To write online, successful copywriters have to employ an arsenal of techniques in order for their work to be effective. Most businesses and publishers expect online copywriters to understand not only how to write for the web, but how to use tools effectively and stay on top of current web trends and technology. While it’s always important for aspiring writers to focus on how to write, here are a few skills that can help you get the job that you want!
- 1. Write Effective e-Mails: Did you know that employers will often make decisions based on your e-mail correspondence? If you think about it, the way that you write in your day-to-day life acts as your calling card. Professional writers use proper punctuation and spelling in their e-mails, but also include a call-to-action, too. One way to ensure your e-mail is taken seriously, is make sure your e-mail address is professional, too.
- 2. Understand Web Analytics: Web analytics is a way to understand how visitors interact with content online. It’s unique in that it highlights every action a visitor takes. These actions range from signing up for an e-mail newsletter to clicking on a link within your article. When you understand web analytics, you can provide more value because you have an intimate understanding of how people interact with a website. To learn how to use website analytics, try implementing a free tool like Google Analytics on your own site or follow the Google Analytics blog.
- 3. Learn Basic Programming Skills: While your primary focus as a copywriter is not to program a post or create an image, sometimes online copywriters are required to “code” their own posts or provide images. This isn’t always the case, but knowing a few programming basics like how to bold a word or italicize it will make you more marketable. If you don’t know how to code something, you can learn basic HTML techniques through several resources online like the HTML tutorial from w3.org.
- 4. Know What Proper Attribution Means: There are a number of ways that an online copywriter can read and research for the topics they’re writing for. In order to use that information, however, it’s important to understand proper attribution and where the boundaries of fair use are. Inexperienced online copywriters employ a technique called “mixing,” which is a common form of plagiarism, because they are unaware of what proper attribution is. Some businesses, like this one consider improper attribution is plagiarism. For more information about plagiarism and fair use, I recommend checking out Plagiarism Today.
- 5. Grasp Search Engine Optimization: Search engine optimization (SEO) is a valuable tool for online copywriters to use. What is SEO? This phrase refers to the process by which a writer, developer or designer creates an optimal page that the search engines will then index. The primary way to get pages indexed is to have sharp, focused content on the website. Even though, SEO is only one tool in an online copywriter’s arsenal, it is arguably one of the most important ones. To learn more about how SEO can help you write online, be sure to stay tuned for more information!