    • Do you use SEO tools?
    • How do you gauge the success of your content strategy?
    • What channels do you use to distribute your content (social media, LinkedIn, website)

    As you embark on your journey as a freelance nurse writer, make a habit of asking lots of questions from prospective clients regarding your role as a writer and how you fit in with the overarching content strategy and marketing vision. Clear communication creates engagement and trust with your client while elevating your writing and building long-term relationships!

    Amy Isler, MSN, RN

    Amy Isler, RN, MSN, CSN is a registered nurse and freelance writer who has over six years of experience working as a credentialed school nurse managing children with chronic health conditions, including diabetes, asthma, seizures, and food allergies.