My Favorite Web-Writing Gigs …
Christina Gillick here, guest editor of The Writer's Life this week, with a quick courtesy reminder before we jump into today's issue …
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As I’ve mentioned several times this week, Wealthy Web Writer is a comprehensive resource and community for anyone seeking to become or already working as a web copywriter.
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Now, let's jump back in!
Yesterday I told you the best thing you can do to improve your web writing is to practice. It’s obvious, but many prospective web writers don’t do it.
The most common excuse: I don’t know what to write.
I gave you several good ideas yesterday, but today I want to dig a little deeper into my favorite: emails.
When I say to write an email to practice your web writing, I don’t mean write an email to your mom or friend. I’m talking about sending an email to your list.
When you set up your freelance website, one of the first things you should do is create an opt-in form. This allows visitors to give you their email address to receive future information from you. (A great example can be found in the top right side of the AWAI home page.)
Then, you’ll want to follow up with them via email so you can build a relationship that will lead to them hiring you for a project. In these emails, you should tell more about how you can help them and share some stories that will demonstrate your expertise and your personality.
It’s a win for you because the more experienced you are, the more you can charge.
It’s a win for your clients because when you have a lot of practice, you’ll know what works and what doesn’t.
Some email marketers say you should even email your subscribers daily.
Of course, no one recommends hounding your prospects to hire you every day.
Instead, you should share valuable content that adds value to their lives. This will show off your writing skills and help them remember you, should a project come up.
Writing for the Web and writing emails go hand-in-hand.
First, you must write to capture the attention of your audience — and keep it. Then, you should provide value and solutions to your reader’s problems. Finally, you must answer your reader’s most pressing question: “What’s in it for me?” in a clear way.
These commonalities are why you can become a better web writer while writing emails. Plus, because email marketing is a form of web writing, you can add it to your services and increase your demand and income.
Let’s dig into each similarity a little more:
1. Capture your reader’s attention.
Whether you’re writing landing pages, blog posts, or articles, your headline can make or break it.
If your headline doesn’t capture attention, readers won’t check out the rest of your copy.
In email marketing, your subject line is your headline. Just like the headline, if it doesn’t grab your reader’s attention, your email won’t get read because it will never get opened.
In both web writing and email marketing, once you’ve grabbed your reader’s attention, you want to lead him through the rest of the copy.
Your headline (or subject line) should make your reader read the first sentence, which should then lead to the first paragraph … and so on …
2. Provide value to your reader.
In all web copy, once you’ve captured the reader’s attention and convinced her to read on, you must keep providing value to lead her through the copy and convince her to take another action ― like clicking a link or hiring you.
Remember that the Internet is where people connect to share information and their opinions. Your visitor’s interest in your website has nothing to do with you. They only care about the value you provide them and whether or not you can solve their problem.
Your email subscribers will sign up to your list because they believe you’ll give them something they need or want. They only want to receive your emails because they believe it will benefit them.
The best strategy is to spend the majority of the time providing your readers with value and keeping them interested by answering, “What’s in it for me?”
For example, if you write for the self-help industry, you could send emails to your list about tips and techniques for selling to their market. Because your clients are selling self-help products and services, these tips will be helpful to them and they’ll see your value.
3. Trim The Fat.
Finally, with all writing, you should try to make it as long as it needs to be and no more.
You need to get your point across and get the reader to take an action. It’s about quality, not quantity.
People are very busy and getting busier. They rarely have time to read a lengthy discussion on any topic. Instead, they want to find the answer to their question or problem as quickly as possible.
Make it easy on them.
Your reader wants to skim your copy, read the subheads, get the answer to their question, and move on to the next thing.
So, never say more than you need to. When you’re done writing, go back and cut out unnecessary words or sentences. Even whole pages if you have to. If it doesn’t support your Big Idea, it needs to go.
Remember, the more you practice web writing, the better you’ll get at creating compelling, attention-grabbing headlines, adding value for your subscribers, and trimming out the fat.
And, if you need a little more motivation to write an email every day, think about this …
In a webinar for Wealthy Web Writer members, Jay White, who earns six-figures a year writing emails, outlined how he can easily earn $3,500 in just a couple of days.
- He gets hired to write a seven-part autoresponder series at $500 per email.
- He spends between 15 minutes and two hours per email. Figure an average of one hour for each, so a seven-part series represents about seven hours of work.
- He doesn’t like working all day; he likes working for about three hours and then playing with his kids, golfing, or spending time with his wife. So, he’ll spread those seven hours of writing over two days.
- At the end of two days, he’s $3,500 richer.
Exciting, isn’t it?
This is just a small tidbit of the stuff you’ll learn over at Wealthy Web Writer. But remember that today is the last day to give it a try for just $1!
If you’re interested in accelerating your progress in this niche, get all the information here.
The Professional Writers’ Alliance
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