Everyone needs a website. For the small business owner, this is often a problem.
You can hire someone to design and build a website, but that is like hiring someone to build you a house. It still has to be furnished.
The words and images that constitute the content, that fill the pages of the site, are those furnishings and, like a house, are very personal to YOU. Maybe you can hire an interior decorator to assist, but you are still the person who has to live in that house and feel comfortable with it.
There’s another point though. Your house (website) is a public place. People are going to be walking in and out of it all day long, using your bathroom and checking out the contents of your medicine cabinet.
So think long and hard about what you want people to see and think about you and your business. What is the impression you want to give people, and what is the message you want to get across?
You may protest that you aren’t a writer.
The fact is: no one knows your customers like you do. No one knows your business like you do.
Polished writing is vastly oversold when it comes to website content. Why is this? A website by its very nature is a sort of impersonal communication. You aren’t there talking to someone face to face. They are looking at your pictures and reading your words on their computer screen. Your tone of voice and body language, the passion and sincerity that may be a part of your usual sales presentation, just aren’t there.
You have to substitute for that by being as personal and conversational as possible. Polished advertising copy is not what makes a website work. It is YOU talking to THEM.
I strongly recommend anyone trying to write copy for their website to just sit down and gush words onto the page. Just type what you would say if you had a customer in front of you. Don’t worry about using the right words. Don’t worry about keywords. Don’t try to make it a sales pitch or to sound professional. Just talk. Heck, you can even do that literally – record yourself speaking and use a program like Dragon NaturallySpeaking to transcribe it.
Sure, there’s an editing stage to go through. Polish it up, stick in the points you forgot about, correct the order of points and so on. But don’t overdo it. You can also hire a professional to do the editing, but don’t let them overdo it to a point where your voice doesn’t come through.
Ideally, you end up with a website that is very YOU. And it will do a better job of selling you and your services or products than a very stiff, cold, formal, polished piece of writing.