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.
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The Different Types of Copy Required
Most businesses realize the importance of multi-channel shopping for customers. Customers want access to 24-hour shopping. Today’s retailers won’t get by with just a brick and mortar store. They also need an online presence. This is good news for freelance writers as it opens up an abundance of writing opportunities.
Multi-channel e-commerce retailers need copy for the following platforms:
The E-Commerce Store
An e-commerce store doesn’t just pop up and run itself. It requires eye-catching website design and enticing copy. If it’s a customized e-commerce website, the client will need someone to write copy for the whole site. A project like this can mean a tidy sum of money in your bank account. If it’s on an e-commerce platform like Shopify, templates make setting up a shop easy, but it still needs killer product descriptions to attract customers.
Even if a store has their own independent e-commerce store, many also use online marketplaces like Amazon and eBay as part of their multi-channel strategy.
In a customized e-commerce store, the focus is solely on that store and its products. In a marketplace, a product is competing against thousands of other products. Product descriptions become crucial to make a product stand out from the crowd.
A copywriter also needs to know how to tailor a product description to a specific marketplace. For instance, eBay listings are only 80 characters while Etsy includes a listing title plus a detailed product description.
Social media plays a strong role in customers’ purchasing decisions. Salesforce estimates that 85 percent of shoppers conduct online research before making a purchase online, with 38 percent of that research being conducted on social media. That makes social media an important channel to reach consumers.
Writing for social media is a skill every copywriter should master. A copywriter who knows how to engage consumers on social media is worth their weight in gold. If you can prove your social media posts are contributing to an increase in a client’s sales, that’s a return on investment the client will want repeated and you’ll score a long-term client.
Messaging apps, like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Viber, and WeChat are a popular way of communicating among mobile users. In the United States, more than half of internet users use messaging apps. Some, like Messenger, offer in-app advertising. Ads appear in the news feed and can be in the form of a text, image, or video. Messaging apps are another way an e-commerce business can reach customers and drive traffic to their store.
Many e-commerce stores include blog posts in their content strategy. Blog posts are top-of-the-funnel content that informs, educates, and drives leads. Blogs are not about pushing a product but providing useful information and solutions that will draw interested customers further down the funnel. For instance, a store that sells coffee beans may write blog posts on how coffee is produced, the different types of roasts, and where coffee beans are grown. The blog doesn’t sell the product directly but demonstrates the company’s knowledge of coffee production, which may encourage a customer to buy the product.
The Benefits of Writing for Multi-Channel E-Commerce Clients
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Multi-channel e-commerce clients always need content for social media marketing, new product descriptions, online ads, and blog posts. This means regular work for a freelance writer. If the client likes your work and becomes a repeat client, it can lead to a retainer fee. A monthly retainer or long-term contract creates a stable income for a freelancer. Social media management alone can land you a steady monthly income.
E-commerce is a booming industry, and most retailers are adopting a multi-channel approach. In 2017, global e-retail sales amounted to 2.3 trillion U.S. dollars and is projected to grow up to 4.48 trillion U.S. dollars by 2021. As more multi-channel e-stores open in coming years, more work will pour in for copywriters.
Skills Required For E-Commerce Writing
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Knowledge of SEO Writing
The role of SEO (search engine optimization) and keywords is important in online writing. It helps content rank better in searches. Customers use certain keywords when searching for a product online. While you shouldn’t saturate copy with unnecessary keywords, you do need to include them in e-commerce writing to increase the chance of your store being found in a search. Understanding the principles of SEO writing and learning how Google’s algorithm works are essential in getting traffic to an e-commerce store.
Sales and Advertising Copywriting
If you have a marketing, sales, or advertising background, it makes sense to pick e-commerce as a writing niche as writing persuasive sales copy will be easy. If writing sales copy doesn’t come naturally, you’ll have to brush up on your skills. Learning to write effective sales copy isn’t as hard as you think. Start by putting yourself in the customer’s shoes. To hook customers requires catchy headlines, listing titles, product descriptions, and calls to action.
Writing for multi-channel e-commerce clients is an excellent niche if you’re looking for regular high-paying work. Remember, the e-commerce industry is massive and expanding every day. All those e-commerce stores will need copywriters to write and update content daily. Now is the perfect time to move into the e-commerce writing niche.
Featured 3D illustration by Quince Media