What is the difference between a content writer and a content manager?

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Sometimes job titles can feel a bit like semantics. Especially in the world of online businesses. Often roles and experience can overlap and what one person calls their job can be different from another.

In fact, if your expectations on what a person does are based on their job title alone, these assumptions can differ depending on your experience and work history.

If you’re interested in the difference between a copywriter and a content writer, you can read about it here.

Content Writer

What is the difference between a content writer and a content manager? In my previous post, I outlined that a content writer thinks about all of the elements on the page, not just the words.

They will consider all the good things that a copywriter does, as writing the copy is part of their job, and also how that copy is going to work with everything else. This can include graphics, video, lead magnets, content upgrades and where the reader is going to go next.

Content Manager

A content manager goes one stage further. They take all of this great content and make sure that it is part of the bigger picture. They will manage the website, ensure everything is up to date and working.

Often they will ensure that the email marketing platform, such as MailChimp or Active Campaign, is linked up to the website correctly and doing its job.

They will then make sure the content is being shared on the right platforms in the right way.

Analytics

Perhaps the most important job that a content manager will do is analyse the metrics. Reporting is a huge part of my job. Taking all that information from Google Analytics and platform metrics and putting it into an easy to understand format.

I use it to inform on what is happening now and what should be happening next. I test theories through the data and plan out the next strategic step for the content.

Spreadsheets, spreadsheets, spreadsheets

You’ve got to love a spreadsheet if you’re a content manager. You need to get all of that good information out in front of you and understand what it is telling you.

I reckon around 20 per cent of my job is writing, perhaps the same in editing and the rest is looking at spreadsheets or data.

And the truth is, I love it. It makes me a better writer. I understand more about what the audience wants because the data tells me. I can nudge them in the right direction.

Time

What a content manager does best for their client is save them time. A whole lot of time so they can go off and do whatever business it is they are doing, safe in the knowledge that their content is working hard for them.

Taking content from inception to delivery requires lots of little tasks that when added up take up a lot of time. It’s why many businesses don’t put out regular content. They manage it for a few weeks and then get lost in accounts, admin, sales or client work.

And when content is such a vital part of marketing, you can’t afford to not give it the time. It just need not be your time.

Systems and Processes

A content manager will make sure there are systems and processes in place to manage the content. Think of it as project managing lots of very small moving parts.

Checklists, project management tools, and a keen sense of organisation are all part of a content manager’s job. It’s easy to get lost and miss something.

When you are a content writer, you are often delivering the copy. Sometimes you don’t even get to upload it onto the website and work your magic there. Sometimes you do. But that is often where your job stops.

Or you might get to put an email sequence in place and write all of the emails. But you are one part of a bigger picture.

As a content manager, you paint the picture, organise the logistics to the gallery, hand out the flyers to get people to look at it, and then stop them on the way out to ask them what they think.

I believe these job titles are increasingly connected when you have the skills that span the gap between the two. However, there is a clear difference between them. Let me know what you think.