Let’s face it. Writing content for your website is not very high on the excitement list.
Right up there with preparing your tax return OR cleaning the garage.
Both very important things to do. But are usually deferred until one can no longer avoid it.
So why is content collation such a painful experience?
The reason being is requires a fair amount of self reflection. Drawing a line in the sand and stating:
- What your business actually does
- How do you put dollars into a bank account and make a profit
- Who you do this work for
Surprisingly, not many people are crystal clear on this.
So when clients start on the website design process, and we prompt them for the finalised copy for the site things tend to stall.
In fact, waiting for content it typically the number one delay in the whole process of building a website.
But don’t despair, it doesn’t have to be this way. Here are some tips to get around these difficulties.
1. EMPLOY A COPYWRITER
Copywriters are truly magical, pipe smoking geniuses.
Using their highly persuasive skills they are able to extract the words required with surgical precision. They come in from an outside perspective without the same fog that most business owners carry around (being too close to their product or service). By asking a bunch of really good, strategic questions about your business, the copywriter is able to get the info they need and present it in such a way that it make sense.
By doing the research, critical thinking and grunt work, they should be able to produce a cohesive set of copy that forms the basis of your new website.
Average time should take 2-3 weeks (dependent on the volume of copy).
Investment ranges from $1-3K (dependent on the experience of the copywriter).
2. GET IT DONE YOURSELF
Most business owners are very busy people. We get that.
But writing comes down to priorities. And if the website is important to you, it means prioritising the content collation and writing process. Otherwise your project will stall.
Lock yourself in a room. Get it done. We won’t lie. There is no easy way around this.
You will be pleasantly surprised to find that you may have a lot of the content already drafted in:
- Business plans
- Existing marketing collateral
- Proposals or tender documents
- Internal training documents
Whatever it takes, drop it into a document. Then refine from there. It will quickly come together.
Get an external set of eyes on it. Delegate to your colleagues, wife or babysitter.
Whatever you need to do, just get it done. Your website designer will love you for it.
HOW TO STRUCTURE YOUR WEBSITE COPY
The formula of the copy doesn’t need to be that complicated.
Most content blocks consist of the following:
- Paragraph of Text
- Call to Action
Here is a real life example of a project we are working on:
Primary heading: Welcome to Villa Damai
Sub-heading: Ubud’s peaceful house
Copy: Villa Damai is an exquisite piece of Balinese paradise. For over twenty years I’ve enjoyed the serenity and peace it’s provided, allowing me to balance and reconnect. Now I’m handing it over so you can make your own.
Image: Use image of side of house
Call to Action: Check Availability
Below is how this was presented on screen:
Using the above example, a good designer doesn’t need a great amount of content. In fact, less is more. Focus on what is important, eliminate the superfluous. Users tend to scan and will certainly not read great reams of text.
THE ROUND UP
If you want the copy created for the site with the least amount of pain, our recommendation is to pay the money and hire a professional copywriter.
Alternatively, get in there and get it done. Version 1 may not be perfect but it is a start. You can refine and improve over time. Anything step forward is better than no step forward.