Looking back, there have been a ton of ways in which I have picked up knowledge about writing for the Web.
You might think any one of the following was my number one source of learning:
- When I listened to other expert speakers at the dozens of Internet marketing conferences I have spoken at.
- While doing the research for my book, Net Words, published back in 2001.
- While working with client companies like Disney, Yahoo!, Encyclopedia Britannica, and others.
- While copywriting with a company that tested different web page versions for companies like Reuters and The New York Times.
There is no doubt that I learned a great deal from all of these experiences, and many others.
But none of these make it as my number one source of learning.
That position belongs to my experience writing my own websites, in my own time.
The first of these sites I started, which I write to generate a passive stream of income for myself, is called CoffeeDetective.com.
I have been working on that site every week for the last five years. Part-time, just when I have the chance some evenings, or at the weekend.
What makes this such a great way to learn?
Because I am the client. Because everything I do and try impacts the income the site generates each month.
Because I get to see what difference it makes when I tweak a headline, change some meta tags, add some video, create a new section of pages, send out a newsletter, tweet a page … and so on.
It’s by rolling up your sleeves and doing stuff that you learn the most.
Just this last week I figured out how to increase the social media exposure I can get for a site page by a factor of ten. Good thing to learn.
I have never been in a position to learn that while working for a client.
But as of now, I CAN share that knowledge with new clients, and be paid handsomely for what I know.
When working with clients, you are usually involved with their site for just a few weeks, or maybe just days.
When writing and optimizing your own site, you are deeply involved with it for months, and then years.
That’s how you really learn about what works, and what doesn’t.
This gives you a depth of knowledge and expertise that other copywriters can’t compete with — however many books, blogs, and websites they read and study.
To illustrate the point, here are five things I have learned while writing my own sites, all of which I can then turn around and sell to my clients.
- How to use internal linking to get key pages listed on page one of the search results.
- How to use video to keep visitors coming back again and again.
- How to leverage user contributions to maximize long-tail search traffic.
- How to adjust writing styles to appeal to particular reader types.
- How to create pages with the specific purpose of maximizing social media distribution.
And, that is just a small sample of what I have learned from my sites.
The whole thing is a win-win.
The more I work on my own Money-Making Websites, the more I learn and the higher the fees I can charge my clients as a freelancer.
At the same time, I am leveraging that same knowledge to increase the income from my own sites.
So, it’s like I’m paid twice for everything I learn.
If you would like to do the same, I highly recommend you sign up for my program, How to Write Your Own Money-Making Websites.
You’ll learn a ton about writing for the Web while taking the program, and then will keep on learning every day you spend time writing your own site.
Don’t forget — you get paid twice.
Your website makes you money. And you get to sell your growing level of expertise to your clients.