You’ve got Microsoft Word, a good handle on the English language, and know your business intimately. So when it comes to writing your web content, why would you spend money on a copywriter?
Following are six things you might consider when it comes to writing your web content, or any other sales and marketing copy.
You Know Your Business Best
You’ve poured years of blood, sweat, and tears into getting your business off the ground and running it for this long. You know it inside and out, so why waste time trying to get a copywriter up to speed when you could just cut out the middleman and write your web content yourself?
Business owners tend to get immersed in their work, and lose the ability to look at their business objectively, the way a potential or new customer would see it. A copywriter has just that — an objective perspective to recognize what kind of information someone unfamiliar with your product or services will be looking for. Plus, business owners often undergo ‘expert paralysis’, making it difficult to simplify key messages, and have a tendency to say what they want to say, versus what potential clients want or need to hear.
A copywriter can craft clear, concise and compelling content, designed to convert website visitors into real customers, while allowing you to focus on your existing clients, business core, and your bottom line.
You’re On a Deadline
Running a business means you barely have enough time for any extracurricular activities. You don’t want your website construction to take up any more of your time, so you want to provide your designer or developer the basic information, and get back to focusing on your work.
An experienced copywriter can actually save you time. In fact, many designers point to late-arriving web copy as a leading cause of website construction delays, commonly due to business owners taking their copy into their own hands. Though they have good intentions, they eventually realize there’s more to copywriting than stringing together a bunch of words. Instead of trying to tackle the web copy on countless, frustration-filled days, evenings and weekends, only to attain substandard results, you can conveniently get the right copy on your site, usually within just a week or two, by hiring a skilled copywriter.
A professional copywriter often conducts research independently, and often only needs to direct a few select questions to clients, surrounding key areas, such as objectives, goals, positioning, differentiators, markets, audiences, and calls to action. As a result, you’ll only have to spend an hour or two providing your copywriter applicable data and facts, versus wasting dozens of hours trying to write the web copy yourself.
Copywriting Is an Unnecessary Cost
Copy is just words on a website or brochure, right? Why should you allocate a budget to content when you can do it yourself for free, or just pay someone in India $5 to do it?
If you’re thinking along these lines, you’ve likely adopted the opinion that copywriting isn’t worth much due to a preliminary copywriting job board search. Many job boards out there, to the dismay of professional copywriters who perform valuable, result-driven work, feature amateurs willing to do your copywriting for pennies a word.
As with any professional service, you get what you pay for. Someone who is paid $5 just isn’t going to put the necessary time and effort into writing high quality content for your website or marketing material as someone who is paid fairly for their time. For evidence, check out Why Outsourcing Your Copywriting Can Be A Very Bad Idea. Generally, the amount of money a copywriter charges reflects his or her knowledge, experience, and abilities. Not that you should have to pay a fortune for your web copy, but you certainly shouldn’t pay $5 and expect a killer product that’s going to make you tens of thousands of dollars.
Good copywriting for your website, brochure, or other promotional material is an important investment. A well made website with carefully researched, professionally crafted copy can help you stand out from your competition, increase sales, and quickly pays for itself, several times over. Webcopyplus’ clients, for instance, have reported return on investments in as few as 30 days, and returns as high as 400% within one year.
You Got Top Marks In High School English
You know you’re a good writer; everyone says so. You even practice your writing hobby in your spare time, so why shouldn’t you be able to write your own website content?
While all of this may be true, keep in mind that there is much more to writing copy than an affinity for the technical aspects of writing, such as grammar, punctuation and spelling. Copywriting is a different animal than prose, because you’re not trying to impress your reader with your fancy vocabulary and ability to set the scene; you’re specifically using language to appeal to people psychologically and get them to act. In fact, Webcopyplus has had to turn down job applications from some excellent journalists, who have written for established US and Canadian newspapers.
Sales and marketing copywriting requires a specialized skill for recognizing the emotions that drive your potential customers, and an even more specialized skill when considering what drives search engines to notice your website. While there’s no intention to suggest you aren’t going to pen the next New York Times Best Seller, it’s important to recognize that copywriting is more than just good writing; it’s an exercise in psychology and search engine optimization.
You Don’t Want Your Marketing Material To Start, ‘Dear Friend…’
You’ve likely seen the cheesy, long-winded, full-page ads in the paper that seem to insult the reader’s intelligence, featuring gems like: “For just the price of a small cup of coffee each day, you, too, can enjoy the amazing, life-changing benefits of this innovative product!” Or the direct snail mail or mass emails that begin with the wonderfully personalized, heartwarming introductory: ‘Dear Friend…’.
Just because bad copywriting is rampant, does not mean it all has to be that way. You wouldn’t give up coffee or tea altogether after trying a particularly underwhelming brand, would you? Yes, there is good and bad copy out there, but there are ways to ensure that you get the copy you want.
To find a copywriter that meets your needs, read examples of their work to find out if you like their style. Also, check out any case studies they have that demonstrate the effectiveness of their previous work. Moreover, if you’re looking for a copywriter specifically for your website, a great place to look is online. Chances are, if a web copywriter is able to attain high rankings on Google, they’ll be able to help you get desired rankings, too.
You’re Happy With What You’ve Got
You believe that your existing copy is an accurate representation of your products and services, but perhaps you need to ask yourself, “What has it done for me, lately?” Is it bringing new customers into your store? Are people visiting your website? Are they sticking around your site, and coming back for more? Are potential clients calling or emailing you? Are your sales reaching and exceeding targets? Well written web copy can help produce all of these results, so if your current website isn’t delivering, perhaps it’s time for a makeover.
Refreshing your copywriting is also important because businesses grow and customers change. Keeping your marketing fresh is a great way to adapt to a shifting marketplace and to keep your brand top of mind. Professional website copywriters are trained to consider the actions and motivations of Internet users when crafting action-inspiring content. While you may have established your website a decade ago, technologies and styles have changed, and so should your content. Plus, you need to keep up with the tech savvy consumers on the Web, or you risk getting left behind and laughed at like a ‘90s fad.
Recognizing Value of Good Copywriting
Good copywriting is a complex science requiring a special touch that can’t be rushed, purchased for pennies, or slapped together like your latest furniture purchase from IKEA. A professional copywriter can greatly enhance your marketing efforts and produce measurable results for your brand and your business.
Got good or bad stories surrounding copywriters and copywriting in general? Please share them below!