Freelance writers are often encouraged to find a niche. By focusing on a specific niche, you position yourself as an expert in that area and can charge more for your expertise. One niche many freelance writers overlook is e-commerce copywriting. If you have a knack for sales copy, writing for multi-channel e-commerce clients is a varied and lucrative niche. Here’s what multi-channel e-commerce copywriting involves and how it can boost your income.What is multi-channel e-commerce copywriting? How can it help you as a freelance writer? Click To Tweet
SEO copywriting involves optimizing web pages for the purpose of generating traffic. Besides challenges in other niches like technical writing, SEO copywriters face the unique challenge of achieving optimization and getting the attention of an audience.
Optimization is important, but SEO copywriting has moved on to a more customer-focused approach. It is not enough to write content and simply put in relevant keywords in the right amount. Now you have to catch the attention of the target audience; both existing clients and prospective clients. Once your clients visit your website, you have to convince them to stay with you. [Read more…]
For more than a decade, landing pages have become increasingly popular and more widely used by just about individual and business that owns a website.
The reason for the continuous uptick is because landing pages are a stellar solution for optimizing conversions for sales, downloads, email acquisition, and various other KPIs.
Landing pages serve as a vehicle for a brand to target interested audiences with relevant offerings that are valuable to those individuals. What sets landing pages aside from most web destinations is that viewers arrive with a specific intention, as opposed to merely browsing. [Read more…]
From an outsider’s perspective, developing a sales page may look easy. Sometimes it only has a few sentences of text, a visual, and a couple of buttons.
However, as any copywriter knows, creating a high converting sales page is anything but easy. It’s actually one of the most challenging things you’ll ever do. [Read more…]
As a freelance writer, the more variety you’re able to offer in your services, the more profitable your business will be. If you want to increase your earnings significantly, one skill that you absolutely must master is landing page copywriting. If you can write high-converting copy, you’ll be in high demand all year round.
Landing page copywriting is simple and complicated at the same time. The good news is that you can learn to write landing pages that make readers into customers; landing pages that will make clients come to you.
When many freelance writers start out, they assume that by focusing on word choice, readability, sentence structure, and great grammar, they can tackle any job with appropriate aplomb, and while it’s true that all of these are important, writing well is really just the baseline from which a good freelance writer works.
The gigs you get as a freelance writer assume a certain level of quality and craft, but what you’re writing for determines exactly what you need to achieve. Like it or not, pithy wordplay may never be as big of a deal to your clients as it is to you – especially if you’re writing for B2B. Much of the writing you’re going to do will have some aspect of a sales pitch inherent within it, whether that sales pitch is directed at a search engine, a consumer, or another business. So why not embrace it? Marketing and writing well — especially when it comes to B2B — function best when they’re two peas in a pod.
Here are five reasons why B2B freelance writers are the best marketers in disguise. [Read more…]
Last year, I shared a quiz titled “What Type of Freelance Writing Gig Suits You Best?“, and if you took it and got “copywriting” as the result, you’ll love this post. Actually, even if you didn’t get that result, the chances are you’re doing some copywriting work – whether you realize it or not.
Copywriting is an often used term, sometimes inaccurately.
That’s where the ultimate guide to copywriting comes in handy – very handy. [Read more…]
In college you learn to abide by AP style, write in neat paragraphs and an academic tone. In the traditional writing format, these rules transferred nicely. However, when it comes to modern mediums, otherwise known as web writing, these rules generally don’t apply. While grammar should still be pristine, it’s more about the content than anything else. As an editor, it’s important that you have an eye for these key differences. [Read more…]
It’s something many people forget because freelance writing can be a self-defeating endeavor even for those with strong academic skills. It isn’t like completing a math problem where everything has a logical place and you’re guaranteed to do fine so long as the dots are properly connected.
Writing is the brooding cousin of painting. Whereas painters use brush strokes to convey an image, writers craft visions with words. The picture is framed by words designed to influence the reader’s perception of whatever is being conveyed. Word choice and flow are important in capturing and maintaining the reader’s interest.
In the course of more than a decade as a full-time writer – mostly for U.S. metropolitan daily newspapers – I have learned from extremely talented wordsmiths who passed on practical advice.
Their tips will help fine-tune your writing for maximum clarity and effect:
• Keep it simple, stupid! This design principle dictates use of sentences that are focused and clear. Any writer is more likely to get into trouble using long sentences with complex punctuation. Clunky sentences should be divided up so they are easier to read. Writing this way helps build and maintain momentum.
• What’s in it for me? It’s an old sales adage, but it applies equally well in writing. By the third or fourth paragraph at the latest, the writer must answer this question for the reader or risk losing their attention. In general, people want to be led and the writer must be firm in explaining why the article has value. This “nut graph” spells out, in one or two sentences, why the article is important and relevant to the reader.
• Word echoes are redundant. This one can be tricky, especially for those writing Search Engine Optimized content that relies on repetitive use of keywords. But even SEO has a limit. Generally speaking, an echo is when a writer uses the same word more than once in a sentence, or even paragraph. Repetitive use of words –except for search engine optimization – is boring and distracting. Avoid doing this at all costs.
• That “that” has got to go. In many cases, use of “that” is unnecessary and should be avoided. It may seem trivial, but “that” acts in a similar fashion as “umm” – overuse detracts from the author’s message. For example: “I hope that we go to the baseball game” should instead read, “I hope we go to the baseball game.”
• Read it out loud. Even after writing, editing and conducting a spelling and grammar check, it’s still not time to hit the send button. Read it out loud. This simple act is a perfect way to catch – with fresh ears – errors that may have been missed by fatigued mind and eyes. Reading every sentence out loud also helps identify awkward word arrangements that may slow the reader and cause them to veer off-course.
J.P. Cawyer is an east coast-based professional writer. When he isn’t mulling the dictums of the written word, he enjoys playing on his Galaxy S and the iPad.
I’m not opposed to finding work via advertisements or “help wanted” listings. I’ve never been a fan of the bid boards, but I know they work for some people. I know that countless writers benefit from the job listings here at FWJ.
However, I don’t spend a lot of time tossing my hat into the ring with hundreds of other applicants for advertised writing positions. I’ll do it occasionally when a particular call for a writer really appeals to me, but it’s not my preferred way of generating business.
I know there are plenty of writers out there who would really like to be busier, so I thought I’d talk about an approach that has worked for me. It’s not revolutionary or anything, but it doesn’t seem to get as much attention as other strategies. I like creating my own gigs.
Here’s the plan, in its simplest form:
- Find someone who has a great product or idea–something that’s right in your wheelhouse or in which you see remarkable potential.
- Think about how your skills could help them.
- Pitch them.
Example One: Occasionally, I’ll watch press releases roll along the river of a popular distribution site’s RSS feed. I’ll look for releases that involve interesting topics or ideas. I’ll pay close attention to those that evidence a need for a much better copywriter. The contact information is right there on the release. The pitch is simple in terms of offering them more effective releases and it doesn’t take long to investigate their web presence and to see what else they might need.
Example Two: Have you ever been searching for something that you wanted or needed and then discovered a real diamond in the rough of a website? Of course, you have. When I find these sites, I will follow up with the owners, telling them how we might be able to work together to improve their business.
I know. It’s pretty simple.
But here’s the interesting thing… It works.
You might think that the percentage of contacts that turn into business would be minimal. That’s not the case. The conversion numbers are surprisingly good. I’m relatively sure that my contact/conversion rate in these situations is higher than most people’s success rate when responding to “writers wanted” ads.
I believe that one reason writers aren’t in higher demand is our collective shortcoming in marketing our gifts and their value. We have a tendency to wait until people see a need for us when we should be telling them why we’re so damned valuable. When you’re rainmaking, that’s exactly what you’re doing.
The trick, of course, is the pitch. You need to be able to show value to the prospective client. You need to demonstrate an understanding of what they seem to be trying to accomplish as well as a vision for what they should be trying to accomplish. You need to make yourself accessible and to let them know that you’re friendly, helpful and something other than a moneysucking mercenary with a keyboard.
I generally make contact with an email. I’ll follow up with a phone call. It’s not a chore. It’s fun. After all, I’m not hoping to find an ad for a job that would be tolerable. I’m isolating opportunities that interest and excite me.
Give it a shot. Take some time to find someone who isn’t necessarily looking for you but who could really use your skills. Pitch ’em. See what happens. You might be surprised.