If we had a penny for every website owner who believed he or she was not getting any value from his or her online investment, we’d probably be rich. Sadly, there are plenty of web developers who know all about the latest in PHP, Java, and HTML, but know nothing about website copy. And at the end of the day, the material success of any website has more to do with its content than what it looks like.
That’s not to say ugly and worn out designs are not bad; they are. However, this isn’t 1995 anymore. The ‘wow’ factor of the Internet is long gone thanks to millions of pages being added every week. Today it is all about content. If you are a website owner, here’s the question you should be asking:
Is it worth paying for website copy, or should I write it myself?
Before you answer that question, you should probably think long and hard about the products or services you offer. For purposes of illustration, let’s just assume you are a house painter.
As a professional, what sets you apart from amateur painters and weekend warriors? Both your skill and experience. The fact that you paint houses for a living means that you have a lot more to bring to the table than a DIY enthusiast who might paint a couple of rooms in his house every year. You would expect customers to hire you, rather than your DIY neighbour, because you will do a better job. Writing is no different.
WRITING IS A SKILL
The question of whether or not you should pay for website copy comes down to the fact that writing is a skill. It is true that anyone can string words together to form sentences. However, doing so does not necessarily equal good and effective writing. To create website copy that actually benefits your site requires knowledge, skill, and experience.
If you spend any time at all surfing the Internet you know exactly what we’re talking about. You’ve seen the pages produced by poor writers; pages that ramble endlessly with no real point to their existence. Even worse are those pages that attempt to present a professional image yet are riddled with spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. That’s not acceptable if you want your website to produce real results.
A professional writer capable of producing effective website copy pays attention to the following:
- proper spelling and grammar
- effective use of keywords
- proper keyword context
- producing copy with value
- writing to specific, targeted audiences.
Amateur writers typically do not consciously pay attention to these things when putting together website copy. They are just trying to put together a couple of paragraphs that use all the latest industry buzzwords and catchphrases. The result is often a disjointed and ineffective collection of sentences and phrases that are doing nothing but taking up space. Again, that’s simply not acceptable.
Please understand that it is okay to pay for website copy. What’s more, it is a great investment in your website.
INCLUDE WEBSITE COPY IN YOUR BUDGET
Regardless of the size and scope of your website, you should include paid website copy in your budget. In other words, it is time to start looking at your site as an important investment in your business rather than just an electronic calling card. Your website can be a powerful business tool if you are willing to invest in it.
That said, paid website copy does not need to be your entire marketing budget. You can start out slowly, perhaps by investing in a couple of blog posts every week. That’s just one idea. There are many ways you can put website copy to use as a promotional tool for your business or organisation.