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

Comments

4 Responses to “Don’t Leave Your Web Copy Writing to Amateurs”
  1. Hi! I know this is kind of off-topic however
    I had to ask. Does operating a well-established website such as yours take a
    large amount of work? I’m completely new to running a blog but I do write in my diary on a daily basis. I’d like to start a blog so I can easily share my own experience and thoughts online. Please let me know if you have any suggestions or tips for brand new aspiring blog owners. Thankyou!

    • Sarah says:

      It can be time consuming but after you get in the habit of doing it, it takes less time. I do have a virtual assistant who posts the blogposts for me which does save me time. If you are already writing in your journal, than you are miles ahead of everyone else. Good for you.

  2. David says:

    How right you are. It’s as if you read my mind and wrote this blog post!

    To some extent, style over substance seems to be the rule of the day. I see a lot of pretty websites with “oh wow” effects, but the content seemingly out of place.

    I was an antique era mainframe applications designer when all we had was a computer screen that displayed 23 lines by 80 character text based content.

    All the snazzy web technology in the world won’t make you a dime if the words don’t answer the visitor’s reasons for showing up.

    • Sarah says:

      Thank you for your response, it sounds like you have been around technology for a long time and seen it all. I think you are complimenting me, so I will say thank you.

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