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Q1: When it comes to hitting the publish button (whether it’s for a website page or a blog post) I seem to freeze. I have paralysis. I worry about it being perfect and about people reading it thinking I’m an idiot. Do you have any advice?
A1: It doesn’t have to be perfect. It just has to be out there.
Your website copy, your landing page, your email (whatever it is you’re trying to get out the door) DOESN’T have to be perfect.
It just has to be out there.
You can ALWAYS perfect it later.
Again, that is not to say that you should send a hot mess out into the universe (with spelling errors, etc.). It’s just to say that you shouldn’t let anything keep you from sharing your knowledge and experience with the people that want (and maybe even need) to hear from you.
The thing is that it isn’t doing you, your business, or your clients any good if your copy is just sitting on your computer, where you are the only one seeing it. So, get it out there!
Q2: How do I know if the way I write is appropriate for my biz?
A2: You can find a balance between the way you write and the way your DREAM clients want you to talk to them. It might be a match already or it might be something you have to tweak.
Honestly, though, I don’t change the way I write for anyone.
My DREAM clients love me because of who I am and the way I write. There are plenty of copywriters out there with different writing styles from me. If they want a different style then they should seek a different copywriter. There is plenty of business out there for everyone, no matter what your business or industry is!
The same holds true for your business. Your words and the way you write are not going to scare away the right people – your dream clients. In fact, the way you write is what attracts them to want to do business with you in the first place.
That doesn’t mean your copy, spelling, and grammar should be a hot mess and you still expect to land client after client. It simply means your voice, tone, and way of presenting what you say is the magnet that draws the right clients to you.
Q3: Any tips on how to weave stories/write from the heart/with personality? I’m a detailed person, so I have a tendency to state the facts, go into all the details and be matter of fact which can be a tad dry and doesn’t show my personality. I’ll never be one for baring my soul online but understanding how to put a bit more of my personality into my copy would be great.
A3: Write like you’re having a conversation with someone. If you have to record your copy and then transcribe it later OR invest in one of those Dragon programs, then do it! Pretend as if you’re having a face-to-face with a girlfriend over coffee (or wine or whatever your beverage of choice is) and let it rip. If you get too personal, you can always go back and edit it out, but some personality and revealing some of your personal side in copy is a good thing once in awhile. It works! Try it and let me know how it goes for you (It works for me)!
Q4: Is it better to have a long page of website copy or to try to keep it short?
A4: It depends.
It’s best not to write War and Peace on every page of your website. At the same time, the site is where people go to find out more about what they are looking for about you, your biz, and your products/services.
The best policy is to write the copy that you need to write to cover the information they want to find. Try not to get hung up on how many words it is, how long, or how short it is. Say what needs to be said and leave it at that.
Q5: I seem to have a habit of listing features as part of my descriptions. Is there an easy way to turn these into benefits?
A5: A feature is a characteristic of your product or service.
For example, let’s just say you’re selling a bright yellow jewelry piece.
The feature is that it’s bright yellow.
A benefit is more about the emotion or how the product or service makes someone feel.
You can turn it into a benefit by discussing how the bright yellow piece of jewelry makes people feel. The benefit is: Brighten up your spring and summery outfits with this bright yellow necklace that complements your warm-weather style.
If someone is looking for a yellow necklace, the feature might be enough. But, when you write it as benefit, then they might buy a yellow necklace even though they were not looking for one to start.
See how that works?
Q6: What is the rule of thumb on the length of a product or service description?
A6: I would say that it depends on a couple of different things. First, the number of products or services you are offering on that particular page of the site.
If you have one to three products or services, I would stick to a paragraph or so for each. If you need to go into more detail, then have them click to a page where they can read the full description.
When it comes to individual descriptions, I use the same rule of thumb as everything else — don’t get hung up on the word count or page length. Focus more on saying what you need to say or sharing the info that you need to share.
Q7: Is it better to write in paragraphs or use bullet points?
A7: The best practice is to mix it up.
You should use some sentences and SHORT paragraphs, mixed with bullet point lists and sub-headers to break up your copy.
It helps you catch the attention of the “skim readers.” Plus, it keeps your website page from looking like it has sooooooooooo much text (that visitors really don’t have the time to read if you’re not offering what they need).
If a skimmer finds interesting benefits and points during their skim, they go back and read everything from beginning to end. If they don’t find something of interest, they’re gone-zo.
Q8: I find that one of the hardest things I have to do as far as writing is concerned is to write about myself. Is there a formula or template that I should follow for writing my about me page?
A8:The down and dirty recipe for writing an about me page is:
- A headline that is about you, but is REALLY about THEM (your dream clients)!
- A quick and snappy intro (not too wordy and it packs a bit of a punch).
- A longer intro that creatively describes who you are and what you do (Again, this is less about you and more about who they are, how you connect or are on the same level, and how working with you can benefit them.).
- Your credentials — how what you know and who you are can benefit them and their business.
- Call to action.
- Official pro bio.
I’m actually hosting a webinar on the Recipe for Writing an About Me Page that Gets You Hired on Monday, May 18 @1, where I’m going to cover the nitty gritty on each of the ingredients. If you’re interested in attending, you can register at http://bit.ly/1PEOCkd.
Q9: I have a fun and unique voice. I’m trying to figure out how to use it when I write.
A9: Don’t be afraid to use it. Fun and unique is a great voice to have. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, write like you talk.
Your dream clients connect with you because of the voice, tone, and character that come through in your website copy, blog posts, articles, and other copy. When your words resonate with them it is what turns lookie-lous and prospects into clients.
I’m Kristie Lorette McCauley. I have a word addiction and I’m not afraid to use it (or admit it).
In my past life, I was a certified wedding planner. In my current life, I am the wedding planner content + copy writer.
I use my writing + wedding planning experience to turn your thoughts into words that land you DREAM brides + grooms + book your calendar solid.