The three key differences between tender writers and content writers

12th April 2024

Can a content writer also write tender submissions? Well, yes, in theory, they can. However, while both roles involve crafting compelling written material, there are significant differences between the two professions. Content writers and tender or bid writers have different skills and each has its own responsibilities and objectives.

Here are what we think are the three key differences:

1. Purpose and audience:

Content writers: Content writers mainly focus on creating engaging and informative material for a specific target audience. Their content aims to educate, entertain or persuade readers. Content can include a range of mediums such as blog posts, articles, website copy and social media posts. Content writers often aim to build brand awareness, drive traffic to websites and generate thought leadership in their sector.

Tender writers: Tender or bid writers, on the other hand, specialise in crafting persuasive proposals in response to requests for proposals (RFPs), invitations to tender (ITTs) or other similar documents. Their main objective is to win contracts or projects for their clients or employers. Tender documents typically outline the requirements of the contract and invite submissions from qualified suppliers or contractors. Tender writers carefully analyse the requirements, address selection criteria and tailor their proposals to showcase their organisation’s capabilities and suitability for the work.

2. Writing style and tone:

Content writers: Content writers have the flexibility to adapt their writing style and tone based on the requirements of the content and the preferences of the target audience. They might use a more conversational tone for blog posts or social media content, a formal tone for whitepapers or case studies, or even add humour and creativity into their writing to engage readers. The key is maintaining consistency in the brand voice and effectively communicating the intended message.

Tender writers: Tender writers must follow a more formal and structured writing style when preparing tender documents. Their writing needs to be clear, concise and professional, with a focus on addressing the evaluation criteria outlined in the tender documents. While persuasive language is essential to highlight the strengths of the bid, tender writers must also ensure accuracy, completeness and compliance with the requirements. Unlike content writing, where creativity and storytelling play a part, tender writing prioritises clarity and credibility.

3. Content structure and elements:

Content writers: Content writers have the freedom to experiment with various content structures and formats to get their message across. They often use storytelling techniques, add bullet points for readability, include images or videos and optimise content for search engines (SEO). The structure of content varies depending on the platform and purpose, but it often follows a logical flow that captures the reader’s attention and encourages engagement.

Tender writers: Tender documents typically follow a standard structure set by the client or tendering authority. Tender writers have to follow this format to the letter and ensure that all the required information is provided accurately and comprehensively. They will often also need to work with subject matter experts, project managers and other stakeholders to gather relevant information to strengthen the bid.

Ultimately, while both content writers and tender/bid writers share the fundamental skill of writing, their roles differ significantly in terms of purpose, audience, writing style, tone and content structure.

Of course, it’s also a good idea to think about whether your organisation should directly employ a bid writer, work with an individual freelancer or engage a tender writing agency. We’ll go into this in more detail in a future post, but essentially it comes down to how often you expect to submit tender responses and how specialist your bids are likely to be. Tender writers are specialists in developing persuasive proposals but can also be specialists in a particular niche. Depending on your business needs, an agency could offer access to a wider pool of writers with a range of different specialisms and added assurance from internal review processes.

To find out how Tender Response’s team of expert writers can help you win new contracts, get in touch with us today.

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