First, let me start by saying that I believe this is one of the best public copywriting forums on the internet. I'd like to see it stay that way, and I suspect I'm not alone on this.
That said, I felt my heart sink when I saw that this forum had been suddenly changed to the "Content Strategy and Copywriting Forum" without any discussion as to whether this was a good move for the members who make this entire forum possible.
On one hand, I understand why this decision was made. There isn't a subforum for content writing on WF, and I think there's a real need for one. Quality content is the most important part of online marketing and newbies and advanced marketers alike need a place where they can get fresh insights and learn from other writers.
At the same time, this decision seems to have ignored what I believe to be the two biggest reasons new entrepreneurs fail to succeed both online and offline. So before I lay those out, I'd like to request that Freelancer.com consider creating a separate subforum for discussing Content Marketing Strategies.
#1: Most New Entrepreneurs Don't Understand What Copywriting is or Why It's So Important to Learn
Most of them see copywriting and content writing as one and the same. Many of them never bother to learn how to write good copy or even recognize good copy when they see it so that they can even hire a good copywriter. They burn up thousands of hours and hundreds, sometimes, thousands, of dollars because of this misunderstanding.
Right now, nearly a half million people are searching this forum for ways to make money online. They come to this forum to learn what they can't learn anywhere else...unless of course, they're willing to fork out $47 for a "how I made billions of dollars in my underwear," ebook.
It's unfortunate that so few of them find this subforum. Sure, we're a rough bunch in here and I openly admit that there are times when I let my juvenile sarcasm get the best of me. Nevertheless, those who do find this forum and post critique requests here learn more about how to make money than they could learn in years on the other forums.
Hell, I've been at this for nearly 20 years and have learned a lot from the other writers on here, even the ones I don't agree with.
Changing this to the content marketing AND copywriting forum will only add to this confusion and could take away one of the only places on the internet that people can go to learn this craft. Of course, you might ask.. why not keep the content strategy topics in here along with the copywriting topics and give them a "one stop shop?"
#2: Content Marketing & Copywriting Aren't Just Different in Degree, They're Different in Kind
I won't go into detail on this, because one of our veteran members already said it better than I could have...
I respect that someone at Freelancer believed these two topics belong in the same place. But if you ask the top contributors on this forum, you'd get a much different story. The number of "thanks" on this ^ thread, and the new thread below are evidence that this is a shared perspective:
Again, the two aren't different in degree, they're different in species. By combing them, we're not just putting big lions in with the small lions.
We're mixing two species which belong in two different environments. Putting them together is just going to create more confusion and exasperate the experienced writers in this forum, some of whom, myself included, have invested thousands of hours of their time (collectively), posting their experiences and insights...many of which our clients pay us thousands of dollars for.
If you think we do this just to find work, you might want to look at the Warriors for hire and WSO section. The price points in there and some of the discussions in the main marketing forums will reveal that many of the members on this forum just don't have the money to hire us.
Hell, I personally get dozens of inquiries a month because of my posts on this forum. Most of them can't afford to hire me. That's why they come here. Many of them get thousands of dollars in free advice and feedback from myself and the other writers. That's why they come back.
Considering that our contributions to this forum are what keeps people coming back, I'm guessing our vote counts for something. I could list another 10 reasons why I believe keeping this forum the copywriting only forum and creating a separate one for content marketing would be best for everyone (newbies, contributors AND Freelancer.com), but I suspect my fellow copywriters will add plenty to this discussion.
#3: Imagine the Impact This One Small Decision Could Have
Wouldn't it be great to have a place where we could discuss content marketing as it's own unique and valuable strategy and help people who specialize in content marketing to make a reputation for themselves AND give something back to the online community?
Wouldn't it be great if we could keep THIS subforum strong and give the seasoned writers more time to give feedback and critique on sales pages instead of having to educate people on the difference between content writing and copywriting?
It would also be damn good for the online marketing community too. There's far too little information out there about how to get good at content writing, or even how to hire good writers. The internet is also loaded with lousy content that's frustrating internet users and pressuring Google to roll out ruthless algorithm updates, many of which are sweeping away the good content along with the bad.
Harris Interactive reported that 73% of internet users are frustrated with irrelevant online content. Based on my experience in this niche, I'm betting a LOT of that content is being commissioned by members of this forum. So we're not just taking about an impact on this forum. We're talking about a decision that could impact millions of people around the world.
If you agree with this, or if you'd like to add anything, please respond to this thread. Let's keep the copywriting forum, and the Warrior Forum, strong.