If you’ve been working online with freelance writing jobs for a while, you’ve probably discovered how challenging work/life balance can be. Many of us build up our freelancing credentials specifically to live a more flexible lifestyle, but if you don’t stay on top of it, your mountain of work can quickly become an avalanche whenever anything (health concerns, kids, holidays, a lack of coffee in the kitchen) shakes it.
I want to share a secret for getting to that balance, maintaining a steady income and enjoying your freelance lifestyle more: Online product description writing jobs.
What Are Product Description Writer Jobs?
Writing product descriptions involves describing products and services in a way that encourages someone’s interest in buying it. It’s a form of marketing writing, and typically requires you to understand the basics of feature/benefit writing.
Some brands have a staff writer or team that creates product descriptions for all their products. Smaller companies often find it more economical to outsource their PDs to freelance writers, though. And larger brands may have such a huge catalog that it’s simply not feasible for a small team to complete unique PDs for every product — these companies often outsource product descriptions online with companies like Crowd Content.
Online Product Description Writing Jobs: The Little Secret to a Big Payday
Product description writing jobs usually range from around 50 to 200 words. For the freelance writer who knows how to turn a smart marketing phrase, a 50 or 100 word PD can take literally minutes to write. And since PDs don’t generally require a ton of research (especially if you’re writing about products you’re familiar with), you don’t have to commit a huge amount of time to complete a few of these jobs.
The short length makes PDs a stellar content writing job for freelancers with busy lifestyles or lots of at-home obligations. PDs are also a great “filler” between larger jobs. You can commit to completing a good number of PDs each week, even if you plan on slotting them in between article tasks or housekeeping duty.
And once you learn the ropes of marketing writing, you may find that PDs take less brain power than thought-leadership posts, so you can work on them once you start to hit the 3:00 wall (whatever time that may be for you).
The overall result of working product description writing jobs into your routine is a bigger pay check without a lot of the hassle that comes from committing to longer jobs. Plus, if you can land a spot on PD writing teams, you can access regular work without making those commitments to begin with.
7 Tips for Completing Product Description Writing Jobs Like a Pro
So, how do you land and keep product description clients? The TL;DR is: Do a good job on every task. The seven tips below help you do that.
1. Perfect Feature/Benefit Writing
The freelance writer role with PDs is to make the product sound enticing. A straight up description doesn’t get the job done. Consider these two examples describing a shirt.
- This shirt is blue. It has a white flower and the words “Flower Power” on the front. It is a size medium and is made out of soft cotton.
- Display your love of nature with this Flower Power t-shirt. The soft cotton material feels great all day, and the white flower pops from the bright blue background, ensuring a cheerful look. Pair this size medium shirt with jeans or dress it up with a cute skirt.
The second PD employs feature/benefit writing. It links a benefit to each of the features so the reader can better imagine themselves wearing and using the shirt. It’s also less boring and humdrum than the first description.
You simply can’t succeed with PD writing jobs if you don’t know how to write feature/benefit.
2. Write Unique Content
Clients are paying for unique content for their PDs, which means you can’t plagiarize (even yourself) and should avoid boilerplating.
Most freelance writers understand how to avoid plagiarism. Don’t copy more than a couple words from any source, including yourself. When you write a lot of PDs about very similar items, that can get more difficult. I recommend choosing different types of things to write about or stepping away and coming back later if you feel yourself struggling for unique words after writing 17 PDs for picture frames that only differ in size or color.
Boilerplating is the little sister of plagiarism. It’s when you present the same information with a lot of the same verbiage in the same order. For example, if you wrote a PD for one of those frames, then simply swapped out the details (such as size, color and material) for the next PD, that would be boilerplating. Don’t do that.
3. Start With Products You Know About
Speed up your writing process by starting with products you know about. It’s easier to describe benefits when you have experience with the goods. Slowly integrate other types of products, doing research to understand them, to expand the products you’re comfortable writing about.
If you take on 50 product descriptions at a time for products you know nothing about, you may find that they take too long to write and your hourly earnings tank.
4. Read and Follow Instructions Diligently
This is freelance 101: Not every client has the same type or preferences. Read and follow instructions to ensure you’re using the right grammar style guide, including the right information and keywords and using calls to action and other tools appropriately.
5. Understand the Target Audience
Part of the tasks instructions should include the target audience, and if you’re not sure, it’s worth getting clarification from the client. The target audience can drastically change how you write a PD.
For example, imagine writing a product description for a computer. The types of features and benefits you highlight should be different when writing for a small business audience versus a gamer audience.
6. Pay Attention to Logical Sentence Structure
Logic problems come up a lot in product description writing for several reasons:
- Writers are often writing multiple PDs about similar items, so they’re struggling to come up with varied ways of saying the same thing
- Marketing writing lends to creativity, and fun turns of phrase can get away from you
- Trying to get a lot of detail into a short PD can lead to common logic issues such as misplaced modifiers
Proof every PD to ensure you haven’t written something that sounds silly, could be confusing or puts the subject in the wrong place.
7. Get the Details Right
Finally, take a little time to ensure you get the details right. Double check that you’re writing about the correct product, that you’re not including any features that aren’t actually available and that you spelled the product and brand names correctly.
Learning how to win at product description writing jobs helps you keep your queues (and coffers) full. If you’re not already writing PDs for teams at Crowd Content, sign up for an account and check out some of the work opportunities in the Apply for Work tab of the writer dashboard.