Build Your Income Potential–Write for the Web

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.

web-visitorsIf 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.

Wealthy Web Writer

Wealthy Web Writer

Whether you’re looking to learn new skills, improve the ones you have, stay on top of industry changes, find clients who value those skills and are willing to pay top dollar, or take your web-writing business to the next level, Wealthy Web Writer is a one-stop shop.

7 Comments

  • Hi Ric,

    Yes, we're working on these Roadmaps… See the bright yellow box above with "Want More…"? Just enter your request there and it will be added to the master "To Do" list. The more requests we get for these roadmaps, the higher they'll get on the list!

    In the mean time… I agree. You can't do it all. I'd say that what's most needed today by businesses will be help with their web copy first, then email/autoresponder second. If you learn how to write effective web copy, you're well on your way to writing quality autoresponders/emails.

    There are thousands (or more) "SEO" experts out there. However, as you learn how to write good copy, you might also want to learn the basics of SEO. The main thing about web copy is the copy itself. Plugging in keywords into the appropriate places comes AFTER you write the effective copy… and it's not all that hard. The "Real" work of SEO comes after the web pages are loaded onto the site. Watch for some webinars and teleseminars in the coming months on the latest SEO tactics.

    • Thank you for your thoughts. I'm doing Jay Whites' Autoresponder series now. That should get my feet wet . Once I get that under my belt then I'll move on to some web copy courses.

      Thank you again for your help in trying to steer me in the right direction.

      Ric

  • Hi Ric,

    I agree with Sid about writing copy being the most important, and SEO expert Heather Lloyd-Martin agrees. It will differentiate you from the thousands of "SEO experts" out there. You'll be able to write optimized copy that actually converts, rather than just get a lot of traffic to a page that then leaves as soon as they get there, without taking action.

    That being said, writing copy for websites and writing copy for emails would be my first two choices as well for places to start. But I think you could actually choose either to start with. (We'll cover all of this in the first roadmap that will come out next month for people just starting out.)

    I find for some people, writing emails is an skill to master, because there aren't a lot of variables. So you can be up and working as an email copywriter very quickly, with little frustration. And just like Sid said about writing web copy, this skill gets you primed for learning the next.

    Then you can learn how to write the web pages the emails are driving readers to, and continue on learning how to write other pages on a website, so on and so forth.

    Either path works, just remember, you don't need to know it all before you start working and getting clients. The worst thing you can do is paralyze yourself by buying a bunch of courses that you plan to take BEFORE getting out there and working. So just pick one place to start, learn that, start getting clients, and then while you're working learn the next skill you want to be able to offer those clients.

    I hope this helps! And again, we'll explore all of this in more detail in the coming months. So if you're not sure which one to start with, you will be soon. 🙂

    • Thank you Rebecca for taking the time to get back to me so quickly. I'm doing the Autoresponder series right now . I'll do that til it's mastered then move on to another discipline.

      One thing I forgot to mention in my inquiry, would it benefit me to take the intensive web training that is going on in Vegas in March? The online one?

      Once again thank you.
      Ric

  • I am looking for a road map to do web copywriting. To start would it be best to do Autoresponder, then SEO, then building a website? I need an idea where others have started? And how they progressed to the other areas.
    If there was a course that included all the areas it would make it easier and less costly. At $500 a pop it's out of my range.
    At my age there's no time to do it all. Suggestions please.
    Thanks

  • Most web writers would benefit from taking the web intensive training – but It really depends on your situation and your goals. I originally put that intensive together to give people who wanted to work as web copy specialists everything they needed in one intense three-day training. It's a LOT of information and had work crammed into only 3 days, but it will propel you fast if you put in the investment.

    I actually wrote about this in an previous issue of Wealthy Web Writer, and told people I didn't want to sell them. Instead I asked people who were considering coming to go through the entire decision-making process.

    Make sure you ask yourself …

    Are you serious about turning your web writing dreams into a profitable business?

    What are your revenue goals like for 2010?

    How much time and energy will you put into marketing yourself?

    What will your web writing career look like if you attend? What will it look like if you don’t?

    And of course, can you afford to go? It’s a big investment!

    I want you to be 100% sure of your decision if you decide to come. Because if you take that step and commit to investing in yourself and your web writing business, I’ll do everything in my power to help you succeed. If you have any specific questions, I'd be happy to answer them. Feel free to email me directly!

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