The Direct-Response Industry Has Changed … Forever

At last … the information you need to make what could be the most important decision of your copywriting career.

I’ve been in marketing all my working life now — the past four and a half years as AWAI’s Director of Web Marketing. And I can tell you without reservation: The direct-response industry has changed. The way people buy has changed. Forever.

Five years ago, people were reluctant to buy online. Now they prefer it. Which is why more than 90 percent of AWAI’s sales come from online efforts.

And now the market is desperate for copywriters who can effectively write for the web. Are you ready to answer the call?

Of course, if you already have more work writing long direct-mail packages than you can handle, you might not be interested in expanding your copywriting skills to include writing for the web. Still, why leave money on the table?

But if you’re new to copywriting, you have no choice. You need to be able to write for the web in order to be competitive.

Over the next few weeks, we’re going to introduce you to four key opportunities in the online copywriting niche, and make you fluent in “web speak.” By the end of that time, you’ll have all the information you need to evaluate each one of those opportunities and decide for yourself which web writing service (or services) you will offer your clients.

Today, you might choose to learn about a specific online service to complement the current copywriting services you offer. Tomorrow, you may be writing copy exclusively for the online marketplace.

Ultimately, you may decide to stick with print copywriting –– and that’s fine. But your clients will almost certainly be asking you questions about online marketing –– if not now, down the road. At a minimum, this month’s issues of Copywriting Insider will provide you with the answers.

So let’s get started by taking a quick look at the four key opportunities for online copywriters that we’ll be exploring …

  • Opportunity 1: Online Copywriting

    From homepages to landing pages to subscription pages, the potential is unlimited. There’s a huge demand and big dollars waiting for copywriters who understand the complexities of writing web pages that can convert website visitors into buyers.

  • Opportunity 2: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Copywriting

    SEO copywriting involves re-working the copy on a web page in a way that makes the page appear near the top of the search results when a person uses a search engine (like Google) to find what they’re looking for. The ideal end result is to drive more visitors to your client’s website, without paying a dime for them.

  • Opportunity 3: Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising

    Similar to SEO, the purpose of a PPC ad is to drive visitors to your client’s website. However, PPC isn’t free. The ad appears when a person searches for a specific word or phrase. But your client pays only if that person actually clicks on the ad and visits the website. (They pay per click!) If you are good at writing strong headlines, this may be the right opportunity for you.

    [Note: If you are unfamiliar with PPC ads, go to Google and do a search for the phrase “running shoes.” Just under the blue bar, you’ll see two headings labeled “sponsored links.” And directly underneath them, you’ll find the PPC ads.]

  • Opportunity 4: Email Copywriting

    Smart businesspeople understand the importance of establishing long-term relationships with their customers. Email campaigns are a great way to do that by keeping customers informed about new market trends, new products, and special offers. Copywriters who know how to put together an email that gets results will never be short of work.

So there you have the four opportunities in a nutshell. By the end of this series, I promise, you’ll have a good grasp of what writing for the Internet is all about. Plus, you’ll know how to best position yourself to take maximum advantage of this dynamic niche.

I hope you’re excited … because the future of copywriting is looking even brighter thanks to the web.

Rebecca Matter
Vice President and Director of Online Marketing, AWAI

P.S. The spots for the August Web Copywriting Workshop are filling fast. But you can secure yours, and save $1000, if you register by July 2nd. In only three days you will be able to call yourself a Web Copy Specialist. Learn more!

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

At last, a professional organization that caters to the needs of direct-response industry writers. Find out how membership can change the course of your career. Learn More »

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Published: July 1, 2008

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