You’d Be In High Demand as a Web Writer
Christina Gillick here, bringing you The Writer's Life this week.
Let’s talk about web writing.
Put simply, it’s when you write copy that appears online. And it includes landing pages, blog posts, articles, emails, squeeze pages, autoresponders, sales letters, headlines, press releases, and even complete websites.
Of course, you might think that if you can write traditional direct-mail copy you can write the same way and paste it onto a website. Not true.
Traditional direct-mail copy and web writing are different.
That’s why companies (Fortune 500 and smaller companies alike) are willing to pay a lot for a qualified web writer.
And, there’s never been a bigger need for this service either.
Companies are going online faster than ever before. Entrepreneurs are creating new businesses ― and new websites ― every day. Online marketers are selling e-books, webinars, and other information products like crazy.
All these people need web writers to write their content, emails, ads, and more.
There’s so much copy to be written, in fact, that as a web writer, just two or three clients could keep you busy for months.
(My niche is web writing for the self-help industry, and I personally have three steady clients that keep me close to fully-booked at all times.)
So why do these companies need web writing so badly?
Because it’s now so easy to set up a website, the only way to get the upper hand online is to write better copy than the competition. Businesses must have quality content and persuasive copy to get customers to visit their site, opt-in to their lists, and buy their products.
Business owners realize they don’t have the skills necessary to write compelling copy that sells online.
That’s why web writers are in such high demand.
Consider this: U.S. spending for online advertising is projected to increase to $36.8 billion in the next year alone.
And, it’s almost certain that online ad spending will overtake ALL forms of print advertising by 2013, according to industry watcher eMarketer.
Now is the perfect time for you to consider web writing as your niche. So this week, I’m going to give you the details you need to become a web writer and get on board …
But first, I want to share 6 Truths to Web Writing. These are the reasons why I chose web writing for my niche and why I think you should be excited about it, too.
(I took my inspiration from Rebecca Matter’s article on Wealthy Web Writer, “6 Common Truths Behind Getting In Shape AND Becoming a Successful Web Writer.”)
1. You can be up and running quickly.
As soon as you write something and put it online, you can call yourself a web writer. And the more you write, the more experience you’ll gain. It can be your own blog, articles for another blog, a headline, an ad, anything.
To get started as a web writer as soon as possible, I recommend setting up your own blog about web writing.
Using a tool like WordPress, which is free blogging software, you can start a blog within 30 minutes. You’ll have a place to practice your web writing and eventually create a web presence so clients can find you. (Go here to read an article that will help you get up and running.)
There’s no wrong or right way to become a web writer. There’s no set path to follow. No one is telling you to invest a certain amount of hours before you’re “ready.” You truly can start being a web writer today.
2. You’ll see results fast.
The first thing you write might not be amazing, but you’ll get better ― fast.
For example, if you currently spend several hours writing an article, you can expect with practice to cut that drastically over the next few months.
Rebecca points out in her article that she used to spend a full day writing an 800-1,200 word article. When she realized most of her time was spent coming up with a solid lead, she decided to write two new leads a week even if she didn’t plan to use them.
Now she says, “Today I can bang out an article lead in about 10 minutes. I often even write three versions and pick the best one after I finish the article.”
The great thing about web writing is there’s so much to write, you can easily practice every day.
Spend an hour each day reading an article on Wealthy Web Writer and then write an entry for your blog using the techniques you learned.
And, don’t worry about knowing everything first. If you don’t know a thing about Search Engine Optimization (SEO), that’s okay. You can learn later how to write so that search engines ― and web surfers ― can find your site easier and then make your articles better once you do.
3. The more time you invest, the faster you improve.
Make a promise to yourself to get started and then improve a little each day. How much and how fast you improve is up to you. This is your business …
As Rebecca says, “If I had practiced writing a new lead every day, I could have experienced that same improvement in weeks instead of months.”
If your goal is to become a web writer, you can get there by writing an hour a day. But, if you want to get there faster, spend 2 hours a day. Faster still? 3 hours a day.
If you need help squeezing in more time for practice in an already busy schedule, check out this article I wrote about finding more time for your web-writing business.
4. You don’t need to specialize to be really good.
There’s so much to learn when it comes to web writing, I still don’t know it all. That leaves room for improvement.
You don’t have to know it all ― if you did, you’d never get started.
So where do you start?
“You just need to learn one skill, and you can start working with clients,” Rebecca says.
Pick an area you care about and get going. Let’s say you want to write web copy. Learn all you can about writing for the Web ― adding to your blog as you learn.
You could write about new techniques you come across. For example, maybe you heard yellow buttons get more people to click on them. That would be an interesting article for your potential web-writing clients who have websites they want to make the most of.
There are clients who need web copy right now. Once you learn how to write web copy, you can start pitching those clients on your services.
“As you have each skill down, add it to your list of services, and start learning another skill like SEO, video, or PPC,” advises Rebecca.
For example, you could add autoresponder emails to your services and spend time each day learning about them.
As Rebecca says, “Each new skill makes you better at the others, and all of them together make you a more valuable, and stronger, web writer.”
5. Personal training can help you excel faster.
Getting up and running as a web writer is fairly easy, but it doesn’t come without its own challenges. You’ll still have questions and learning from someone who has been through it all ― made the mistakes and discovered the little-known tricks of the trade ― will shave years off your learning curve.
“Having someone who can help you take your performance to the next level always makes a difference. Being a web writer is no exception, which is why I am happy we have so many experts willing to share their time and experience with us at Wealthy Web Writer,” says Rebecca.
6. No matter how good you are, you can ALWAYS get better.
As a web writer, you should always be learning. New technologies emerge, new ideas are developed, and your income can always increase.
No matter how good you are today, you can be better next week.
The secret is to get started today and follow the six tips in this article.
Don’t wait. If you want to live the writer’s life, web writing is one of the best, fastest, easiest ways to get there.
Why not set up your first blog today and write something immediately?
Don’t make an excuse. There will never be a better time to take action.
When you have your blog online, let me know about it below. I’m rooting for you!
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 »