What do you consider is your best writing skill? Are you great at creative writing? Maybe you prefer the approach of content writing? Or hands down, you are a straightforward business writer?

Can you be all three?

I ask because lately I’ve seen a lot of companies seeking creative content writers, which makes me scratch my head a bit because creative writers and content writers are different. My assumption is that the business wants a content writer who is creative with the text to persuade consumers, but to avoid fiction and opinion.

The lines with all aspects (creative, content, business) seem to be blurred. If you look for employment for creative writers, you’ll see freelancing, ghostwriting, creative marketing content writer, and other writing roles that require more facts and honesty than pure point-of-view (POV).

As writers, we must be flexible and shift to the writing needs of the client or company we work with. Many writers are prominent at one mode of writing, and not so great at others. For example, some business writers struggle with writing creatively because business writing is cut-and-dry. And there are creative writers who find it a challenge to leave out the fluff and imagination when writing business documents.

Yet there are some writers who seem to transition well between the two. I am one of them. Whatever way we write, it takes a lot of skill.

And we need to understand the various writing styles to be effective.

Creative, Content or Business Writing — What’s the Difference?

Now that I’ve had my say, here is a breakdown of what each form of writing entails.

Content writing is writing information about the product or service. We use it in marketing to get the consumer excited about the experience and benefits and answer questions they may have. Content writing inches the buyer closer to the sale.

A content writer researches and compiles information into marketing tools, like articles, videos, and social media posts, to influence buyers.

Copy (copywriting) is more about closing a sale. That’s where you’ll see landing pages, promotional emails, sales pages, and product descriptions.

If you’ve done the content correctly, the copy is merely to get the consumer to click “buy.”

Business writing is how it sounds: writing for the business. Think contracts, memos, intranet, internal communications, résumés and cover letters, even B2B copywriting. Use language that your colleagues will understand, but avoid using business jargon and sports analogies. Business writing is professional, and free of stories and fluff. And it is often dry.

Non-fiction books fall under the business writing umbrella, with a dash of content writing.

Creative writing has no rules. Creative writing comes from your imagination or personal experiences, and it includes stories, poems, essays, and other literary works. As a creative writer, you inspire the imagination of your reader. Novelists and poets are creative writers. As are travel writers.

As I mentioned at the outset, some businesses will cross creative with content writing, which is sketchy. They want a writer who focuses on inspiring content rather than straightforward business writing. Since creative is personal, imaginative, opinionated and fictional, a creative content writer is, therefore, making up the information and writing it as he/she sees it.

So always make sure you’re clear, as the writer, about what the company’s expectations are when it comes to the content.

Can you be a creative business content writer? Sure. Any type of writing you do is creative in its own way. A news report about the local town meeting discussing potholes takes a lot of writing prowess to make it interesting, without creating made-up facts.

But even if the company is not clear about the writer they seek, make sure you are clear about what you do.

Writers who write creatively, content writers, and business writers are separate entities. Understand the difference and where your writing skills lie so you know how to market yourself.