Copywriter, Content Writer, Freelance Writer, or Ghostwriter? Know What Type of Wordsmith to Hire for Your Vegan Business

A vegan business cannot thrive without the right writer to educate and entice its potential customers. With all the different types of writers these days, how do you make sense of all the labels writers use, much less know what kind of wordsmith you should hire? Let’s take a look at the different writer labels you might stumble upon and see which writer will best suit your marketing needs.

What is a Freelance Writer?

A freelance writer is a writer who writes for the web as a contractor or subcontractor. If you hire a freelancer for your business, you hire them to do a specific job(s). You do not worry about paying part of their healthcare premiums or employment taxes. There are many advantages to hiring a freelance writer including paying only for the work completed, flexibility, and specific skill set. If you find the right freelance writer, you will save your company money. Read more about the advantages of hiring a vegan freelance writer.

You will find all types of writers under the “freelance writer” umbrella. A freelancer can be a copywriter, a content writer, a journalist, an essayist, speechwriter, technical writer, business writer, curriculum writer, and more. All of these writers use their creativity to write different types of content, and as a marketer or business owner, it can feel overwhelming to determine which type of writer you need. In addition, some of these terms are often used interchangeably and add to the confusion. But, rest assured, read on, and let’s get clear on what kind of writer you should hire.

What is a Content Writer? Do you Need a Content Writer for Your Vegan Business?

The term Content Writer encompasses a broad spectrum. Content is anything you read on the web. If you read a blog, you are reading content. If you read the script within a video or podcast, that is also content and a content writer wrote it. When you read a social media post from your favorite vegan shoe brand, that post was written by a content writer. A white paper is considered content writing as well.

The following are examples of different types of content:  

  • Blog Articles – A short-form or long-form article to educate, entertain, and build trust with your audience. A blog is usually housed on your company website.
  • E-newsletters – A one-page, concise email sent to clients containing company news and updates, or new products or services with the intention to inform and maintain audience engagement.
  • Webinar Content – A slide show that pertains to a webinar presentation.
  • White Papers – A well-researched report demonstrating useful and persuasive information about your company’s product or services. It is used to gather leads.  
  • Downloadable Resources or Opt-ins – A free e-book or guide to share with your potential customers specifically written to build authority and trust for your business and provide value to your customers.

What is sometimes confusing is that content writing pieces are sometimes referred to as “copywriting.” A white paper or a case study can be considered content writing OR copywriting, for example. Don’t be stirred by this. A good rule of thumb is to remember what each type of writing piece and writer does: The content writer informs, entertains, and builds trust with your audience, thereby building authority for your brand and business; a copywriter writes to persuade your audience to take a specific action like buying your vegan handbag or candy bar, for example.

What is a Copywriter?  When Do You Need a Copywriter for Your Vegan Business?

A copywriter writes to persuade your reader to take action on a specific result. For example, if you want to sell your brand new vegan cookbook, you would hire a copywriter to write a landing page for your website which seeks to persuade the reader to buy your book. Or, you might have a delicious vegan cheese you want to sell. A product description for this cheese would require a copywriter to write persuasive words to entice your audience to purchase it.  

Copywriting is different than content writing in that it seeks to create a response from the customer rather than seeking to inform or entertain. Make sense?

Below are examples of types of copywriting:  

Landing Page – A page on your website created specifically for a marketing campaign. A landing page has the sole purpose of selling a product or service, like an e-book.

Case Study – A marketing tool used to convince your audience that your products or services will meet their needs. 

Website Copy – Pages on a website including the Product or Services pages, the About page, Home page, or Landing pages.

Sales Letter – A strategically written letter snail-mailed to potential or actual customers with the intent of persuading them to take a specific action.

E-mail Series – A series of emails sent to clients on your email list written specifically to get them to purchase a service or product. Emails are also used to inform and build trust with clients, so once again, here is another caveat: is email marketing copywriting or content writing?

What About a Ghostwriter? What is That? When Should You Hire a Ghostwriter?

I’m going to have to throw in a vegan wrench into the mix. There is another type of writer referred to as a “ghostwriter.” This does not mean you would hire a ghost to write for you in the middle of the night when they are done haunting grandma. It means you would hire a writer who writes FOR your company without their name on their work.

There are freelance ghostwriters who write entire e-books or paperbacks for companies, get paid, then relinquish the rights to their work. For most businesses, ghostwriters are hired to write different types of content. If, for example, you require a content writer to write blog articles in your company’s voice and do not include their name on the blog, they are considered ghostwriters. To make things more blurring, a ghostwriter can be referred to as a content writer OR a copywriter. 

Final Words

Finding the right type of freelance writer for your vegan business is sometimes tricky. Knowing the differences between content writers and copywriters is important as a business owner or marketer. The important steps to take before hiring any writer are to research and know your audience and create a great marketing plan. Then seek a freelance writer who knows the differences between content writing and copywriting, make sure that person can write in your brand voice, and hire them. For an added benefit, hire a vegan freelancer who understands the non-vegan as well as the vegan consumer, and watch your business thrive. 

A content writer informs, entertains, and builds trust with your audience. A copywriter seeks to persuade your audience to buy your product or service.”

Understanding the Customer’s Everyday-Journey to Veganism: 4 Important Keys for Vegan Marketers

Marketing to the vegan and plant-based customer – it’s a ball of vegan wax these days, isn’t it?

It requires new, innovative, improved approaches. The old way of doing things does not work anymore because customers are smarter, expect more, and especially, want a personal touch.

According to “Study Shows a 3rd of World Population Follow a Diet Based on Reduction or Elimination of Meat in Vegconomist from Aug 28, 2020, “A total of 11% of global consumers are vegetarian, 20% are flexitarian, and 3% identify as vegan.” That means you can’t assume all your customers will fit into one mold.

Every marketer knows it’s a mistake to assume all customers are the same. Any company knows the best way to sell their products is to know their customer inside and out. In addition to demographics, age, sex, and basic likes and dislikes, you must know their spending habits, where they hang out online, their goals, aspirations, needs, wants, fears, and problems. Not all customers are alike. And, in the vegan or plant-based marketplace, reaching all types of customers is a challenge.

At any time, a pescatarian, a vegetarian, an omnivore, a meat-reductionist, a flexitarian, or a vegan could stumble upon your website. How do you reach all of these people? This can be quite the conundrum, right? Let’s explore this further.

You might sell plant-based food. Who are your customers? Your customers might be omnivores who want to improve their health and are looking to dabble in eating more plants, women who are vegetarians not concerned about eating dairy, or flexitarians or reducetarians who are gradually working towards eliminating meat products. You might have vegans stumble upon your website, who eat only plants because of ethical reasons. There are different types of potential customers who require different marketing campaigns.

But, stick with me. It gets even more complex.  

Let’s say you sell ethically-sourced, vegan clothing. You care about sustainability, eliminating animal exploitation, and harm to the environment. It is important to your company’s mission that animals were not harmed creating the clothing you sell. Your primary customers are vegans, those who will buy from you because they care about ethical sourcing and animal welfare. What do you do if a non-vegan stumbles upon your website? Does your branding voice include all people who might land on your home page? Or, are you marketing only to vegans?

two white women sitting side by side working and talking holding pens and writing

“Many companies have forgotten they sell to actual people. Humans care about the entire experience, not just the marketing or sales or service. To really win in the modern age, you must solve for humans.” — Dharmesh Shah, CTO & Co-Founder, HubSpot

4 Keys to Understanding the Customer’s Everyday-Journey to Veganism

Know your audience and customer

Primary research is important before creating the content needed to attract your ideal customers.  

This is obvious and marketing 101. You must know who your audience is and the type of customers you want to attract and know them well before writing a word of content or buying Google ads for your business. There are many different ways to research your customer, and I will not cover all of them here.  Conducting social listening, performing keyword research, and running focus groups is a good place to start.

Understand your customers are on different paths  

Not all customers are alike. That is obvious, but let’s explore.

Let’s say you are a vegan business owner who sells vegan muffins and scones for ethical reasons: you want to end animal suffering. Who do you sell to? Primarily to vegans, but you will also have vegetarians, flexitarians, and carnivores perusing your website or storefront. Even though you might care deeply about the plight of animals, not every person who buys your scones will.

If you market primarily to vegans on your website, what happens when a carnivore lands on your home page? Do you want them to buy your muffins? Do you want them to know there is such a thing as cruelty-free muffins? This is where you need to create content that will resonate with as many types of customers who might run across your site. You also need to give that type of customer a way to understand animal suffering with content that will resonate with them.

How do you do this? A good idea is to provide a downloadable resource to help them understand animal exploitation and how your company sells vegan scones and muffins to help end this. You need to educate them. Marketing only to vegans is not enough. You must write content in a way that speaks to not only your audience but to OTHER potential customers. But, there is a caveat…

Understand your customer will change

Knowing customers will change their minds and spending habits and meeting them where they are is key to keeping them engaged and growing your business.

Using the same muffin and scones company example above, let’s say a plant-based customer comes into your store and buys scones. He is not vegan but plant-based; he mostly eats plants but partakes in meat or fish periodically to improve his health. His concern is not animal welfare. You sell him a scone and he loves it. He finds brochures at your café (or on your website) that explain how your company reduces the damaging animal-agricultural impact on the environment and the suffering of animals. He is intrigued.

He goes home and researches veganism. Appalled by what he reads about animal exploitation, he decides to go vegan. He has now changed. His reason for continuing to purchase scones from you has now changed. He is not a plant-based customer anymore because he now cares about the plight of animals in addition to his health. Would sending him an email about plant-based food make sense at this point? Wouldn’t sending emails about why he should continue to support a vegan company be more beneficial?

Create content that speaks to each customer and their journey to veganism

Prospects expect personal interaction these days.

It cannot be overstated that content needs to be created that speaks to and makes sense to the customer. If you have an email campaign that only speaks to vegetarians when your customers are now vegan, it will not be effective. The vegan will not respond to the message catered to the vegetarian.

The solution is to make sure your marketing campaigns from ads to landing pages, to blogs, to an email responder series speak to the needs and journey of your prospects or customers. Your company can sell to vegans, non-vegans, and omnivores, of course, but you have to create content to fully engage the potential customer and meet him where he is in his vegan journey. Do this, and you will successfully gain and retain customers.

“Don’t push people to where you want them to be; meet them where they are.” – Meghan Keaney Anderson Marketing, CMO, HubSpot

Summary

The global vegan industry is projected to grow to a staggering 74 billion by 2027. Is your company ready for this type of growth? Meeting people where they are, whether they are plant-based, vegetarian, flexitarian, reductionist, or vegan is important and demonstrates that you care. A potential customer needs to feel that you care about them before they even contemplate buying anything from you. You need to build trust with her, and you do this by creating content that speaks to her personally.

For successful selling of your products or services, know your customer, know his mind and spending habits might change and prepare for this, and set up marketing campaigns and content to meet his journey to veganism. 

Need a writer for your emerging vegan customers? Learn more.

Why a Blog Is Vital for Your Vegan Business

Long gone are the days when door-to-door smiling salesmen walked neighborhoods and pitched their products. No one wants to answer the door to that anymore.

What has taken the place of the salesperson in a suit? Well, a lot with the advent of the internet. People now prefer to research a possible purchase from the comfort of their own homes (for starters), and this is where blogs come in. Blogs are now one component of the new sales cycle and are here to stay.  

What is a Blog? 

A blog is a consistent stream of relevant and helpful articles on your website that educate, inform, and build trust with potential or current customers. Blogs can also sway your clients to buy your products. There are different kinds of blogs, but the type that is best for your vegan business is one that speaks to your customers’ needs, desires, or problems.

Just over a decade ago, most blogs were unfiltered, unfocused ramblings that might or might not have made your head explode. Since then, blogs have evolved to become about the client and not so much about the writer. For vegan businesses, blogs are strategic content used to educate the public about your services and products, and garner leads. 

A blog is a vital component of every vegan business’ website.  

vintage typewriter with "to blog or not to blog"

Why do Vegan Businesses Need Blogs?

Let’s say someone wants to purchase vegan shoes. What does he do first? He might search online for different kinds of vegan shoes. If he is not sure which brand or type of shoe he wants, he will narrow it down by reading reviews or blogs about a few shoe types. He will stumble upon a vegan company’s blog explaining where and how they manufacture their vegan boots, what material they use, how reliable they are, or who buys them. This is where a well-written, timely, educational blog comes in! The vegan company that has an active blog will be far ahead of the competition, and most importantly, will be able to make a connection (and perhaps a sale) with that shopper. Why not have the blog that the consumer stumbles upon?

Understanding the importance of a blog on your vegan business website is paramount. 

Blogging helps you appear as an expert in your field. There is nothing more important these days than building trust with your potential customers, as mentioned earlier. Not only does a well-written blog speak to your client’s needs, problems, or desires, but it helps readers see you as an expert. Once they view your company as knowledgeable and helpful, trust is built, and they will eventually buy from you.  

Blogging helps grow your email list and generates more leads. When potential clients read an informative blog that speaks to their needs or desires about your product or service, they will follow your blog and sign up for your email list. These people are now leads who could become customers. Furthermore, once your blog is out in cyberspace, it is there until you remove it. It will continue to be read and generate more leads while you sleep. Not a bad deal!

Blogging helps your SEO visibility.  A blog with appropriate internal and external links, proper placement of keywords, and is well-written, truthful, and helpful will rank higher on search engine results. Best SEO (search engine optimization) practices are always changing, so we must keep on top of it, but what search engines consistently look for is frequent and quality writing. So, it is a good idea for a vegan business to make sure they have enough writers on staff or hire freelance content writers to write their blog posts.   

Blogging helps you stay on top of your industry and know your competitors. With so much information and changes occurring rapidly these days, it can be arduous to keep up with everything. Maintaining an active blog will force you to be on top of market changes. With a blog, you are propelled to research and write about different topics. This process will enhance your knowledge of your competitors’ products as well. Your readers will also get a feel for your expertise and want to follow your blog. They will come to expect more from you and will eventually make a purchase.

Need a vegan content writer to write your blog? I can help. Schedule a free discovery call today

Should Vegan Companies Hire for Personality or Skill, Especially During COVID-19?

COVID-19 has stalled the world, whether we want to admit it or not. Millions have either lost their jobs or careers, or have been furloughed. As a result, masses of people have been forced to seek new careers, learn new skills, and start new endeavors.

How do vegan companies navigate through this, and how do they hire the best freelance writers or employees when a large percentage of the workforce is in transition?

I recently learned that my former coworkers are desperate for work now. They are afraid because their careers have ended due to the ramifications of COVID-19, and they are not sure if they are qualified to do other work. I feel for them, but all hope is not lost because personality is transferable.

A person’s disposition or personality, also known as “soft skills,” can make the difference between adequate candidates and ideal candidates. A copywriter with great soft skills knows when to be a leader and when to listen. She knows how to be kind, empathize, and problem solve.  Soft skills are more essential than hard skills.

How many times have you called a company for help and chatted with a rude person on the other end of the line? Or worse, you talked with someone who clearly did not care about your needs or issue, much less wanted to help you. They say you can even train a monkey to answer the phone (I’m not saying people are monkeys, but a little service would be nice, right?). Great customer service is becoming a thing of the past, and that needs to change.

Good customer service feels like peach pie on a summer day. You are satisfied and happy that the person on the other end of the phone helped you, and you will continue to use their services.

Great customer service these days is like finding a gold mine! You not only will continue to use their services, but you will write a phenomenal review on the company’s website, recommend them to your friends, become a customer for life, and bake them a peach pie (during any season) and bring it to them!  

The goal for vegan companies is to hire people that make the customer feel like he found the gold mine. The best decision is to hire personality over skill.

Personality skills (or soft skills) is the way to go. I’m not at all diminishing hard skills or suggesting that skill set is not important. Of course, it is. You want to hire the person who is most qualified overall, but personality means more to the success of a vegan business than only hiring for skill mastery.

You can hire a qualified freelance writer with a Ph.D. or a vegan content writer with years of experience, but if either writer is inflexible or not a team player, you will have more problems in the long run that might negatively affect your business, coworkers, customers, and your bottom line. Why not hire someone who is versatile, positive, and excited to complete or learn whatever work you send her way?

According to Recruiterbox, hiring personality over skill is what companies prefer. They love to hire people who are:   

  • Enthusiastic
  • Adaptable
  • Team-oriented
  • Authentic (admits to mistakes)
  • Contentious (asks good questions)
  • Resilient
  • Curious (is willing to learn)
  • Confident
  • Ambitious
  • Action-oriented

What vegan company would not want to work with a person who exhibits all of the above soft skills?

I’ve been hired for most jobs I’ve applied for during my former career in the areas of consulting, coaching, training, writing, managing, and even data analysis. I was not fully qualified for some positions, but I was hired because I possess the above characteristics. I take learning seriously, I relish in great relationships with my coworkers or clients, I am authentic, and I always do my best.  

As a vegan business owner or hiring manager, your company will be in good hands if you hire contactors or employees with exemplary soft skills.