We strongly encourage our clients two write their own copy for their website. If you wondering what copy is, you may be more familiar with the terms “text.” That’s right, it’s the words on your website, the way you communicate with potential clients through text. We feel that the people who know the most about your company are the people actually involved in your company! The best way to give a glimpse of the personality, motive and inner workings of your company is to communicate through the actual employer(es) of your company. As wonderful as it is, writing copy can be quite daunting at times.
There are probably a lot of reasons why, so I’ll just list a couple:
“I don’t have time.”
That’s probably true! Writing is something one definitely has to set aside time to do, but I think one big mistake is looking at all of the copy on the website as one unit. Of course one probably does not have time to write all of the copy in one sitting, but I’ll bet you can find twenty minutes a day to spare. If you see the value of writing your copy, you’ll find the time.
“I don’t know what to say.”
This is where page layout becomes handy! Whenever we create a website, we lay out all of the pages, with or without copy. We create the navigation so that you can see the organization of the site, and we even use filler copy so you can see about how much text is needed. We’ve found that when a person is presented with a distinct area of space that needs to be filled in an organized manner, it’s not too difficult to write! Think of it like painting a house. No one has time to pain their entire house, so you simply paint one room at a time.
A really easy way to organize your thoughts and break up the writing is to work on one section a day! Here’s a little mock calendar of how you may go about writing your copy. Disclaimer: I’m going to include most of the usual pages one may have on their website, so this may not be comprehensive.
Day One – About Us
This page should be one of the easier pages for which to compose copy, since it’s usually just a history of or commentary about your company. One may want to start with how the company began, the ways in which it has evolved (or not evolved) over the years and the specialties of the company as a whole. If it’s a family-owned business, it’d be great to have some information about the people involved. This is also an area of the site where it would be good to be personable.
Day Two – Services
The services page will most likely have a few sections beneath it, breaking the services out into different areas, but it would probably still be easiest to work on all of them at the same time. This will help with consistency and should also prevent one from missing any services. First, compile a list of services. Then, try to write one to two paragraphs of copy for each service. If the service is unfamiliar to your target audience, give a description of what it is and how it may benefit the end user. If your services are really in-depth, feel free to break up the writing over a few days!
Day Three – Staff
The staff page can be as comprehensive or as brief as you prefer. First, create a list of all of the staff members you would like on the site. While creating this list, go ahead and include their position titles, email addresses, and phone numbers (if you desire to have any of this information). Some companies choose to only include this amount of information, but it is also great to have brief biographies about the staff members. If you are allowing your staff to create their own bio’s, give them an outline as well as deadline of a couple of days. This is most likely the fastest way to compile the information. However, if one person is tasked with creating the bio for each staff member, start this step early and set a goal of two bio’s a day.
Day Four – Blog
This blog page can be one of the easiest to begin! Technically we only need one article in order to publish this page, and that article can absolutely be a “Welcome to our new website” article! We have also seen a trend in copying the first two paragraphs of an article from another source, and linking to the full article from the website. This is perhaps the easiest way to keep your blog updated.
Day Five – Portfolio
If your company needs a portfolio, it is most likely just a matter of gathering all of the photos from previous projects and organizing them in a clear manner. As long as you name the picture in a simple way, your designer should be able to place it on the website in a functional way! If you’d also like to have copy for each project, make sure to just let your designer know which copy corresponds with the pictures.
Day Six – Welcome Page
Now that you’ve created all of your copy, there’s just one more place to fill in, the home page! This should be a simple welcome message to the visitors of your site, along with a synopsis of your company. I think it’s helpful to write this at the end, because it could also be seen as the thesis statement of your whole website. Let this be a brief introduction to your site, encouraging users to continue exploring to see what you have to offer!
Day Seven – Send us all of the copy!
You should type all of this up into a word document of some kind in an organized manner by specifying which page (and possibly page section) the copy is intended for. After this, we will input all of the copy and may possibly ask you to fill in little areas with more copy in order to help the look & feel of your site, while also attracting potential customer’s attention.
Once this is all taken care of, we can talk about pictures and any concluding details, but the copy is truly the biggest hurdle of the site! Composing copy for your website does not have to be a daunting experience filled with confusion. Just follow our model and get to writing, a little bit each day!