SEO Content Writing vs. Creative Content Writing
SEO Content Writing vs. Creative Content Writing
Content writing has many roles. It persuades, informs, ignites and entertains. However, not every piece of writing can fit the mold, especially online. SEO content writing and creative content writing are sought-after skills in the modern world, but they aren’t the same thing. Some people think that a good writer can easily succeed in either field, but that’s sort of like saying a football player should automatically be good at badminton. Football players are not automatically good at badminton; their shoulders are too broad to swing the tiny rackets.
Being creative can help with SEO article writing, but there are many elements that go into generating SEO content. On the other hand, creative content writing requires a lot of thought and passion. So, what makes each style of writing unique? Here is the complete comparison of the two skills and how they can ultimately work together.
What is SEO Content Writing?
SEO writing is the art of creating engaging, readable content that ranks highly on search engines. This involves using keywords, headers and bullet points to portray valuable advice that answers search queries.
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is the key to digital marketing. When people search the internet, they are looking for resources or services that fulfill their needs. Google does the work to find quality content that can answer their search queries. Complex Google algorithms study website content and determine whether they would be a good fit or not. This is heavily based on keywords, meta content and quality writing.
Optimization is the focus of SEO content writing. Each article, product description or social media post is uniquely written to attract users. Concise wording, careful keyword placement and attractive formatting all must reach a certain standard to start receiving big results.
SEO content writing is used mostly for marketing purposes. Many writers work with companies and businesses to create this kind of content. They can find work on their own as freelancers, or join content writing teams to learn a diverse set of marketing and writing skills.
What is Creative Content Writing?
Creative writing covers a range of writing styles that focus on imagination and originality. The purpose of creative content is to express emotions, thoughts or ideas through description and literary devices. A few common forms of creative writing include poetry, fiction, songs and plays.
This form of writing is often enjoyable to create or read. Writers can use their personality and emotions to form works of art that tug on the heart strings of their readers. There are many ways to write creative content and different types of tones and writing styles can be used. Some writers chose to use similes, metaphors and symbolism to portray certain ideas while others use imagery and literal writing.
Creative writing may be one of the easiest types of content to start creating. Although more experienced writers tend to write more compelling content, creative writing is mostly based of your own creativity and individuality. There are thousands of directions you can take with your writing, and with enough originality and talent, your story can become popular among readers. If you’re planning on becoming the next JK Rowling, creative writing is the way to go.
The most popular career for creative content writers is becoming a published author. This can take a lot of work, especially if you’ve never published a book before. However, the skills a creative writer gains can be useful in other careers such as journalism and content writing. Some may even choose to teach creative writing courses to spark the minds of young authors.
The Differences Between SEO Content Writing and Creative Content Writing
At first glance, these two styles of writing seem very alike. Although they have their similarities, there are some stark differences between the two. The biggest difference is the intentions of the writing. SEO content writing is mainly focused on marketing to potential leads. The content needs be concise, information and persuasive to be successful. Creative content writing doesn’t put a cap on the descriptions and imagery, and it doesn’t always have a purpose besides entertainment.
With this in mind, here are three of the biggest differences you can identify when studying the two styles of writing.
1. Situational Synonyms
Every good writer should have a collection of synonyms. When writers don’t know how to use synonyms, their writing can sound dull. But with SEO content writing, masterfully utilizing interchangeable words is vital. It’s not just that you need to be able to vary your sentences and sound professional, but you also have to limit the number of times you use certain words.
To illustrate this point, let’s compare a short story about a loan shark to a 300-word article with the keyword “loan.” The short story could have a sentence that reads, “When Lucy the Loan Shark called about a loan that was past due, she always made sure Loan Me a Dime was playing in the background.” Not the best phrasing, but passable. In the SEO article, that sentence is murder. You’ve exhausted your use of “loan” in just 26 words, and the keyword spacing is ghastly. If you don’t want the client asking for a rewrite, you’ll need to do some serious synonymizing.
2. Point of View
Part of the appeal of creative writing is sharing your own thoughts and opinions. If you hate apples and want the world to know, go ahead and write a story about the horrible atrocities committed by Johnny Appleseed. When writing a technical article that’s meant to drive traffic to a certain site, your aversion to harmless fruit needs to be left out of your work. SEO content writers almost always have to avoid writing negative content, so it’s important that you’re able to set personal biases aside.
If you’re writing specifically for a client’s website or blog, then you’ll need to purposely take the point of view of the client you’re writing for. The ability to mimic a tone and voice, and use verbiage and vocabulary the company would use is crucial in creating a congruent brand message throughout. There also is some research required in understanding products, target consumers and even competitors of the client you’re ghostwriting for.
3. Specific Styling
A lot of factors play into the style of an SEO article. Different companies want different things, so you have to know what’s acceptable when it comes to format and wording. You might love using italics to stress words, or maybe you feel that a numbered list is the best way to achieve the following:
- Numerical Shenanigans
Unfortunately, these elements have to be avoided in some articles. You may need to use your creative skills to find another way to get your point across. Your client’s style guide always has the final say, so you might have to kill some of your darlings.
The Similarities Between SEO Content Writing and Creative Content Writing
Although there are some big differences, that doesn’t mean there aren’t many similarities too. In fact, because they are so similar, any writer can enhance either kind of content by adding elements of the other. Both are strong, compelling types of writing, and they can both grab the attention of readers. SEO content writing and creative content writing may be the two most sought-after types of writing in today’s world.
Here are three strengths that these two writing styles share.
1. Good Quality
Whether you publish creative writing or SEO content, your writing must be high quality to receive recognition and admiration from readers. This means grammar and format need to be neat and tidy, with the exception of certain styles of poetry. When readers catch several of your grammar mistakes and struggle to interpret the format, they’ll bounce from your website in less than a minute.
Along with good grammar, readability is important to both styles. How well can a reader follow your writing structure and understand the information you present? Both SEO content writers and creative content writers need to keep in mind the audience they are catering too. If your content contains college level words and a professional tone, the elementary students you’re targeting won’t be interested in what you say, even if it’s about how to create trending Tik-Tok videos. Both types of writers should take their target market into consideration while writing. Word choice, certain themes and level of professionalism are all affected by the people receiving the content.
2. Engaging to Readers
SEO and creative content are aimed at hooking readers. Google tries to evaluate data the same way a reader would, making the need of reader engagement even more important in content. Your search rank is partially dependent on how well visitors are receiving your post. Is it beneficial to them? Do they share it with friends, comment below or link back to it? These are all signs of engagement in the digital world, and engagement means traffic.
For creative content writers, a story needs to be loved by the audience. This requires a lot of hard work, and many writers take extra measures to spread awareness of their content, such as advertising, book signings or social media marketing. If creative writing is posted online, SEO comes into play. You need readers to find your content, and this can be done by optimizing your website and ranking for keywords.
Both styles have the fundamental need for engagement and involvement. The central reason why content is created is so that it can reach potential readers and benefit them. These practices aim to be easy to read, interesting and appealing.
3. Advocates Writing
In a world where technology is uprooting traditional libraries and videos are being chosen over literature, SEO content writing and creative content writing show the power of words. Each serves its purpose in compelling readers and achieving goals. SEO content writing is a priceless asset to any marketing plan because of the traffic it generates and the power it adds to any website. Even social media uses the power of content marketing to reach users.
Creative content writing has always done its job well. Stories can make readers cry, laugh, think and discover. They can also bring across points and raise questions about current issues. The internet is chock-full of creative writing from people of all backgrounds and talents. And now, more and more creative devices are used in journalism, marketing and lifestyle writing.
The Future of SEO Content Writing and Creative Content Writing
Although each style of writing has its respective place in the world, it’s getting harder and harder to deny the benefits of both. As marketing continues to evolve, writing is becoming more fluid and interesting to read. Creative content writers are starting to optimize their work and use SEO best practices to promote work online.
The world is changing, and so is the way we see content. Creative writing and SEO content writing are two very different beasts. Nevertheless, learning how to write both can absolutely make you a more competent writer. Looking for SEO content writers who incorporate creativity and quality into their writing? Check out our content shop and learn more about how we can help you.
If you want to share your thoughts on the differences of SEO content writing vs creative content writing, please do so in the comments!