What Does Web Content Writing Entail?
In the previous article on freelance writing, I mentioned that we’ll mostly be discussing web content writing and copywriting for the purpose of this blog.
I found it fitting to start off the Writing Tips category by explaining precisely what this means. Then to help you differentiate written web content, we’ll also look at the different types you’re likely to come across when freelancing, and a list of things you should always have in mind when writing for the web.
Defining Web Content
Web content refers to all the textual, visual, or audio components you see on any website you open. It’s also interchangeably used to mean any content that’s specifically consumed by an online audience. An audience that’s growing by the day.
Technically, each of these pieces of content requires some form of writing to come to life.
Good web content writing is crucial for any client you work for. First, it attracts clicks and ensures that potential customers understand the intended message. And second, it determines how well the website and business score on search engine optimization (SEO) matters.
There are many other reasons you should always strive to write quality web content, and we’ll explore them in a future article. Meanwhile, let’s look at the different writing tasks you might come across as a freelance content writer.
Different Types of Written Web Content
These are the most common forms of written web content that a client might need. Most freelance writers focus on one or a few of these areas, while others are comfortable working on just any type of content. Choose what works for you.
- Website Copy – Textual content on website pages such as “Home,” “About Us,” and “Our Services.” The goal is to provide more information about a client or company and sometimes convince the reader to take particular actions like signing up or booking an appointment.
- Blog Posts and Articles – This is what’s popularly known as online article writing in Kenya. While blog posts and articles are still part of website copy, they’re often treated separately for freelance writing gigs. Ideally, a client will require website copy once when launching but needs posts and articles regularly. Articles can also appear in online magazines and publications.
The purpose may vary from educating to entertainment or promoting a particular product or brand.
- Product Descriptions – Textual content placed beside or near an e-commerce product to list its features and benefits. The goal is to give more information about a product in a way that makes the reader click that Add to Cart button.
- Technical Writing – Most popular when writing for clients dealing with computer software and hardware, engineering, cryptocurrency, consumer electronics, robotics, and other technical fields. Technical writing is ideal if you’re good at giving instructions, can explain complex matters in a way that’s easy to understand, and are enthusiastic about new technologies.
- Email Newsletters – The promotional emails you get from companies, some of which you don’t even remember how you signed up in the first place, are all newsletters. Part of email marketing is writing this content, but the purpose will depend on the client.
- SEO Writing – SEO is the process of optimizing a website or content to appear among the first entries in the results that Google returns. SEO writing involves using keywords and creating content that’s helpful and relevant to its intended audience. We’ll discuss SEO writing and best practices in a separate article.
- Social Media posts – You’re familiar with social media copy. It’s the captions and textual content that go on social posts. Most of the content like this you write will be to promote or sell a particular product or service, so having copywriting skills might come in handy. You’ll also need some basic knowledge about how that specific social platform works.
Other writing tasks you might encounter include writing video and podcast scripts.
Content Writing vs. Copywriting
I get this question a lot, and I think here’s the best place to answer this because I also mentioned the two at the beginning of this article.
The main difference between content writing and copywriting lies in their purpose.
A content writer creates content that informs, educates, or entertains an audience. The goal is to build brand awareness, cultivate a sense of trust with your audience, and position yourself as an authoritative brand in your field. For content writing, the length of the text is often long, language is informative, and marketing results are expected to show over time.
Copywriting is a fancy name for marketing writing. Copywriters write to promote, persuade, and advertise your brand or product. The goal is to provoke an immediate response, encourage a purchase, or some other type of conversion. The language used here is driven by urgency and emotions that sell a brand as an experience or idea which potential customers should not miss.
Can you be both a content and copywriter? Absolutely! Most successful copywriters started as content writers and still do a mix of both. The most important thing is to understand the purpose of your web content and tweak it accordingly.
We’ll be talking about purpose and other factors you should always keep in mind when writing for the web in next week’s article on Writing Tips. Hope to see you there!
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