What type of web content do you specialize in?
Web content is generally the reason why people visit websites. The two main categories of web content are: Text (the written content that's on the web page) and multimedia (the non-textual content on the page, such as images and video). As web writers, we focus primarily on textual content.
If you are looking to make the leap into web writing or you are a seasoned content writer and just want to take your writing career in a different direction, specializing in a few types of web content niches or sub-sections can sharpen your skills and quickly establish you as an authority in the area.
The good thing about specializing in a niche is that you can always expand your writing scope as you go along and/or as your interests and skills develop. Here are some of the most popular types of web content you can write today and ultimately turn into lucrative writing niches.
News is the communication of interesting/breaking information on a current event or phenomenon. According to a study by the Pew Research Center, up to 35% of Americans “frequently” get their news on a desktop or laptop. The mass migration of readers from print to digital means that demand for news writers online is high. If you can write factual, unbiased articles on current events that don’t defame or vilify others, specializing in this niche can prove quite rewarding.
See: CNN, BBC, The Huffington Post.
Educational content focuses on providing helpful advice, tips and answers to a group of people linked by common interests, such as weight loss and working from home. If you have an interest in a specific subject like weight loss, are passionate enough about the topic and/or you understand the topic well, focusing your writing in the area can prove rewarding. You can build a name for yourself as the go to authority in the niche. Just make sure you always provide truly useful and educational information.
See: Problogger, Fatty Weight Loss, QuickSprout.
Commentary content entails writing expressive opinion pieces or “rants” on topics that interest people. These types of posts are different from your typical blog post mostly due to their tone. If you can write juicy opinion pieces, interpretations or observations about a particular subject, service or product, this can be an exciting and rewarding niche to enter. Just remember the more interesting, controversial or vociferous your position on a topic or person is, the more your content will likely get read and shared.
See: Daily Kos,Talking Points Memo, Money Young.
Humor content is the type of writing designed to make people laugh. It describes things in a funny, witty or sarcastic way often with the view to "lighten the mood" in a discussion. If you have a knack for the funny and can capture the unexpected, random, witty, imaginative and crude in society, specializing in this niche can be a perfect fit for you. Just remember humor tends to be subjective and some people might find your joke stale or worse insulting. So, try and be civil always and avoid personal attacks.
See: The Onion, Cracked.com, College Humor.
In an age where the lives of public figures and celebrities have become spectator sports, gossip content pulls a ton of views online. And, just between you and I, there are different types of gossip content you can write, including content that spreads rumors and content that plants seeds of rumors, which are those little morsels of information intended to get people talking about something or someone. If you can write this kind of content, you probably should. After all, as Oscar Wilde put it, “The only thing worse than being talked about, is not being talked about.”
See: PerezHilton.com, TMZ.com, Celebrity.yahoo.com.
Narrative content is an account of connected acts or course of events presented in writing, drama or even cinema. It can be organized in a number of ways, including fictionalized accounts of historical events (myths, anecdotes and legends), fiction proper (short stories, prose and novels) and creative non-fiction biographies. If you can write and integrate formal information with pertinent human experience online, this is an area you can specialize in. Just make sure you are highly creative and imaginative.
See: History.com, Creativenonfiction.org
Sales and marketing content or copywriting is the writing of text for the purpose of advertising or marketing. This type of content is meant to persuade the reader to buy a product or influence their beliefs. For example, you can be charged with the task of writing an ad to sell a new brand of car. If you are keen on being the next David Ogilvy, William Bernbachof or Leo Burnett, this is the area to specialize in. Just remember that the sole purpose of this type of writing it to sell or promote something.
See: Projectcopy.com, Awaionline.com, Contentmarketinginstitute.com
Direct mail is a specialist form of copywriting that entails communicating directly to the target customer typically through the use of a mail service, such as e-mail. This content is particularly attractive to brands and marketers because you communicate one-on-one with your target audience and it is easy to measure results. If you can create high quality promotional pieces and drive specific "calls to action" like ‘buy now’ or ‘order today,’ this is a highly lucrative niche to specialize in. Just remain as creative as you are proficient in your communication techniques.
See: The Direct Marketing Association, Awaionline.com
As the trend for online shopping continues to skyrocket, reviews continue to assume greater importance both for website owners who want to make a sale and online shoppers who want to get value for their money and/or time. If writing reviews interests you, you can specialize in reviewing or critiquing books, establishments like hotels, products like tech gadgets, travel destinations or even movies. Just remember to offer your best, honest and truly enlightening take on what you review.
See: TripAdvisor, FlavorWire, EW.com
A press release is essentially a written communication directed at reporters, editors and other members of the news media for the purpose of announcing something ostensibly newsworthy or spreading the word on topics ranging from new products and services to executive appointments. The aim is to attract favorable media attention and coverage. If you can write such content, this is an area you can focus your talents. The higher the quality of content you write, the more you enrich people’s lives and the global informational hub that is the Internet.
See: ArriveNet, PR Leap, PR Web
Read Also: 4 Things You Should Know About Web Readers
Image via iStockphoto/Thinkstock
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Ever wonder what it really takes to make a living as a creative person in today's complicated world?
MacLeod presents some witty keys for creative success, including "ignore everybody. Why should you "ignore everybody"?
Because, he writes, nobody else can tell you whether your idea is worthwhile. People can give you advice, but at the end of the day, it's your decision. The more original an idea, the less helpful the advice is going to be.
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