Maybe you’re new to the writing world in general, or perhaps you’re an old hand with a plethora of writing experience. Either way, understanding online copywriting could be crucial to your writing career, especially given that more and more businesses outsource copywriting services to writers with experience in digital copywriting.
But what is online copywriting exactly? You may have heard of content writing already, which shares similarities with copywriting. However, online copywriting requires a number of skills that differentiate it slightly from standard copywriting, being its own craft.
In short, online copywriting is copywriting that involves writing for (typically) businesses that have specific targets in mind, which we’ll detail below. Gaining online copywriting skills is increasingly an essential skill in a digital-driven world, with more and more businesses moving their services online, or at the very least using a website to attract more customers, it could be the natural next step in your copywriting/content writing career.
Let’s take a closer look at online copywriting and how it could be your next specialism.
What is online copywriting?
Firstly, it’s important to understand what makes online copywriting different from content writing or even standard copywriting. Keep the following in mind whenever you begin your online copywriting journey:
1. It’s results-driven
Of course, any copywriting has a purpose that you’ll keep in mind throughout the writing process. However, we don’t just mean having a brief when it comes to online copywriting.
The art of online copywriting involves being conscious of some of the basics of digital marketing. This includes everything from the use of keywords, which will help optimise a post to achieve more prominence on search engine pages (hence the name Search Engine Optimisation), to being conscious of character counts for meta descriptions.
Whether you’re writing a blog post or a product description, it’s likely that you’ll need to cover these aspects of digital marketing too. Which brings us on to the next point…
2. Online copywriting can cover anything – and everything!
We’ve just mentioned blog posts and product descriptions, but online copywriting covers so much more. While you may be familiar with copywriting types, when it comes to digital copywriting, you can expect to write press releases; web pages; social media posts; emails and pretty much anything else.
The real talent in being an online copywriter is being able to switch between any one of these copywriting tasks at any time, so it’s a good idea to get experience in as many areas of online copywriting as possible in order to be as flexible as possible.
3. You’ll need to have – or learn – a diverse writing skillset
It’s not just flexibility that online copywriting demands. In addition to understanding the array of tasks that could be put to you, you’ll need to be strict with deadlines; capable of writing for a number of different brands in any number of different styles; have an awareness of digital marketing staples and trends, and be comfortable writing both short-form and long-form copy.
All of these skills can be applied to standard copywriting, however, it’s more important than ever that you lock these talents down when copywriting online. Deadlines, for example, can be more challenging with online copywriting, as you’re more likely to have an international client that naturally doesn’t keep the same hours you do! For example, if you’re writing a blog post for a business in Australia, they’ll be at least nine hours ahead – which means their close of play is the beginning of your day. Timekeeping here is of the essence.
You need to be adaptable when it comes to tone and style, too. One minute you might be writing home page copy for a corporate accountancy firm; the next, you might be writing a product description for a skateboard company. The more practice you get, the better you’ll be able to switch between a multitude of areas, making you a more efficient and effective writer both online and offline.
Why become an online copywriter?
How do you know that online copywriting is for you? If it sounds like a good choice so far, that’s the first step to your new specialism! If you’re still wondering why it’s worth the endeavour, here are a few more reasons to whet your appetite…
Online copywriting gives you more control as a freelancer
Given the challenges of this year, working from home has become more pertinent than ever. This makes online copywriting a great opportunity for you as a freelancer, as you can expand your experience and copywriting skills from your desk, without worrying about the typical challenges that are involved when you need to be in an office.
Online copywriting broadens your portfolio
Even if you don’t decide to pursue online copywriting as your sole focus, by gaining experience in this area, you can only add to your portfolio. It may well complement your existing work, making you an attractive prospect as a freelance writer, as brands and businesses will be able to see your spectrum of capabilities.
Online copywriting isn’t as complicated as you think
Making the switch to online copywriting might seem like a difficult endeavour. However, when you know where to look, it couldn’t be more simple. Of course, if you can get your copywriting portfolio online, by using websites such as WordPress or even Squarespace, then it’ll be even easier to attract new business.
Where do I get started?
Online copywriting opportunities can be found regularly online, with one of the simplest ways to get started and gain some experience being with Copify. With live briefs from clients from all over the globe posted daily, covering all the areas we’ve discussed above, you can hone your copywriting skills with professional guidance and see your copywriting come to life online.