So you want to give DIY copywriting a go.
Well first of all, good on you.
Writing a winning website is no easy feat. And there’s a whole lot more to it than stringing a few clever sentences together.
There’s strategy, intent and research involved.
So, how can you turn your website words into customer-luring copy?
Let’s start with my top 7 DIY copywriting tips.
1. Don’t Sell
I know what you’re thinking. But if I’m not selling, what’s the point in having a website? But let me give you an example.
You know when someone knocks on your front door selling something? It really jerks your chain, doesn’t it? Or for the modern-day version, when someone unapologetically sells to you in IG DMs? It’s just a little rude.
And even if you DID want what they’re offering, you sure as heck don’t anymore.
And the same goes for your website. Pushing the sell, sell, sell narrative is old news. People want value.
If you’re selling slippers, don’t just talk about the slippers. Talk about the feeling of walking on clouds. If you’re selling hiking boots, don’t just talk about the boots. Talk about a wild adventure. If you’re selling a diary, don’t just talk about the diary. Talk about being organised and efficient.
You get the idea?
2. Narrow down your audience
Your products or services aren’t for everyone. So don’t try to appeal to everyone. This could be doing your brand more harm than good.
For example, if you wanted to tame your frizzy hair, would you buy the frizz-control shampoo? Or the shampoo for everyone?
The frizz-control, right?
By talking to the exact people who want your product or service, you’re not excluding people. You’re just being real with yourself about who your thingy will actually help. And in doing so, your ideal audience will feel seen and heard.
3. Always give them somewhere to go
There’s a lot of moving parts on a website.
And it’s easy for people to get lost in a sea of content if you don’t give them somewhere to go. Providing regular touchpoints (like a “shop now” or a “get in touch” button) will point them in the right direction.
Confusing and directionless websites will bamboozle your visitors.
4. If there’s a smaller word, use it
This one’s a biggy.
People are busy. And when they land on your website, they’re not looking for a technical report filled with industry mumbo jumbo. They’re looking for clear-cut answers.
Why say utilise when you can say use?
Why say consequently when you can say so?
Why say identify when you can say find?
Websites should be written at around a Grade 5 reading level (not because that’s all your audience understands, but because this will keep them engaged). So when you’re writing your website copy, think, would I want to read this at the end of a long days work?
5. Don’t sacrifice clarity for creativity
It’s fun to be creative with words. But there’s a time and a place for creative language. And being a little too imaginative will cause confusion (especially in the early stages of your website).
It’s like calling your coffee product magic energy dust.
You know what you’re selling, but your audience is none the wiser. They’re just dazed, confused and wondering where on earth they can get a cup of good coffee.
6. Avoid assuming knowledge
So you’ve been in your industry a while. You know it like the back of your hand. But when you’re writing your website copy, you have to put yourself in the shoes of people who don’t have your knowledge (which can be a hard thing to do).
Why is it so hard?
The curse of knowledge is a cognitive bias where individuals fail to realise that other people don’t know the same stuff they do. The lines become a little blurred.
My tip? Get someone who has no idea about your industry to read over your website copy. If they understand it? Great. If they’re confused? You might need to spell things out some more.
7. Don’t forget about SEO
So you funnel your energy into writing some delicious website copy. But then? Nobody can find it because you haven’t thought about the Google robots.
SEO copywriting is about finding the words that your audience is typing into Google and then putting these in the right places. And if you’re going to the effort of DIY-ing your website copy, you should probably learn a thing or two about Google while you’re at it. Kate Toon’s SEO Nibbles course is a great place to start.
Now it’s your turn. Take these tips and start writing up some killer website copy.
But if all of this information is making your brain boil over, then get in touch with me.
I write SEO website copy, blog posts, product descriptions and more.
Sam is an environmental copywriter and storyteller for conscious brands. Based on the Mornington Peninsula, she’s a former environmental scientist, barefooted nature lover and SEO geek with a knack for writing clear, heart-led and personality-packed words (that also wiggle their way into Google’s good books).