Writing great website copy is downright hard to do. It takes a shocking amount of time and is often riddled with frustrating roadblocks. In fact, when one of our web projects is delayed, it’s almost always because content creation is taking one of our clients far longer than expected.
That’s totally understandable given the complexity (and the importance) of creating strong web copy. After all, your site’s content is going to form the basis for most of the judgments your visitors develop.
So how can you ensure your content is strong without facing delays? Follow these tips.
1. Start Writing Right Away
Give yourself way more time than you think you’ll need. Writing enough copy to fill a website will undoubtedly involve a good deal of frustration. You’ll hit periods where you just can’t find the right words.
By starting early, you’ll have time to walk away for a bit and come back fresh the next day.
2. Write First, Polish Second
Don’t worry too much about finding those perfect words the first time through. Instead, focus on getting your thoughts down. After you have the basics written out, you’ll have time for polishing your wording and clarifying anything that’s unclear.
3. Write How You Speak
You don’t have a whole lot of time to engage your website visitors. Write in a conversational tone to help form a connection right away.
Your content should be a reflection of yourself. Don’t be afraid to let your voice come through.
4. Avoid Jargon
Typically you’ll want to avoid jargon in your website copy. Most visitors don’t research to find the meaning of words they don’t understand. They leave.
Strip out the insider lingo. Doing so will help you appeal to those less familiar with your organization or your cause.
5. Don’t Just Copy Your Current Website’s Content
If you’re undertaking the building of a new website, it’s fine to use some of your old website’s copy. But don’t simply copy and paste from the old to the new.
Rethink your wording. Craft your story in a slightly different way. Update key data and any information that may be outdated.
This is your chance to make improvements; your shot to ensure you’re getting the most out of your website. True, it’s faster and easier to copy and paste. But a bit of extra time now can make a world of difference down the road.
6. Be as Concrete as Possible
Try to give concrete examples whenever possible.
Anyone can say they’re good at anything online. Think about how you can stand out and prove that you know what you’re talking about. Giving examples can help prove to a visitor that you understand what they’re looking for. Give data. Provide case studies. Share testimonials.
The more specifics you can provide, the more likely it is you’ll earn the trust of your visitors.
7. Gather Images Early
Gathering images can take a ton of time and is often done very late in the content creation process. Instead, start pulling them together as early as you can.
You don’t have to make any final selections at this stage. But get your options together. It’ll come in handy later in the process.
Have you created the content for your nonprofit’s website? How did it go? Do you have any tips to add? I’d love to hear them in the comments below.
Image courtesy of Karin Dalziel