Find out why writing for the web is an essential skill for anyone who wants to succeed as a copywriter. Nick Usborne explains why being a web copywriter has become one of the more lucrative careers for writers, and why the demand for web copywriters continues to grow.
If You Want to “Go Where the Money Is,” Learn to Write for the Web
By Nick Usborne
If you planned to make a career solely as a print copywriter, it’s time to reconsider.
Print marketing is shrinking. Newspapers are shutting their doors right and left. Advertisers are reducing their direct mail budget.
If you want to succeed as a copywriter-not just this year, but for years to come-you must learn to write for the web. That’s not to say you can’t write copy for offline marketing efforts, too. It’s just that online copywriting is fast becoming an essential skill.
There are three reasons why writing for the web is the smart way to go.
Reason #1: The demand for web copywriters is growing fast.
The print market is shrinking and that means competition is fierce.
But the demand for people who are skilled at writing for the web is growing faster than the existing pool of copywriters can keep pace. There are literally billions of marketing dollars streaming into online campaigns!
Because of the rising demand, online copywriters can find work with very little resistance. Every company shifting their budgets online needs copywriters who understand the web and can write copy that will drive traffic and make conversions.
Reason #2: As an online copywriter, you’ll develop a broad range of in-demand skills.
In the offline world, it’s common for copywriters to specialize. An offline copywriter might go his whole career writing only direct mail, for example.
Up till now, that approach has worked just fine.
But the technology available to us is accelerating-it changes day by day.
That means you can’t risk centering your services around a skill set that is too narrow. Demand might shift and you might find yourself out of work.
Becoming an online copywriter will protect you. You can shift your focus according to the prevailing demand.
Take a look of this list of online copywriting specialties:
- Writing web landing pages and sales pages
- Writing email auto-responder series and email promotions
- Writing pay-per-click ads
- Creating content for websites
- Search engine optimization
- Writing for blogs
- Social-media copywriting
If you develop skills in two or three of these areas, you’ll increase your perceived value in the market place. You’ll also be agile, able to shift your focus quickly as the world of web marketing grows and changes.
Reason #3: Online copywriters can make a much bigger income.
As a freelance copywriter, you probably charge between $75 and $125 an hour and feel pretty good about it.
But as a web copywriter, you can take a different approach. You can build a company around what you do. With an impressive website and the proper presentation, you can turn yourself into an online marketing agency.
And with that comes the ability to charge more.
Now, think for a moment about that list of skills I presented in point #2. Your web marketing company can offer each of those seven specialties, and then your prospects will have seven different reasons to hire your services.
You’ll get more work and command higher fees.
Of course, you don’t have to become a company. You can make a very comfortable income as a single, freelance copywriter. But the opportunity to think bigger is there.
To summarize …
If you want to have the best opportunity to make a great living as a copywriter, online copywriting is the way to go. It’s a fast-growing industry and that means it’s easier to find work, establish yourself, and succeed.
And the rate of expansion online right now is explosive.
Also, remember that agility is important. You need to be responsive and adaptive. Build up your expertise in more than one area. Learn as much as you can about all aspects of writing for the web and move toward those areas where the demand for your services is the greatest.
Whatever approach you take, one thing is certain-becoming an online copywriter is the surest path to copywriting success.