The transition from being a journalist to a content marketer is anything, but easy. In the previous post I discussed how you use the same skill sets for both but the two professions demand a totally different mindset.

To begin with, the switch from journalism to content marketing is usually under duress. As the opportunity pool for journalists has never been vast. Also, more often than not, most of them are unable to see a long-term growth for themselves. On the other hand, there is a lot of demand for their skill sets in content marketing, so it seems to be an easy option. The fact that content marketing pays better and on time too certainly helps.

The Journalistic EGO

The problem is that journalism is not just a job. The profession continues to command a fair bit of respect even now. You know who’s who of the industry or sector that you are covering; senior government officials are on your speed dial and you get at least five calls a day requesting you to cover a particular event or to publish a press release. So, the point I am trying to make is that we, journalists are used to a lot of attention and it can give us unnecessary EGO.

On the other hand, in content marketing the client might reject your copy or ask for enough iterations to drive you bonkers. So a huge ego might make it tough for you to survive and thrive in content marketing.

The problem of ethics

Coming up with an unbiased or impartial copy is ingrained in the DNA of any good journalist. A journalist we are taught to bring both sides of the story… something which is almost impossible in content marketing. As, you obviously cannot mention the client’s competitors. Similarly, you may also have to tweak the market reality in keeping with the client’s brand positioning. Though most journalists are aware of this, it necessarily doesn’t makes it easy to deal with. Some are never really able to adjust to this big conflict in the two job roles. It is one of the key reasons that makes many journalists stay away from content marketing.

As a content marketer, you really are required to write an impactful and engaging piece, which at times may not be in sync with the principles or ethics of journalism.

Missing your daily adrenaline rush

Journalism is extremely competitive and offers challenges almost every single day. The rush of deadlines, coming up with new and exciting stories, catching trends before anyone else — makes the job of a journalist incredibly exciting and keeps the adrenaline flowing.

Content marketing offers a different kind of thrill. Creating top-notch content for a website which will help your client get business; the case study which is well received and can generate more than the targeted return on investment for the client and so on. But you may not want to trade content marketing-kinda excitement for journalistic thrill. So, think before you make that jump. The key is to be an independent or a freelance journalist. I am able to sail in both as I am freelancing.

The transition from a journalist to a content marketer calls for a major mindset shift. Also you never really stop being a journalist. If you come across an interesting trend or a story, you will feel an irresistible urge to investigate and write about it. I still do 🙂 and so I happily wear both the hats — that of a journalist and a content marketer.

    Navneet Deshpande
    22 Jul 2019


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