Three Hot Areas for Web Copywriters

Web copywriting is not really a niche. It’s a super-niche. And it’s filled with nooks and crannies … all of them adding up to an abundance of opportunities for savvy, trained web copywriters.

Three of the hottest sub-niches in this area are writing copy for blogs, podcasts, and social networks (collectively known as social media).

You’ll learn in a moment what these technical terms mean. And you’ll also see how easy it is to write copy for them … requiring no more technical know-how than you already have.

So, let’s take a look at what these three exciting opportunities are and how you can start writing for them almost immediately …

All the buzz is about blogs – and how savvy marketers use them to develop relationships …

A blog – a contraction of the term “web log” – is a special website with regular entries of commentary or other material. Originally, individuals wrote blogs to tell about their lives.

But now, blogs have become a powerful communication tool for businesses. Savvy marketers use blogs to keep in touch with existing customers and potential customers. It’s a great way to pass on the latest ideas, personal opinions, and breaking news.

They’ve become an essential tool for establishing and keeping that all-important personal relationship with customers.

As Phil Moony – blogger for Coca-Cola Corporation – said on NBC Nightly News, “The blog gives us a way to have that social interaction that no other media can.”

Because of the huge number of individual and corporate blogs, it’s hard to get a reliable number of how many blogs exist. But Universal McCann (March 2008) estimates that 346 million people worldwide read blogs, with 60.3 million of those people residing in the U.S.

This avid readership is rapidly attracting the interest of businesses. According to the online blog experts, Technorati, one-third of bloggers have already been approached to be brand advocates.

As a copywriter, youcan cash in on the blogging craze – in two ways …

The first is to write the blog. Most businesses start their blogging in-house. They assign someone in the office to do the writing. But blogging takes time away from other duties and responsibilities, so these companies usually then turn to freelancers to write the content on an ongoing basis.

AWAI is an excellent example. Originally, Tammy Lawman and Katie Yeakle wrote the Circle of Success blog. But they needed to have it written more frequently than either of these busy people could manage.

So they contacted a freelancer (me) to write it. And I love it! I thought blogging would be too difficult technically. But I learned something important:

If you can write a letter, you have the skills you need to write an effective blog.

The second blog opportunity for you as a copywriter comes from writing ads for a blog’s website. You see, people have to go to websites to read blogs. This gives advertisers two chances to capture visitors’ attention with advertising: in the blog itself, and on the website separate from the blog.

As an AWAI-trained copywriter, you have the skills to write these short ads.

How much money is being spent in the U.S. on blog advertising? According to PQ Media and Marketing Vox, blog advertising surpassed $36 million in 2006. And it’s projected to go over $300 million by 2010. That’s a more than 733% increase!

Another fast-growing web marketing “secret” – podcasts …

A podcast is a digital recording of radio or video shows, online presentations, or other similar programs. They’re available on the Internet for downloading to a personal audio player – like an iPod™ – either for free or for a relatively small fee.

People love podcasts because they can take their entertainment or education with them wherever they go.

Marketers love them for the marketing, advertising, and relationship-building potential they hold – and for good reason. According to Arbitron, 11% of all Americans have listened to audio podcasts.

This translates into approximately 27 million potential customers in America alone.

This provides marketers with a tremendous avenue to get their message out to their audience. And it provides you with numerous possibilities for writing for those marketers.

Here are three ways you can profit from this ballooning use of podcasts by businesses …

  1. Scripts for podcasts: Podcasts depend on interesting content to keep people coming back for more. Land a job as a podcast scriptwriter, and you’ve got a regular, well-paying gig.
  2. Ads in the actual podcast episodes: Podcast advertisers pay well for these 10- to 30-second ad placements.
  3. Site advertising: Podcast shows have their own sites to publish information about the podcasts. Website advertising provides you with yet another way to tap into the money advertisers are spending on podcast advertising.

How much money are advertisers spending to advertise on podcasts? According to eMarketer, advertisers spent over $240 millionin the U.S. on podcast advertising in 2008.

You’re never too old to profit from MySpace, FaceBook, and other social networks …

If you know a 12- to 18-year-old, you’ve most likely heard about his or her MySpace page. Or maybe they’re on FaceBook. Or Friendster. Or any of the other social networking websites.

And if you’re a typical adult, you might brush off the idea that these online communities will ever hold anything of importance for you.

But you’d be wrong. While the primary users of social networks are kids, these online communities provide marketers with huge opportunities. After all, the hottest buying group is the 12- through 21-year-old crowd, spending more than $175 BILLION annually in the U.S. alone.

So, smart businesses use social networks like MySpace to advertise to these young people. And these smart businesses need you to write the copy.

This copy is short and catchy like the Google AdSense or other pay-per-click ads … and it provides a unique opportunity to write quickly, write a lot, and get paid every time you churn out a short ad.

Here’s an example from FaceBook:

BlackBerry Storm is here.

The world’s first touch-screen BlackBerry from Verizon Wireless is now available! Tell us what new features you’re most excited about.

There you have it: Three rapidly growing sub-niches in the web copywriting super-niche. Each with its own, exciting, highly profitable opportunities. All made especially sweet because so few copywriters know how to break into them.

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The Professional Writers’ Alliance

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Published: December 2, 2008

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