How to Write for the Web With No Experience | 3 Steps for Success

How to Write for the Web With No Experience | 3 Steps for Success
Photo by Steven Houston / Unsplash
Copywriting is any text that is written with the purpose of advertising and marketing. You are trying to sell something with your words and sometimes this is referred to as ‘’sales copy’.

Anyone can be a copywriter – it's a great way of making money by writing articles for the online world, and it's really easy to get the hang of!

I've always had a love for writing – though, I never thought I'd build a career out of it. I created my own personal blog with Medium quite some time back, and decided to start freelancing for other agencies/ companies to make a bit of money on the side.  

During my freelancing period, I became familiar with 'writing for the web'.  I had no clue on what this actually entailed in the beginning – I just knew that I loved to write so gave it a shot in the dark!

I have no fancy degree in literature or creative writing, nor do I read a ton of books every week. I used to sit in a local cafe, watch YouTube videos on 'how to write god copy' and make a bunch of notes before taking on any client projects.

In this guide, I've broken down 3 game-changing tips to help you become a better copy-writer, let's have a quick look at them:

👀  Grab Your Audience's Attention Immediately

🤝  Choose Benefits Over Features

📞  Include Constant Call-To-Actions

Copywriting Explained Further

If  'copywriting' still sounds a little confusing, let's break it down a little more:

Say you're interested in vlogging and are in desperate need of a suitable camera, chances are you'd head over to Google and search for something like,

‘Which vlogging camera should I buy?”

Straight away, you'll see a bunch of articles pull up in front of you. All of these articles have been carefully written by copywriters to give you the answer to that specific question. You'll find camera reviews promoting the best camera on the market. All of this text is known as copy.

Okay so know that we know what copywriters do, let's dig deep into the three ultimate tips that will make you a very successful one!

👀 Grab Your Audience’s Attention Instantly

Every great piece of copy I’ve ever read, I knew it was great because I simply kept reading it!

The average attention span is about 8 seconds. Literally that’s it. So you have 8 seconds to hook your reader in which means you need a killer introduction. We'll talk more about killer intros in a separate article, but for now let's cover the basics.

Grabbing your audience's attention is all about explaining your purpose straight away No waffling.

Let’s take an example:

Say your article is about, "choosing between Etsy and Shopify when wanting to sell products online"

Your intro straight away should say something like,

“Let’s get straight to the point, Shopify is slightly better than Etsy because it’s a lot more personal, flexible and easier to scale up your store”.

A common mistake writers would make here is they'll include unnecessary introductions of Shopify and Etsy, and by the time you know it, the reader has bounced off the page.  Your audience is already aware of how great both these platform are, hence why they're now at the stage of just choosing between them.  Try not to overload your audience with information they’re likely to have - keep it concise and to the point.

🤝 Benefits Over Features

Okay, so the 2nd rule I stick by is writing about benefits over features. Another common mistake that most writers make in the beginning is  listing all the features of their product or service.

Truth be told, there’s one question on your reader’s mind, which is:

“What’s in it for me?”

Your audience just want to know how beneficial this service is for them so really emphasise this in your copy.

Let’s take it back to our vlogging camera example:

If someone’s looking to buy a camera, telling them that the product has a 'large sensor with a bright lens' might not cut it – especially if a person only cares about how good their YouTube vlogs will look!

Always highlight the benefit of this large sensor by saying something along the lines of ..

“The large sensor makes this camera the best option on the market for vlogging in natural daylight – so you don't have to worry about changing the settings before heading out!”

This way, your shining the light back on your reader, and explaining why the camera is going to make their life easier. This is a lot more enticing than bombarding them with an endless list of camera features that might not make sense if to someone who's not tech-savvy.

Make your audience feel like this service / product was practically made for them!

📞 Include Constant Call-To-Actions

What is a call-to-action?

A call-to-action (CTA) is anything on the page that prompts an immediate response from your reader. It's a way of pointing them in the right direction to finalise a purchase of a product of service. Call-to-action buttons are not always for monetary purposes – they're also great at prompting your reader to share the article with others for more traffic.

They're often seen in the form of buttons like these:

Writing copy is great but it’s not that useful if your reader has no idea where to go next. A reader will be roped in by your majestic words, but won't know how to get their hands on this product or service without any call-to-action buttons.

Even if it’s just a number to ring, make it really obvious to the reader how they can go ahead with a purchase, or just learn more.

Try to put call-to-action buttons in regularly, without over-doing it because this can be slightly pushy and off-putting.

Writing for the Web: Summary

These are a few quick tips on how to improve your copy without much experience at all. Don’t be afraid to bring your character through the words because when you feel like you’re speaking to a friend, it’s a lot more convincing!

Let's have a quick recap at what these tips are:

  • Grab Your Audience's Attention Instantly – Keep your intro concise and to the point!
  • Write About Benefits Over Features – Avoid including a list of product features, instead discuss the value of it.
  • Include Constant Call-To-Actions – Let your reader know where to go next!

Becoming an awesome copywriter doesn't require you to be a pro, it's all about implementing a good strategy and sticking to it. Now that you have these top tips to refer back to, all there's left to say...

Happy Writing! 😎