We all know that what we say online is important, but rarely do we think of our website copy as part of that equation. We see everyone from seasoned marketing professionals to first-time newbie website creators struggle with their website copy and how to make sure it comes across as professional yet fun to read.
So, what is the key to standing out and making a statement with your copy, without feeling like you are just using someone else’s voice all the time?
Watch the Video Lesson Below
Read the Full Transcript
If we are going to create connections through our screens online, we need to be work on our copy.
So when I say copy, what do I mean? Copy is what we (in the industry) call the words in your emails and your ads, your social media and on your website. That’s why when people say, “I’m a copywriter”, they are usually responsible for writing words for websites and ads.
There is a phenomenon happening online. For a long time, everything was visually focused. That is still true. Visuals matter. If you’re a Weeknight Website member, you’ll see at the end how we can implement some of this stuff on your website and showcase your copy in a way that actually keeps people engaged with your site.
I just want to illustrate how important copy is based on Instagram. For a long time, it was popular for people to have beautifully curated feeds. If you weren’t a photographer, it felt impossible to keep up.
This isn’t the case anymore. We are experiencing a new generation that wants authenticity.
Ask Yourself: What value do you deliver through your content and your copy?
Better Copy = Better Connection
1. Get the thoughts flowing (6:58 to 8:28)
So the first thing we need to do to write for a website is to get the thoughts flowing. So here’s what I do when I need to sell something and I don’t know what to say. I start with this phrase, “what I really want to say is ____”.
Open a google doc or get a piece of paper and write an unfiltered page with your thoughts. Don’t think about editing it right now, simply let your writing be a stream of consciousness.
This is going to get your creative juices flowing. It doesn’t mean that you’re not going to edit it, but for now, write unfiltered.
2. Apply the friend filter (8:28 to 15:10)
Guys, here’s the deal. I might not look like it (cause I know I look really cool) but I am a nerd. Like, I am a legit nerd. You don’t just walk out and start website platforms. Okay? So sometimes we’ll be in our team meetings and I’ll say something and Brittany and Travis will look at me like, “Kristen, what does that mean?”
Don’t make my mistake. Be careful not to start writing things down that make people scratch their heads. Keep in mind that not everyone is an expert. You might be writing words that don’t mean anything to people. If you say something like, “just step into your power”, what does that mean?
Give them tangible results that they can feel. So, what you really mean is, “feel confident when you walk into your next networking event”.
In order to help you with this, apply the friend filter.
What is the friend filter?
Well, it comes from a copy course that I took, called The Copy Cure. It’s is by Marie Forleo and Laura Belgray. In it, they talk about using the friend filter to help you relate your words to the person that you’d want to speak to.
So if you’ve already determined that your audience is a 29 year old woman who sells essential oils on the side. If you know she’s a side hustler with a corporate day job. If you know she’s really into fashion, then keep all those things in mind and write your website copy directly to her.
Pro tip: Attach a picture to your computer screen so that you can pretend to speak directly to them!
If you have someone in your life, like I do with my friend Jen, give them a call and ask them if they connect with your messaging.
It is worth it to get feedback. I know it’s scary to put yourself out there and say “Hey, I’m actually trying to sell something”. Selling things sometimes feels vulnerable because you have something that you’ve worked on so hard.
Need help knowing who your audience is? Grab this free worksheet below!
3. Learn to write GREAT headlines (15:10 to 18:59)
How do you do that? I’m going to show you a secret. At Weeknight Website, we use a few tools that help us improve our email headlines. To watch a demo of us running through how to use the tools, check out the video atom 15:10 to 18:59.