Exploding Abundance of Opportunity and Choice for Online Copywriters
Back when I started out as a copywriter — over 35 years ago now — it was very easy to define the work we did.
We wrote advertising copy for TV, radio, print, direct mail, or display. Clear and simple. The range of opportunities was pretty narrow.
In the online world, things are a little different. Actually, they are a lot different.
First of all, there is a much, much bigger range of writing types and opportunities available to copywriters.
Let’s do a rough comparison.
Like I said, in the offline world, we wrote for TV, radio, print, direct mail, or display. That was pretty much it. You chose your specialty, and stuck with it.
Online, the choices are a whole lot broader.
Here are just a few of the things you can work on as an online copywriter:
- Online sales letters
- Social media updates
- Blog posts
- Entire websites
- Landing pages
- Squeeze pages
- Video scripts
- Case studies
- Product reviews
- Buyers’ Guides
- Interview scripts
And when it comes to abundance for copywriters, this is just the beginning.
The demand for online copy is mind-boggling.
Before the Web, only a small proportion of companies could afford to do national advertising on TV and through newspapers and magazines.
Today, tens of millions of companies ALL have websites.
Before the Web, only a few direct-mail companies sent sales letters by mail.
Today, tens of millions of companies sell and inform through email and e-newsletters.
Before the Web, only a tiny number of companies had the resources to use film or video as a way to promote themselves.
Today, millions of companies upload videos to their YouTube channels.
You get the idea?
Not only do online copywriters get to choose from a far wider range of writing tasks or specialties, but they are also tasked with writing a massively increased VOLUME of work.
Millions of new pages of copywriting are published to the Web every single day.
But wait, there’s more!
Back in the days of print, I remember writing a brochure for a new car model from Chrysler.
It took months to produce it. And once the brochure was printed, it sat on tables in car dealerships for many months more. It lay there, static and unchanging, for a full year before the next year’s model came out.
Now consider the Web, where information is changed and updated on a regular basis. Go back to your favorite website a week from now — even a day from now — and the homepage will have changed.
New posts will have been added.
New videos uploaded.
And so on.
The thing about the Web and websites is that constant change is expected and normal.
This multiplies the demands on companies and hugely increases the amount of work for online copywriters.
Is the demand for online copywriters really still growing?
Sometimes people tell me the opportunity for online copywriters is “over.” They tell me there are already too many online copywriters out there.
To that, I have two answers.
First … it’s not the case at all. Even with many more copywriters out there, the growth of the Web and mobile is happening at such a rapid pace, we are still a LONG way from anything even approaching a saturation point.
Second … while there may be thousands of new copywriters out there vying for work, the number of good and professionally-trained new copywriters is very small.
The opportunity for trained online copywriters is still huge, and will be for the foreseeable future.
I started copywriting as a freelancer about 30 years ago — after 5 years of working in ad agencies — and the work environment back then was very, very different.
For a start, I had to choose just one specialty. Mine was direct mail.
And then I had to work really hard to find my first few jobs, because the total number of companies doing direct mail was relatively small. It was a small club you had to break into.
Well, today is a time of astonishing abundance.
As an online copywriter, you will be spoiled for choice.
You’ll have a much, much broader range of writing specialties to choose from.
And you’ll have literally tens of millions of companies out there to choose from as potential clients.
This is amazing time to become an online copywriter.
Don’t let anyone tell you differently!
It’s your choice …
The list of writing opportunities available to online copywriters doesn’t just represent abundance. It also represents the opportunity to choose the kind of writing you’ll be best at, and will enjoy the most.
Loving your work, and getting paid well for it, is a wonderful way to go through life. The more we love our work, the better we get at it. And the better we perform, the more we enjoy ourselves.
When we do work we love, it doesn’t feel like work at all.
For example, some writers seem to be born to be long-form sales letter copywriters. That’s their thing. That’s where their true talent lies.
But it’s not for everyone.
Other people shine at their brightest when writing blog posts or social media updates. Their style is more conversational. They write with enthusiasm, but without directly selling anything.
Others do their best work in more formal styles — writing case studies or buyers’ guides.
My point is that the abundance of opportunities in online copywriting isn’t just about the availability of work. It’s also about being able to choose the kind of copywriting that best suits your own skills and temperament.
It’s when you choose the kind of copywriting work you’ll enjoy most that the magic will begin to happen.
I can’t emphasize this enough.
During my one-on-one coaching days, I frequently heard from copywriters who had chosen their niche online for reasons I felt were just wrong.
People would go into sales letter copywriting because they had heard “that’s where the money is.”
Others opted for writing email because they had heard there was more demand for email copywriters.
These are external reasons, and often misguided.
The one piece of advice I gave to all my coaching clients was that they ignore what other people say. Even ignore what the market “says.” Instead, I recommended they follow their own gut feelings. Their own hearts.
Bottom line — you’ll never do your best work unless you opt for the kind of work you are going to enjoy the most.
Success comes from passion and excellence. Not from following the market, or the latest hot opportunity.
And this is what I love about online copywriting and writing.
Compared to the old, offline world, there is an amazing abundance of different types of writing you can choose from.
With so many choices, it’s possible for anyone to zero in on the kind of writing that best suits them.
When you do that — when you choose the kind of copywriting you’ll be best at and enjoy the most — you’ll be unleashing a powerful force.
That force will not only earn you a fat paycheck every month, but it will also draw you into a virtuous circle of ever-improving performance and a deepening satisfaction with the work you do.
Not such a bad life!
What type of online copy projects do you think would bring you the most satisfaction? Do you have any questions for Nick about getting started? Post a comment below and he’ll be happy to answer it for you.
The Digital Copywriter's Handbook
Learn how to become an in-demand online copywriter for companies big and small. Online copywriting expert Nick Usborne shows you how to write web copy that converts. Learn More »