What a Freelance Writer Must Learn From Internet Sales Pitches and SEO

Net the power elements of good sales copy and you may ratchet up your web writing.

You’ve been pitched to, freelance writers. A million times all over the Internet and some of the marketing icepicks have lodged themselves in your email inbox, one way or another. But before you go dispensing with the “hard sells,” consider what you could learn from some of the best online marketers– all free of charge.

The fact is that we learn new things when we are open to them. Internet marketing works. Even themagnified words stuff we choke on, the hard sell lingo that we can’t believe people buy–they actually do. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not proposing freelance writers become guerilla marketing copywriters. I must admit that I was quite anti-marketing when I started web writing, naively committed to “pure” quality writing. I still am hung up more than ever on better writing, that the more we plod deeper into the next generation Web–2.0, 3.0, semantic–that web copy and page text will matter deeply, the way words are put next to each other, the meanings implied or inferred on each page, in each paragraph, will make a distinct and lasting impression on who is able to access information. The keyword era will be over.

BUT, if you do any sort of writing attached to websites that draw big web traffic, then you are in sales, my friends. That goes a step or two beyond the fine craft of prose, to words and phrases that influence people, customers, buyers, consumers.

I thought I was a good web writer a couple of years ago, but I think I’m much better now. For the most part I think opening up to the idea of crafting a sell as a component to my writing, has allowed me to squeeze better writing for the work I do. I don’t think the quality is any different, in fact the quantity and versity of types of web writing projects has certainly made me more dexterous, but I have dissected the copywriting of a couple of the most savvy web marketers and SEOs at work today.

I would have to say one of the best moves I’ve made was when I subscribed to a particular marketer’s e-mail newsletter. Really these are intended as sales pitches for his web marketing seminars and classes, but I took the time to really pull apart the language and the way he built his “message” in each letter. As I did this I constructed a number of word and phrase lists culled from his and a lot of further sources on the web. I quickly discovered that there are nearly magical words in marketing and selling that are used again and again in very structured ways, however discreet.

I thought to myself, “why not combine my writing abilities with a few of these copywriting sales strategies to build more powerful web content?” I found out that once I practiced a mixed up a recipe of my own that the difference became a tipping point for my web writing and my professional work. It has become a skill I can honestly say not all web copywriters know or practice–and it’s extremely marketable.

Once you’ve dug up your own treasure trove of action and muscle words–as I call mine–the next and very important step is to get accustomed to injecting them into your writing. There is a “just the right time” to integrate these nuggets, moments when they seamlessly attach themselves to the sentence or the point you’re trying to make. When well done they absolutely do not smack of sales, but of enthusiasm and passion. Every marketer knows that it is emotion that sells.

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