If You Want to “Go Where the Money Is,” Grow Your Skills As an ONLINE Copywriter

As I’ve mentioned in previous articles, now is not the best time to decide you’re going to specialize as a print copywriter only.

Newspapers are dying by the dozen.

Nor is it a good time to focus just on direct mail.

That market is taking a beating, too.

When it comes to offline media, the story is clear and it’s bleak: everything is shrinking.

As a result, seasoned copywriters who have already invested decades of effort in those areas are going to be fighting for the remaining work.

In other words, even if you choose to do some offline copywriting work, it is essential that you also grow your skills as an ONLINE copywriter.

Here are three reasons why growing your business as an online copywriter is the smart way to go.

Reason #1: The market for online copywriters is expanding fast.

Why fight over the scraps in a shrinking market when you can stake your claim in a fast-expanding market?

As billions of marketing dollars move online, the need for quality online copywriters will grow exponentially.

And, wherever you find fast growth, you also find an opportunity to get work with very little resistance. Every company moving their budgets online needs copywriters who understand the web and can write copy that takes full advantage of this new medium.

Put simply, fast growth creates a vacuum that sucks in available talent. The opportunity for you, right now, is to fill that vacuum and meet the demand for online copywriting that delivers.

Reason #2: As an online copywriter, you have a broad range of specific skills you can develop and sell.

In the offline world, many copywriters spend their entire careers being specialists in a very narrow area, like writing direct mail.

For many decades, that approach worked just fine.

But the world is moving much faster now. It changes day by day.

Put simply, you can’t take the risk of developing your talent and building your business on a promise or skill set that is too narrow. If you do, within a year you might find that both the world of marketing and the demand for that skill set have shifted.

The great thing about being an online copywriter is that you can shift and slide according to the prevailing demand.

Here are some examples of online copywriting specialties:

  • Writing online sales pages and landing pages
  • Writing promotional emails and auto-responder sequences
  • Search-engine copywriting
  • Web-content writing
  • Usability copywriting
  • Blog writing
  • Social-media copywriting

The trick is to develop skills in two or three separate areas. This increases your perceived value in the marketplace, and also keeps you light on your feet and able to shift focus quickly as the world of web marketing grows and changes.

Reason #3: As an online copywriter, you can think bigger and make a lot more money.

As a freelance online copywriter, you might be happy to make about $100 an hour for your work.

But if you were a company, or seen as a company, you could charge a whole lot more.

How does that work?

In the offline world, as a freelance copywriter, you are perceived as a freelancer and paid accordingly. You can’t really pretend you’re a company with big offices somewhere.

Online, it’s different. You can create a company name and website name that presents you as an online copywriting and marketing company. Your website can look as professional, impressive, and inclusive as that of a company which employs 50 or 100 people.

In other words, on the web, you can look a whole lot bigger than you are.

And you can charge accordingly.

Now, take another look at point #2 above. Your online copywriting services company can offer each of those seven specialties. That gives your prospects seven different reasons to say yes.

Get more work, and charge company rates.

Of course, you don’t have to take this route. You can still make a great living by presenting yourself as a single, freelance copywriter. But the opportunity is there. For now, and for some time in the future.

To summarize …

To create a profitable future for yourself as a copywriter, you absolutely have to specialize in online copywriting. That’s where the opportunity lies. It’s always easier to find work in an industry or sector that is expanding fast.

And the rate of expansion online right now is explosive.

Also, remain light on your feet and responsive to change by building expertise in more than one area of online copywriting. Learn as much as you can and then move toward those areas where the demand for your services is the greatest.

Build your business as a professional online copywriter, or think bigger and create an online company. The choice is yours.

One way or another, be sure to focus on building your expertise and value as an ONLINE copywriter.

Take the next step now.

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: June 3, 2009

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