I’ve been building websites for over two decades, and delivering content is where I frequently see clients get stalled.
Hiring a professional copywriter is a great way to build content on your site that will result in real customer acquisition. Even so, you may not be at a point where you have the budget for it, and even if you do, the most talented copywriter is not a mind reader, so you will have to provide them with some basic information. No matter what, content creation will have to involve some homework on your part.
KEEP IT SIMPLEThe little blurbs of text that are prevalent on most websites seem so simple! As one of my long-time mentors, Barbara Nessim, used to tell me: “Simple is not Easy!” Don’t confuse the two! Omit needless words, and get down to the essence of your message. Each blurb should be no more than 3 or 4 sentences. If you find you really need more, then break it up with “subheads” – mini-headlines that lead you into the following paragraph’s subject.
WHITE PAGE SYNDROMEThe important thing is to get started. Get the words down on paper (or screen), and then you can work on editing it down. Many people know how to talk about their business, but when it comes to writing it down, that bright white, blank page staring back at them seems paralyzing! One method to get started that I have found helpful is to say it out loud. Record it on your phone. It’s OK to speak in fragments, as if you were having a conversation.
Here’s a breakdown of the main pages most websites have as a base, and what kind of content you’ll need to write for them:
HOME PAGE:Write a brief statement about who you serve, what you do, and what you want your visitors to do there.
What you want visitors to do there is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT! This is called the “Call To Action”, or “CTA”, and creating your Home page without it would be like having a store without a cash register! Your CTA can be as general as “Contact Us for a quote/free consultation” leading to a contact form, or as specific as a “Subscribe to our online yoga classes” button that leads to payment processing and enrollment.
ABOUT PAGE:Elaborate on your ideal client. If you have more than one category, break it up into a paragraph for each client type.
Tell a little about your story: how you began and how you got to this point. Include qualifications and education, but keep it short. No more than 3 paragraphs here. It may sound harsh, but people want to hear about themselves, not you. They want know that you are professional and capable, but beyond that, they really want to know that you understand what they need.
Make sure the end of the story addresses the “Pain Points” of your clients (a “Pain Point” is the difficulty or challenge that is foremost in a client’s mind).
CONTACT PAGE:If you’re going to have a newsletter, (which I strongly recommend), set up a Mailchimp (or other email marketing platform) account and make sure you have a mailing list opt-in check box on your contact form. Provide an incentive to join, like a free download of your best tips & tricks, or a Guide that has to do with your product or service.
Write the response your visitor receives once they have hit “Send”. This can be as simple as “Thanks for contacting us. We will get back to you within 24 hrs” or “Success! Your free Guide is on it’s way to your Inbox!” You get the idea.
Now that you’re equipped to make a mark on that blank page, keep the momentum going. Start thinking about imagery & where it will come from. If you will include a photo of yourself, make sure it is professional and flattering.
If you still need some guidance, contact me for a free 15 minute consultation. I’ll brainstorm with you on your specific content, and of course, I am available to write your copy and design your site if it’s what you need.
I hope you find value in this article. I welcome feedback – let me know what your challenges have been in building your website, and if you have something to share that you’ve done, I would love to hear from you!
Remember, in the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Persistence and Determination are Omnipotent.”
Your Design & Marketing Department