Hiring a Copywriter Could be Your Smartest Business Decision

January 15, 2013 by  
Filed under Coaching, Copywriting

As a business owner, you likely wear many hats, some of which you’re uniquely qualified to put on, others that are a little – or maybe a big – stretch. However, there is one hat many business owners, especially new ones, wear (often in the hopes of saving money) that often unwittingly hurts their business. That hat is Copywriter.

Speaking from experience, it’s often hard for us, as business owners, to write effectively about our own businesses. This could be because we’re too close to it. It could be because we’re not sure how to write and we end up focusing too much on ourselves and not enough on the potential customer. Whatever the reason, it’s not your fault. Unless you’re a trained copywriter, there are things about writing for businesses that you’re just not going to know.

While not knowing how to write enticing copy is an issue, another area to consider is time. While it’s true you are the expert in your business, putting your effort toward writing a website, sales copy, autoresponder copy, etc. is probably not the best use of your limited time. And if writing is painful for you, then outsourcing the task to a professional who lives to write and loves it seems like a no-brainer.

Getting those tasks that will provide a foundation for your business done should be directed to people who can do them best. In this case, looking for a competent copywriter to take the writing off your shoulders should be the first priority.

“But copywriters are expensive!” When you hire a professional for the service they provide, there is a fee. The same is true of copywriters. But they aren’t created equal, so it pays to shop around, do some interviews and discover the person with just the right stuff for your business. The fee you pay them to write is an investment in your business, nothing more. It’s like buying pencils…on steroids. If you’re truly concerned about the cost, take time to do a cost/benefit analysis. Calculate how many sales it will take to recoup the money you could pay to a copywriter. Compare that cost to the time (in dollars) it will take you to write your copy instead. And be honest with yourself. The results might surprise you.

A talented copywriter can take ho-hum copy and transform it into words that not only sell but sing to your current and prospective customers. But it’s not just about making copy sound good – it’s about writing messages that create intrigue, develop desire and spark curiosity. In short, well-crafted copy spurs action – whether it’s to click a button, pick up the phone, walk into an establishment or place an order. The right words set your company apart from your competition in a good way.

Sometimes hiring a copywriter means she will simply enhance what you’ve already written. She can massage your words taking them from a rougher form and polishing them to say exactly what your potential customers are needing and wanting to hear. Hiring a copywriter can take your business copy to this:

Why everyone is talking about Jane Doe!

Jane Doe, a world renowned and certified professional coach, has an enduring passion in assisting individuals and groups to achieve an enhanced life experience. She has many proven formulas to ensure success at each and every level of life’s experience. She is legendary for her masterful approaches to resistance and change:

  • EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) She is adept at this 
  • NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) One of her specialties 
  • Guided Visualizations or Imageries- extremely helpful if you are entering the hospital, or an unfamiliar experience 
  • Mindfulness– Very popular 
  • Meditation– Very practical to know for everything from a-z 
  • Positive self talk and alignment as well as affirmations 
  • Coaching– a holistic approach 

Her clients will attest these methods have aided in personal and professional challenges in their lives.

From this:

Jane Doe is a certified professional coach whose passion is to help individuals and groups to achieve Better Life Performance. She uses methods and practices including coaching, EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques), NLP (neuro-linguistic programming), guided visualizations, mindfulness, meditation and positive self-talk among others. These help clients resolve issues around personal and professional challenges in their lives.

Copywriters are trained to find just the right words to describe your business and you. Sometimes it takes research, brainstorming and old-fashioned trial-and-error to get it just so, but that’s what copywriters do day in and day out. In short, you can skimp on other parts of your business that your potential clients and customers never see. But you can’t skimp on the writing – it’s front and center all day, every day and speaks volumes about your business. What message and image do you want your business copy to convey?

 

5 Tips on how to have a “STICKY” website! Keep your readers engaged for longer!

November 15, 2012 by  
Filed under Coaching, Copywriting, Online Marketing

Writing copy for your website should be really simple and easy. After all, you’re the expert in your business, right?

The trouble is, you’re the expert in your business, which means you know way more than the average potential customer is going to want to know. Many business owners make the mistake of giving away too much information…or not enough. Either way, the result is the same – website visitors come, read a bit and leave, never to be seen again.

So how do you write successful web copy? Below are some of the guidelines I use when I write for clients.

Unveil trade secrets to make readers stick to your website like glue?

  • The Headline is the critical factor that gets readers to pay attention to your page in the first place.  If you say something like “Welcome to my website,” it is the death knell of headlines and will have the readers fleeing from boredom.  Your headline needs to be benefit oriented and promote curiosity.  “When Doctors have headaches what do they do,” is an outstanding example of a headline that peaks curiosity.  It makes people get into a “dying-to-know” knee jerk reactionBrainstorm your headlines until you have come up with at least fifty and then narrow them down.
  • Next, you want your reader to stay on your website so you must have riveting writing.  How do you become different?  How can you be persuasive and compelling?  If your text is a train wreck it isn’t going to matter what your headline is.  Text is what sells.  Not pictures or graphics, but words in the right order.

The first rule of thumb is to write in benefits rich language and not focus on features.   So a feature sounds like this.  “A cell phone is small and fits in your pocket.”  A benefit statement however… “ a cell phone can find you in an emergency.”  There was a brilliant marketer named Theodore Levitt who was quoted as saying, “People don’t want a quarter inch drill, they want a quarter inch hole.”  If you have a long list of features it will create a yawn fest and the reader will most likely move on.

Convince people you are who you say you are.  Add some vulnerability about yourself and let them identify with you.    On my About page at my website for an example, I relate how I struggled in the beginning.

Engage the customers by talking about them at least 50% of the time.  Do you know the acronym WIIFM– No I am not cursing!  It means “What’s In It for me?”  Customers don’t want to read about how great you are and how many awards you have won.  Instead of saying “I have blah blah blah,” change it to “Do you need blah, blah blah?”

  • Saying it so they can hear it – You can write all kinds of pretty words, but if it’s not in the language of your potential customers, they will never read them. Get to know your customers through the way they talk and express themselves. Play with wording so that it reflects that expression and you’ll have a much easier time of getting them to stay on your site. This also includes the keywords they might use to seek out someone who offers what you do. By using familiar language, you’ll have an immediate impact on your potential customers because they’ll feel as if you already know them.
  • Discover how to increase readership by 30%.  Have a picture of yourself on your About page.  Your About page should answer the 5 W’s.  Who, What, Where, When and Why.  Why did you start your business, Who are you, What is it about, Where is it, and When did you start it.  Your customers love to know more about the person and company they are doing business with.  It makes them feel close and will make them want to order from you or visit you.
  • Give a call to Action- You need to tell the customer what to do next.  Your action button needs to adhere to the proven 4 B’s- Bold, Brilliant, Big and Blatantly Obvious!  Recent studies have concluded the words “click” and “submit” underperform words like “Download Now” or “Register Now”.

These might seem like simple things, but combined, they create potent copy that converts. And that’s the whole point isn’t it?

 

Writing Successful Web Copy

September 1, 2012 by  
Filed under Coaching, Copywriting

Writing copy for your website should be really simple and easy. After all, you’re the expert in your business, right?

The trouble is, you’re the expert in your business, which means you know way more than the average potential customer is going to want to know. Many business owners make the mistake of giving away too much information…or not enough. Either way, the result is the same – website visitors come, read a bit and leave, never to be seen again.

So how do you write successful web copy? Below are some of the guidelines I use when I write for clients.

Copy that doesn’t describe immediately – the death knell for websites is the line “Welcome to our website.” Really, thanks, but I was here for X and you don’t seem to offer that. <Cue the click away> Website copy must be scannable and offer value in the content. You have only seconds to make an impression, so hit them with your best stuff early and often.

WIIFM – No, I’m not cursing. That’s the acronym for “What’s in it for me?” the question your site visitors are asking as they scan your web pages. If you can&rs quo;t answer that fundamental question quickly, your visitors will be gone just as fast. So be sure to highlight the value your business brings to customers and how it helps them (read:  solves their problems). Real life examples are good bets. If you’re still not sure, see my post on features and benefits.

Saying it so they can hear it – You can write all kinds of pretty words, but if it’s not in the language of your potential customers, they will never read them. Get to know your customers through the way they talk and express themselves. Play with wording so that it reflects that expression and you’ll have a much easier time of getting them to stay on your site. This also includes the keywords they might use to seek out someone who offers what you do. By using familiar language, you’ll have an immediate impact on your potential cus tomers because they’ll feel as if you already know them.

Action! – Website visitors aren’t stupid, but they might not know what to do once they get to your site. So, after you’ve explained yourself, tell them what to do next. They won’t get mad at you for giving them a bit of direction. If you present a call to action, your potential customers are more likely to get what they want – and so are you. Don’t forget this critical step or you’ll lose people. And you rarely get a second chance to give them what they want.

These might seem like simple things, but combined, they create potent copy that converts. And that’s the whole point isn’t it?

Is your copyright up to date?

July 3, 2012 by  
Filed under Coaching, Copywriting, Online Marketing

I have a quick tip for you today, and it might be something you haven’t considered in a while.

Is your copyright up to date?

While it may not be fancy, or new, checking that the copyright date on your website, articles and marketing
materials is up to date and says 2012 is a quick and easy way to:

1. Show visitors that your site is current. You don’t want people to find your great site, only to see an old copyright date and wonder if the material is current or not.

2. Even more importantly, it helps protect you from having your material stolen and used without your consent.

Take a few minutes right now to check that your copyright is up to date on all your materials.

© 2012 Sarah Wood

 About the Author: 

Sarah Wood, also known as the “Magic Pen,” and author of “How to turn a No or a Maybe into a Yes” and producer of “Magnetic Phrases,” is a copy enhancer/ writer who transforms copy on your website into sexy and sizzling from boring and blah. For a list of testimonials go to her website and check out her long list of happy customers at www.evolvingadvisors.com . She is also a marketing strategist at overcoming objections for coaches, mentors, real estate agents and entrepreneurs. In her spare time, she spoils her three cats and one dog and she is an avid belly dancer in the ancient folkloric genre, you would be most familiar with.

Writing successful web copy that sells

June 14, 2012 by  
Filed under Coaching, Copywriting, Online Marketing

Writing copy for your website should be really simple and easy. After all, you’re the expert in your business, right?

The trouble is, you’re the expert in your business, which means you know way more than the average potential customer is going to want to know. Many business owners make the mistake of giving away too much information…or not enough. Either way, the result is the same – website visitors come, read a bit and leave, never to be seen again.

So how do you write successful web copy? Below are some of the guidelines I use when I write for clients.

Copy that doesn’t describe immediately – the death knell for websites is the line “Welcome to our website.” Really, thanks, but I was here for X and you don’t seem to offer that. <Cue the click away> Website copy must be scannable and offer value in the content. You have only seconds to make an impression, so hit them with your best stuff early and often.

WIIFM – No, I’m not cursing. That’s the acronym for “What’s in it for me?” the question your site visitors are asking as they scan your web pages. If you can’t answer that fundamental question quickly, your visitors will be gone just as fast. So be sure to highlight the value your business brings to customers and how it helps them (read:  solves their problems). Real life examples are good bets. If you’re still not sure, see my post on features and benefits.

Saying it so they can hear it – You can write all kinds of pretty words, but if it’s not in the language of your potential customers, they will never read them. Get to know your customers through the way they talk and express themselves. Play with wording so that it reflects that expression and you’ll have a much easier time of getting them to stay on your site. This also includes the keywords they might use to seek out someone who offers what you do. By using familiar language, you’ll have an immediate impact on your potential customers because they’ll feel as if you already know them.

Action! – Website visitors aren’t stupid, but they might not know what to do once they get to your site. So, after you’ve explained yourself, tell them what to do next. They won’t get mad at you for giving them a bit of direction. If you present a call to action, your potential customers are more likely to get what they want – and so are you. Don’t forget this critical step or you’ll lose people. And you rarely get a second chance to give them what they want.

These might seem like simple things, but combined, they create potent copy that converts. And that’s the whole point isn’t it?

 

© 2012 Sarah Wood

 About the Author: 

Sarah Wood, also known as the “Magic Pen,” and author of “How to turn a No or a Maybe into a Yes” and producer of “Magnetic Phrases,” is a copy enhancer/ writer who transforms copy on your website into sexy and sizzling from boring and blah. For a list of testimonials go to her website and check out her long list of happy customers at www.evolvingadvisors.com . She is also a marketing strategist at overcoming objections for coaches, mentors, real estate agents and entrepreneurs. In her spare time, she spoils her three cats and one dog and she is an avid belly dancer in the ancient folkloric genre, you would be most familiar with.

Selling prospects with your copy

May 29, 2012 by  
Filed under Coaching, Copywriting, Online Marketing

Websites are great business tools. They never call in sick; get a bad attitude or show up for work late. Available 24/7, your website sells for you when you’re off dreaming about your next vacation or that new car you want to buy. Your website is your sales partner. And a well-written one is worth its weight in the traffic it brings to you that will hopefully turn into more sales for your business.

Want to know how to craft a well-written website? Keep reading!

Be relatable

Demonstrate that you understand their pain and needs. Empathize without sounding preachy, condescending or too mushy. Your prospects need to see that you understand them and that you have the solution to their problem. Telling stories, providing testimonials and even sharing your own story can help readers relate to you. Once they feel they know who you are, you become more of a trusted advisor than simply a business.

Show your cards

Be upfront and honest – no one wants to feel as if they’re dealing with a less-than-stellar character. This doesn’t mean give away trade secrets, but it does speak to being transparent in your business dealings. Nobody likes to feel uncomfortable, so use words and descriptions that will ease their minds and bring them in closer.

It’s all about the benefits

This is the “what’s in it for me?” question. If you can’t answer this, you will lose potential customers. Focus on them and the benefits they will derive by working with you and less on the features of what you offer. If you answer their need and solve their problem, they won’t likely be as interested in the minutiae of your offering.

Address those inevitable objections

You probably have heard a multitude of objections if you’ve been in business for a while. Be proactive and address them before your prospect brings one or more of them up. This does two things – it reduces their concern about buying from you and it supports the “Show your cards” point above.

Introduce the “Buy” sooner than later

If you’re writing a sales letter, don’t put the “buy” button only at the end. Intersperse it so a quick-decision person can buy faster and not feel as if he must read all the way through your long copy in order to find the buy button. He could doze off in the process or worse, leave your page out of boredom or frustration.

Create urgency around your offer

If you want to sell a lot of anything, creating urgency is the way to do it. But don’t go crazy with it. Everyone seems to be creating urgency these days, so don’t be too over-the-top with what you say. A simple way to create urgency is to offer a limited number at a lower price. Or put a deadline in place. Some personality types will never respond to an urgent offer. However, the majority of people will be swayed by a call to action with an urgent tone.

Make your copy easy to read

Long paragraphs and big words will scare people away. This isn’t saying they’re dumb, but easy-to-skim and easily digestible copy is the best way to get and keep someone’s attention. Utilizing short paragraphs with bolding and infrequent use of colorful text creates visual breaks. Images also help to tell the story and give the eyes a rest from the written word.

A copy enhancer can make your website sing!

If the thought of writing doesn’t scare you, but you’re not sure you write well enough for your audience, consider hiring a copy enhancer to take your copy from off-key to in tune with your readers. As a copy enhancer, I use your words to make sure you’re conveying your message clearly, concisely and in a way that resonates with your audience. Your copy sounds like you because you wrote it. All I do is spruce it up so it has the impact you want it to make.

Contact me to learn more about copy enhancement and how it can take your words from weak to wow!

 

© 2012 Sarah Wood

 About the Author: 

Sarah Wood, also known as the “Magic Pen,” and author of “How to turn a No or a Maybe into a Yes” and producer of “Magnetic Phrases,” is a copy enhancer/ writer who transforms copy on your website into sexy and sizzling from boring and blah. For a list of testimonials go to her website and check out her long list of happy customers at www.evolvingadvisors.com . She is also a marketing strategist at overcoming objections for coaches, mentors, real estate agents and entrepreneurs.


Would you buy from you?

Having a poorly written homepage is akin to showing up for a swanky first date in shorts and flip-flops. It just doesn’t fly.

You have only seconds to make a good first impression with your website’s homepage before that infamous song by The Clash – Should I Stay or Should I Go starts ringing in your visitors’ collective heads.

If you’d like them to run, run away fast, do these five things. Guaranteed, this will make people not only exit your site quickly, but ensure you make no sales.

Talk only about you and what you can do for them – Have you ever been with someone who talks only about him or herself? It’s somewhat annoying, isn’t it? If you want to alienate your readers, talk only about what your business does, how many widgets you provide, how long you’ve been in business, how great you are…. You’ll definitely see your bounce rate go up. (Note: This isn’t a good thing.)

Push the “Buy” button at them too soon – Have you ever bought a car from a sleazy car salesperson? That’s what pushing the buy button too soon reminds people of. Don’t be so desperate that you ask for a deal consummation when you haven’t even gotten through “hello.”

Say the same thing, just differently – There are no prizes for lengthy web pages, so if you must ramble on, do so by adding value and new information, don’t simply repeat the same thing in a slightly different way. But if you really want to bore your visitors, keep repeating yourself.

Market to the world – Don’t know who your target audience is? No problem. Just sell yourself to everyone. The perfect people will filter themselves out, right? Wrong. Marketing to the world doesn’t work. Until you realize this, you will leave sales on the table and frustrate potential customers.

Be boring – Droning on and on in your copy will put people to sleep. This will improve your bounce rate, but only because they’ve passed out before they click away from your site. This doesn’t mean be someone you’re not, but at least have engaging copy that is interesting and mildly entertaining.

If you’re not sure your homepage copy is doing its job, let me help. I’m a copy enhancer – someone who can take your existing words and make them sparkle. It’s taking your words and making them better, stronger, faster. Kind of like making them bionic.

Contact me for more information on how together we can take your homepage from basic to brilliant!

 

© 2012 Sarah Wood

 About the Author: 

Sarah Wood, also known as the “Magic Pen,” and author of “How to turn a No or a Maybe into a Yes” and producer of “Magnetic Phrases,” is a copy enhancer/ writer who transforms copy on your website into sexy and sizzling from boring and blah. For a list of testimonials go to her website and check out her long list of happy customers at www.evolvingadvisors.com . She is also a marketing strategist at overcoming objections for coaches, mentors, real estate agents and entrepreneurs.


Selling Features through Benefits

May 9, 2012 by  
Filed under Coaching, Copywriting, Sales Training

It’s the age-old conundrum. You have a business. It has some cool things about it – such as, it’s open 24-hours, has widgets in hundreds of colors or has the lowest prices – guaranteed. All these are great to know, but if that’s what you focus on in your business copy, the only sounds you’ll hear in your business will be crickets. No ringing phone, no email inbox dings. Nothing. If you focus on features, you won’t compel anyone to buy because no one buys on features. Remember – features tell, benefits sell.

That time worn phrase is likely repeated in every sales copywriting class. If you’re not able to help readers (I mean potential buyers) see the value of your product or service in what it can do for them, you’ll lose them after only a few sentences. Here’s something else to keep in mind:

People don’t want a ¼” drill; they want a ¼” hole.” ~ Theodore Levitt

But distinguishing features from benefits often instills angst and consternation because the differences may not be obvious. And it’s not just the newbie copywriters who get it wrong. Even seasoned marketers confuse features and benefits. Honestly, I think they might get a little bit lazy in their thinking. Writing about features is so much easier, after all.

If writing about features is easy, then thinking them up should be downright simplistic. Listing features is a great place to start because it gets your mind thinking about your product or service, and you will do a little magic with those features to *poof!* turn them into benefits.

How? By adding these two words after a feature statement – “which means…” leads you to the benefit statement. Let’s look at an example.

Product: Weight loss shakes

Feature Benefit
Comes in 3 delicious flavors which means… you don’t have to endure a yucky-tasting drink
Mixes with milk or water which means… you can adjust the product to fit your lifestyle
Replaces one meal per day which means… it’s not intrusive to use and is easy

It seems simple, right? The key to discovering why your customers and clients really buy from you is in how you utilize the “which means” as you filter through your features. It’s not enough to do it once as shown above. By repeating “which means” after each response, you’ll begin to drill down to the real reasons people use your product or service.

Take the first statement again: Comes in 3 delicious flavors which means you don’t have to endure a yucky-tasting drink which means you’ll be more likely to stick with the plan which means you’ll lose weight more quickly which means you’ll feel better sooner which means you’ll get healthier faster. Ergo – Comes in 3 delicious flavors which means you’ll get healthier faster.

By meeting customers in their space of need/want/desire versus telling them all the features that may or may not be important to them, you’ll reach not only their ears and hearts, but their pocketbooks as well…which means you’ll enjoy a larger payday and a bigger customer base.

 

© 2012 Sarah Wood

 About the Author: 
Sarah Jo Wood is founder of Evolving Advisors Inc., author of ‘How to turn a No or a Maybe into a Yes!” , and producer of “Magnetic Phrases.” Her forte is in copy enhancment, a gift allowing her to enhance already written copy thereby keeping the owner’s original voice, while magnetizing and making the copy sizzle with persuasion at a fraction of the cost of a copywriter. She can be found at www.evolvingadvisors.com

The Secrets to Writing Great Copy for your Business Today

April 27, 2012 by  
Filed under Coaching, Copywriting, Online Marketing

If you don’t think you’re a good writer, then you might prefer having a root canal to writing for your business. But never fear – there are ways to get around your writing demons.

What’s in it for me?

The first and probably most important thing to keep in mind is that your potential customers want to know “what’s in it for me?” Any copy that focuses everything on you, your business, what you do, how you do it, isn’t going to answer that question. Filling a prospect’s head with all the features you offer, with no benefits for them, will have them clicking away to find someone who “gets” them.

Here’s how you tap into the “What’s in it for me?” question:

  • Think about the questions customers ask you most often about your business. Answer them.
  • Ask the customers who love you why they love you (and your business, presumably).
  • What problems do you solve?

Simply by focusing on these three areas, you can generate several article, web copy and, perhaps, even whitepaper ideas. Remember, the focus is on Them, not You.

Natural keyword use

We’ve all heard that to show up in search engines we must use keywords and phrases. But when you force keywords into paragraphs, called keyword stuffing, the result can be stilted, hard-to-read copy. This is not what you’re going for – and you can be penalized by search engines for appearing to pander to them. Instead, think of your ideal client and write for him or her. After finishing your copy, go back and decide where keywords can be inserted logically and smoothly. This usually involves simple word replacement.

Simpler is better

Newer writers tend to expand their copy by adding adjectives and adverbs that increase word count but often do little to improve the text. This doesn’t mean all adjectives and adverbs are bad, it means that writers use them as filler to plump copy. Don’t do this. Write what you’re thinking in the least flowery way possible. You can always go back through your text and insert things to spice it up.

This is especially important when writing web copy. Visitors to your site won’t take the time to read a long treatise. They want to skim and learn the gist of your piece quickly. If they can’t do that, they will move on. The use of paragraph breaks, bullet points and short sentences also contribute to keeping readers engaged.

Misteps, misteaks and misspelings

Yes, I know that the three words above are spelled incorrectly. But I often read articles, blog posts and websites where there are glaring errors. I can’t help but wonder if the owner didn’t think that spellchecking was important. Don’t publish with errors in your copy! It reflects badly on you and your business.

Consider hiring a copy enhancer

Copywriters can be expensive because they write from scratch. If you’re inclined to write for your business, but unsure that you can produce quality copy, then consider hiring a copy enhancer and skip the copywriter. I don’t write your copy for you, but I do read it thoroughly to determine areas that need attention – and then I give it. I use your words, only better.

Contact me to learn more about copy enhancement and how it can take your words from weak to wow!

 

© 2012 Sarah Wood

 About the Author: 
Sarah Jo Wood is founder of Evolving Advisors Inc., author of ‘How to turn a No or a Maybe into a Yes!” , and producer of “Magnetic Phrases.” Her forte is in copy enhancment, a gift allowing her to enhance already written copy thereby keeping the owner’s original voice, while magnetizing and making the copy sizzle with persuasion at a fraction of the cost of a copywriter. She can be found at www.evolvingadvisors.com

Don’t Leave Your Web Copy Writing to Amateurs

April 18, 2012 by  
Filed under Coaching, Copywriting, Online Marketing

We’ve all seen them. Those websites that might have a snazzy design, navigate well and seem so put together. They might even elicit an audible, “Wow!” at first glance.

And then you start reading the home page. Suddenly, none of the other stuff matters. Nothing – no snappy java script, no fun graphics, no interesting topics can overcome a poorly written website. Nothing.

If you’re not able to convey your ideas in a concise, clear and understandable way, your website visitors won’t be able to understand what you’re offering. And that’s not a good thing because the point of your website is to gain visitors and potential customers.

Copywriting for the webMost of the time when I visit poorly written websites, it’s because the business owner either wrote the copy him or herself, had a family member or friend write it or made the mistake of hiring a bargain basement writer for the task. The words in your website are at least as (and I’d say more) important than anything else a site visitor can see.

You can get away with a less-than-stellar design. You can get away with a bare-bones website. But you can’t get away with misspellings, sentences that don’t make sense and choppy, disjointed paragraphs. People simply won’t stay.

Another issue I see frequently is not that copy is bad, but that it doesn’t compel action. Business websites typically exist to do more than be an online brochure. You want your visitors to be interested in what you’re doing so much so that they willingly sign up for your email list. They willingly visit interior pages on your site. They willingly pick up the phone and call you or ask for information another way. Well-written web copy weaves a story and leads visitors down a path toward…something.

Think of it this way. If you invite a guest over to your home, you probably wouldn’t leave them to fend for themselves – to figure out where the kitchen or bathroom is and where the party’s happening. You’d welcome them happily, explain or show them your home and lead them to the event location. The same is true for your website. Don’t let your visitors fend for themselves. Lead them to where you want them to go. This reduces the chance of having visitors come, see a bit and leave without leaving a trace of themselves behind. How do you do this? With well-written web content.

Even if you’re a good writer, you’ll want to at least hire a competent editor to review your copy. It helps if they have a copy editing background or, at the very least, a sales background. Editors tend to be less expensive than copywriters or even content writers, so if you enjoy writing (and are fairly good at it), you can avoid their higher fees.

The point is this. You wouldn’t want to take your car to an amateur mechanic who doesn’t know what he’s doing. So why leave your website in the hands of an amateur writer? Your website visitors deserve to be treated as the gems they are – and we all know you don’t get a second chance to make a good first impression.

 

© 2012 Sarah Wood

 About the Author: 
Sarah Jo Wood is founder of Evolving Advisors Inc. and author of ‘How to turn a No or a Maybe into a Yes!”  And producer of “Magnetic Phrases.” Her forte is in copy enhancment, a gift allowing her to enhance already written copy thereby keeping the owner’s original voice, while magnetizing and making the copy sizzle with persuasion at a fraction of the cost of a copywriter. She can be found atwww.evolvingadvisors.com

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