The purpose of journalism throughout history is to provide the general audience with the details they need to make decisions about their lives, neighbourhoods, and government. It was an objective tool to transfer the news to citizens. The role of SEO content writing, on the other hand, is to produce organic traffic to a website by creating high-quality, keyword-focused content that performs well in search engines. Anyone who works in journalism and content writing can say there are similarities between the two forms of writing.
Objectiveness vs Opinion
We all remember that one journalist was able to transfer accurate information through narrative. If the paper had a traffic count, that page was the most visited one. It is similar to today’s content writing, where websites compete for traffic and clicks, and it all depends on the writer’s ability to convey the topic in the right way.
There is a distinction between these forms of writing, and the main one is in providing information on events that took place in space and time. In addition, journalists are very constricted by the companies for whom they work. As a result, they have particular editorial criteria that keep them objective regarding the content they provide.
The brand’s voice restricts SEO content writers since its purpose is to promote a product, brand or industry. However, there is a degree of freedom for general blog entries. In some cases, the content writer can give some opinion on the subject while debating the negative and positive sides.
But what unites them is the goal that both content writing and modern-day journalism have in common:
- To position as an expert on the topic in a specific industry
- Positioning a website as an authoritative source
- Become a reliable source for a particular industry
The Rules Journalism and Content Writing Share
We will not debate what comes first, the chicken or the egg, but journalism has a more extended history of existence. So, it is no wonder that the two have many things in common, as many writing rules are derived from the news articles.
Important Things Come First
It is an unwritten rule that events that take place are immediately placed at the beginning of the text or lede. Then, all the information about who, where, when, why in the lede explain the events. In other words, the person decides whether or not they will read the rest of the text. The rule still applies nowadays in content writing, where the lede serves as a hook to attract the reader to finish the article and introduce the topic quickly.
What About Headlines?
The titles served as the first impression between the reader and article in journalism. The headline is where journalists send a clear message to the audience promising to write about a specific topic, problem or interest. In SEO content writing, it is pretty much the same to tap into the reader’s problems, emotions or provide a benefit.
Writing Everyone Understands
Journalists write articles for a broad scope of people from different social classes and education. It means to write in simple language with very few profession-oriented terms. Content writing uses the same rule while writing in an active voice to have an even flow.
Guide the Reader’sReader’s Pace
Readers have little time to go through endless texts, and even if they do, it is about a specific topic. To guide the reader through the text, writers use paragraphs that should not be too short or long. Separating the story may become frustrating for the reader, so the best sections are four to five sentences long.
Journalism is known for being objective, quoting, and attributing external sources. However, it means referring correctly to the original that made a statement, explains statistics, or has made a piece of information about the topic adds value to the article and increases credibility.
As visitors consume content online, we will see more hybrid pieces between journalism and content writing. However, this does not mean that one will substitute the other. It is just a way of writing about the same topic differently. Besides the fact that content becomes complex, some readers prefer one style over the other. Therefore, finding the right balance is crucial for an entire website, not just a single subject.