5 tips for writing a web page Copify

5 tips for writing a web page that your visitors will love

The requirements of writing content for a web page can vary greatly, all depending on the nature of the web page itself. It could be a landing page designed to inform the visitor of what you do and give them a reason to consider your services.

Or it could be a blog post aiming to educate the reader on a certain topic and highlight your expertise. Whatever the purpose, there are a number of rules you should be following in order to help improve the popularity and usefulness of your site as a whole.

Top tips for writing a web page

Below you can find 10 top tips for writing web pages that your visitors will love. This is not to say it is a foolproof guide to success, but by following these rules you will at least put your site in a better position to succeed.

1. Consider the reader to be lazy

5 tips for writing a web pageWhen people visit your site for whatever reason, they are looking to find straightforward and simple answers to their questions. Any content you write should be precise and designed to be easily readable and digestible.

Here are some useful steps to consider in helping you write for lazy readers:

– Stick to using short sentences which are anywhere up to 12-15 words long. Any longer than this and readers actually need to think to understand the grammar.
– Keep paragraphs short. Paragraphs that are just 2 to 4 sentences long are much easier to digest.
– Avoid industry jargon where possible. Though you want to highlight your expertise, you don’t want to show off with all sorts of fancy words.
– Avoid repetition. Once you have made a point, avoid repeating it elsewhere on the page.
– Avoid using the passive tense. The passive tense is harder to understand, so stick to active sentences.
– Talk to your visitors. It is perfectly fine to say “you” throughout your copy, as it makes the page far more relatable and easier to digest.

2. Start with what is most important

When someone enters your site, you have a limited period of time to gain their attention and keep them on the page. For this reason, you should aim to get to the point immediately. Start with your most important selling point/benefit to help highlight that the page is relevant to what they need.

For example, if your web page is there to help your business sell cars, go ahead and tell them from the start that you sell cars. Then say why your cars are great and why people buy from you. It sounds simple, but many writers would waste time talking about what a car is, or who they are as a company.

Attention is a precious commodity nowadays, so don’t waste it when you have it!

3. Realise that people scan

5 tips for writing a web page 2The truth of the matter is that, even if you spend hours writing the most magnificent page copy, fewer than 1 in 5 visitors will actually read the whole thing. Instead, most people will simply scan a web page.

There is nothing wrong with this, it just means you need to take certain steps to make the page appropriate for this 80% of visitors. Here are a few tips to follow.

– Use plenty of bullet points to summarise key points.
– Make all actionable steps clear in the subheadings you use.
– Make sure your headline summarises what the page is about.
– Conclude with the purpose of the page and a necessary call-to-action.

4. Consider the customer journey

One common mistake people often make is failing to realise that not everyone knows what their website is all about. Depending on the size of your site, people could potentially come across it from a wide variety of different routes.

5 tips for writing a web page 3Your home page might clearly display who you are and what you offer or sell, but not all pages will. For example, a blog post might be great and very informative, but afterwards, people may simply leave the site. You need to instead offer people a clear and tangible path through your site after having entered from any source.

In many cases, a simple and effective way to do this is to offer a call-to-action at the end of every post. It could be to check out your services or to view another post on your site. It really depends on what you offer, but you should help encourage an easy customer journey, rather than making it difficult.

5. Don’t forget SEO

When many website owners see the phrase “Search Engine Optimisation”, they quickly head for the hills. Getting every page on your site to rank well can, of course, be difficult, but it isn’t impossible. It certainly isn’t a skill that is blessed to only a select few “experts”.

Even as a beginner, you should be considering SEO whenever you write any web page on your site. You can do this by following a few simple rules and steps for each page you write, such as including a healthy selection of keywords and using proper HTML.

To help assist you with your basic SEO efforts here is a beginner’s guide to writing content SEO that you will no doubt find very useful.

Bring in help

Writing a web page can seem a formidable task at first when you have little on your site already. It’s like having a blank art canvas in front of you whilst you’re trying to decide where to paint first. Well, luckily there is plenty of help available for getting started.

Copywriting agencies, such as what we offer here at Copify, are able to provide you with a diverse array of targeted and high-quality copy for almost any sort of web page. They are a useful way to help show you the ropes and find the sort of voice you want your website to have.

Afterwards, you can then start to develop more and more of your own web page copy once you know what works well.

 

Main image credit: Serge Kij
Image credits: Alessandro VallitheilrSerge Kij

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how hard is it to become a writer - copify

Just how hard is it to become a writer?

Becoming a writer has the potential to be a fulfilling and exciting career where each week need not be the same, and you can work and live by your own rules. However, it is important to understand that achieving this dream is not something that happens overnight and will require a certain element of time and dedication.

When it comes to answering how hard is it to become a writer, the realistic truth is that it will depend on a number of different factors and there isn’t a simple answer. Here’s a rundown of the most important factors deciding how hard becoming a writer will be, and to help identify whether or not it is a career you would like to pursue.

Your perception of “hard”

how hard is it to become a writer - copify 2First off, it’s important to identify what you perceive as being “hard”. Imagine someone who has just graduated university and has decided that being a writer is the right career for them. They get to work writing blogs and essays and earn little or no money for a long time so must still live at home. They will likely find that being a writer is in fact very hard and something they’d underappreciated.

A second person may have spent 20 years working long hours training for and becoming a legal professional. They decide they want to pack it in, move abroad and start writing for money. They experience the same challenges as the first person and again it takes them a long time to build up clients and start making real money. However, they don’t find it very hard as their past job required them to work twice as many hours and take a 3-hour commute each and every day.

Your writing ability

Your level of experience will undoubtedly affect your writing career at the start, as it will be easier to convince clients to work with you. However, it should be made clear that, with the right amount of time put in, it is certainly possible to become a much better writer, even if it means enrolling in some courses. Just bear in mind that, when starting out, the task of becoming a writer will seem harder as you begin to develop your writing skills.

Your ability to self-motivatehow hard is it to become a writer 1

Being a writer has the joyous benefit of being able to work when you want and from where you want. However, the flipside of this is that you will need the self-motivation to make yourself work, even when times get tough. There will be no boss present telling you to get back to your desk, and no train to miss on the way into work. Instead, you need to be able to design a routine and force yourself to stick to it.

Your people skills

The journey to becoming an independent, well-paid writer means being able to build and maintain relationships with a number of different clients. This is regardless of what route as a writer you take, be it a content marketer or a fully publicised author. You need to have the hustle to get your foot in the door and meet the right clients, then you need to have that personal touch that makes people want to work with you and keep coming back for more work. Naturally, some people find this skill far easier than others.

Your ability to sacrifice

The very nature of being a writer will require you to be on hand for clients and to work hard at all hours of the day to get enough money to make ends meet. When starting out, you will find your hours likely jump to more than you would working a regular 9-5 in an office. Many find this hard as it puts pressure on their social lives, particularly relationships and the ability to go out on evenings and weekends. If you set out with a willingness to make these sacrifices, then you will find that becoming a writer isn’t quite so hard.

Dealing with rejection

Becoming a writer is almost akin to being a door-to-door salesman. You can expect to knock on 20, 30 or 40 doors in a row and face the same “no” each and every time. As a writer, you’ll find that you’re in a competitive industry and being rejected is commonplace until you get the big breaks you need. If you lack fortitude or have a tendency to take minor rejection personally, then being a writer will be tough for you.

Being alone

How hard is it to become a writer - copify 1It’s already been touched on that writing puts pressure on relationships with others. But you must also recognise that much of your time will be spent completely on your own, which tests your relationship with yourself. Yes, you will need to engage in conversations with people, but it will mostly be done via email and the odd telephone call. Beyond that, your writing will take place in your house or in a cafe, working by yourself. There won’t be any co-workers there to take lunch with or talk about your weekends. Being comfortable on your own is essential, otherwise, it will prove much harder indeed.

The above points are in no way meant to drive you away from your dream of becoming a writer. Instead, the idea is to provide a fair overview of how hard is it to become a writer, what becoming a writer is really like, and some of the difficult hurdles you will face and need to overcome. Though despite all of the above, there is one overarching factor that should help you overcome these difficulties, and that is a truly deep-driven passion for the art of writing.

This passion will help you through the hard times and make your writing sublime during the good times. So take some real time to be honest with yourself and examine your motives for wanting to be a writer. Then, set about preparing a routine for achieving your independence. After that, it’s simply a case of sticking to it and taking the good with the bad.

 

Main image credit: @markheybo

Image credits: Pat PilonDaily MotivationSimon Powell

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What education is needed to become a writer?

If you’re considering becoming a writer, you need to first accept that there is a lot of competition in this industry, and you will need to be on the top of your game to make a good living. This is not designed to put you off, but more to make you aware that those who do become successful have put in the time and learnt the necessary qualifications. Here is a helpful overview of what being a writer actually entails, and what education is needed to become a writer.

What does a writer do?

A writer’s job is to communicate a variety of concepts through the written word. Writers can take on many forms, they can explain concepts with simple straightforward instructions, they can entertain with dramatic or humorous stories in scripts and novels, or even persuade you to purchase a product with a witty copy in advertising.

The great thing about writing is that it’s transferable. All you need is a laptop and internet access, then you can work wherever you desire. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately two-thirds of all writers are self-employed, but there are still many who work in-house for companies and marketing agencies.

What education is needed to become a writer?

what education is needed to become a writer - copify 3

A writer’s educational requirements vary on the type of writing they do. Below we will discuss a variety of writing ‘genres’ and techniques along with their corresponding education requirements.

Regardless of what type of professional writer you wish to become, you should develop strong computer skills as most writers do research on the internet as a fundamental part of their work and submit and send their work via email.

Creative writing

To pursue a career in creative writing you will first need to be a creative person. Creative writing can see you writing long fiction novels, witty poems to short stories. Creative writers send their writing to various editors in the hope of publication and remuneration; however, there are opportunities out there for ghost writing.

If you want to freelance with creative writing then technically no educational background is necessary, beyond that of spelling and grammar taught in high school. However, if you want to write creatively for a company, you will need excellent written English skills and you will find it beneficial if you have a bachelor’s degree in creative writing, English or liberal arts. You can also practice your writing by writing every day to perfect the craft, or you could undertake a marketing course available in colleges to help sell your work.

Copywriters

Copywriters use their writing to advertise a product or service and to persuade customers to buy that product or service. If you decide to freelance write then you will usually need some sort of writing experience and be educated to a degree standard. If you are aiming for a fixed position within a company, then those positions usually require a bachelor’s degree in marketing, advertising, business or liberal arts. However, if you have a degree in another subject, a copywriter training course can help you move into this sector.

If you are short on experience, you can write for charities, or community projects to increase your skills. The higher the education and experience, then the higher the career progression. Copywriters can become ‘copy chiefs’ or supervisors who coordinate the work of others.

Technical writers

Technical writers are those who develop technical guides such as quick-start sheets, operations guides or any other style of documentation that is designed to help the general population understand how to use a particular service, machine or product. The education required for this type of writing is typically a bachelor’s degree in English, communications, or of course, technical writing. Some employers may require you to have a major in a ‘technical’ subject such as engineering, medicine or computers or equivalent experience.

Journalists

what education is needed to become a writer - copify 2

Journalists or reporters write stories to explain important events or happenings. This can range from local news, national news or international news. It can also vary depending on genre. For example, fashion journalists will write stories based on trends, runway shows, entertainment news etc, whereas political journalists have a pure focus on an area of politics.

The education required for this type of writing is typically a bachelor’s degree in either communications, English or journalism. However, employers also accept degrees from other areas of study if applicants have related work experience. Remember, communication skills are just as important as writing skills in a journalism role as a high proportion of your writing will come directly from interviews.

Experience is key

To succeed in any role of writing, your experience is just as important as your education. You need to build up a strong portfolio in the style of writing you most enjoy. Experience can be gained through a variety of platforms, including writing for free as a guest blogger on a variety of websites; interning in a local newspaper or magazine; or writing for a non-profit organization.

Regardless of whether you’re just beginning as a writer or you are a professional, you should always be looking for ways to improve your writing skills, find employment and connect with other writers. Professional associations are a great resource for doing this and some brilliant organizations that support writers include The American Society of Journalists and Authors, National Writers Association and Women’s Fiction Writers Association.

More than a degree…

what education is needed to become a writer - copify

Along with possessing the skills of written English, in today’s world, writers need to have a well-rounded skill set to be successful. This includes impeccable language skills in all forms of grammar, written, reading and word usage, digital media skills including the knowledge of basic HTML, CSS, and search engine optimisation and diligence so that writers can check their work for errors, accuracy and overall quality. These skills can be taught and improved online via online courses.

After reading this, it is probably best to jot down what qualifications and experience you currently hold as a writer. Next, identify what necessary qualifications and skills you will need to hold in order to reach your intended position. After that, it’s a not-so-simple case of matching the two up and filling in any necessary requirements. Just remember, it’s never too late to learn a new skill and going back to college or university, or indeed studying a new qualification in your spare time, should be viewed as a step forward, not a step back.

Main image credit: Visha Angelova
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how to begin a blog post - copify

An expert guide on how to begin a blog post

Are you tired of reading this blog post already?

Hopefully not, though a surprisingly large number of people decide to switch off from a post, after having barely read the introduction.

The reason for this is that the introductions are poorly structured and don’t offer a compelling reason to keep reading. Since you’re here, there’s a good chance you’ve suffered this problem in your own writing and are fed up with people giving your posts the cold shoulder.

Well, it’s time to change all that, and give you a rundown of exactly how to begin a blog post.

What goes into a great blog post introduction?

how to begin a blog post - copifyRegardless of the exact style you write in or what purpose your post has, there are 3 key elements you should look to include in any great introduction. These are:

1. The hook

The hook is usually just one line or shorter, and hooks the reader’s attention, giving them a desire to read the next line.

2. The transition

The transition is what ties the hook into the rest of the post, and leads the reader nicely onto the purpose of why you are writing.

3. The thesis

The thesis is where you summarise the topic that you have decided to discuss, and then give the reader a reason to keep reading.

7 top suggestions on how to start a blog post

When you see it like that, writing a great blog introduction may seem simple and straightforward. Well, most of the time it’s not.

Being able to write great introductions takes time, practice and creativity. But luckily, there are a number of different methods you can use to help give you a helping hand in the right direction.

Here are 7 such methods you can use to start writing killer introductions.

1. Ask a thought-provoking question

If ever you are asked a direct question in any format, you can’t help but think of an answer. This rule applies to the written word, which makes it a useful tool in the copywriter’s toolbox.

Simply think of a relevant yet interesting question and use it to start your post. The reader will immediately wonder why you thought to ask such a question and be hooked into reading more.

Sometimes the easiest way is to get the bulk of your article down first and craft your intro last. That way you can begin with an attention-grabbing question based on a reference you make later in your post.

how to begin a blog post 3 - copify2. Share a shocking fact

Whenever you pick up a newspaper, what’s the first thing you’ll see on the cover? That’s right, some sort of shocking headline.

That’s because the shock factor causes people to stop and actually want to pick up and read the paper. You can apply the same logic by starting your post with a relevant but surprising statistic regarding the issue you wish to discuss in your post.

3. Write against the status quo

Being different is a great way to get noticed, and is a way you can hook the reader’s attention. If you begin your blog post with a crazy thought or unconventional idea you believe in, then the reader may be interested enough to hear the rest of your argument.

Obviously, you don’t want to start writing outrageous statements just for the sake of it, but if relevant don’t be afraid of holding back or offering a different perspective from the status quo.

4. Tell the reader something personal

Your hook is essentially you trying to build an immediate connection between you and the reader. Sharing with them something personal about yourself is a way to immediately give life and personality to your words.

A statement like “I was recently told I have 3 weeks to live”, is a powerful way to immediately set the tone and become intimate with the writer. As you can imagine, this tactic should only be used in certain circumstances, but don’t worry, you don’t always have to be quite that personal.

5. Start with a question somebody asked you

If you are an authority in your niche with any kind of readership, you could use questions you receive as a means to start your posts. It quickly demonstrates that people are asking you for advice and that what you’re saying is worth listening to.

Better yet, you want to try and use thought-provoking or insightful questions to best hook their attention. For example, “Somebody recently asked me, do you think it’s worth mortgaging my house to buy Bitcoin?” It introduces the topic and leads the post off with an interesting topic of discussion. If you’re stuck for other questions to raise around your field of expertise, Answer The Public is a good resource.

6. Share a story of your successhow to begin a blog post 2 - copify

If people are reading your post because the title suggests you will answer a question they desperately need an answer to, then why not start with a success story? It immediately validates that you know what you are talking about, and can genuinely empathise with the issue they are facing.

This is similar to the point above and is best used when you do have some sort of readership or are imparting some form of expertise that you have built up over time. Better yet, it works well for readers who already know who you are, as well as those who’ve never heard of you before.

7. Get to the point

This technique applies to almost all aspects of your writing, and it is especially useful to do in your introductions. Rather than lead into a long and tedious description as to why you are writing about the topic, just tell them.

It doesn’t need to be as basic as “here is your problem, and here’s what you should do”, but should be along those lines in terms of honesty and forthrightness. People will appreciate the genuine help, without all the waffle.

Rounding off

Hopefully, now, you have a much firmer understanding of how to begin a blog post. The great thing about writing is that everyone and anyone has the ability to get better and improve their abilities.

Taking some time to understand the science behind a great introduction will help you with all future posts you write. If you’re stuck for inspiration, just pick one of the 7 suggestions above and get writing.

After some trial and error, you will quickly identify a few techniques that work best for you. Then, once you hit publish, just sit back and watch your fan base flourish.

Got any other tips on how to begin a blog post? Share them in the comments below.

 

Main image credit: Derrick Austinson
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