Rules? What Rules?
Okay, so we’ll admit to getting you here under false pretences. But being a little disingenuous was the whole point of this. If you’re busy googling something along the lines of ‘web writing rules’, you need to stop right there, give yourself a little shake and question why you’re thinking that google holds all of the answers. Of course, if you’ve googled it and found this post then, in a serendipitous fit of karma you’ve hit the jackpot. Read on…
As far as we’re concerned there’s only one cardinal rule – NEVER forget who it is you’re talking to. Who’s sitting on the other side of the screen reading your perfectly-penned words? It’s a real person and what they think matters. So when you’re constructing content for a client who’s got a fixed idea of what they want or need, it’s your job to remind them of who really counts. Honestly, we could be running the UN with this level of diplomacy…
Forget everything you’ve ever read about the need to write in the third-person. Why put up another barrier? Does the content work in the first person? Then write it that way. Reach out and grab your reader (in a nice way), make them feel at home – make them want to stay and get to know you.
The web can be a soulless place, but only because too many copywriters write too much sterile copy for too many risk averse clients. Got a personality? Then let it shine. Whether you’re an individual, a small business, a growing business or a HUGE corporation, you’ve got a voice (or you should have). Find it and use it.
Does your website voice complement the rest of your communications? Make sure that your social media tone isn’t contradictory. All of your comms should be coming from the same place – give some time and attention to this on a regular basis.
Less is More
Apply this to everything from the structure of your website to the information you’re hanging on it. If yours is an existing site, interrogate your analytics (with thumbscrews) and work out why visitors are coming to you and what they’re reading. Are you converting a decent percentage of them into enquiries, and if not WHY NOT?!
When it comes to your content, it’s incredibly difficult to keep coming at something with fresh eyes but it’s imperative you try. Would a new visitor understand what you do? Is your site so filled with jargon that even you don’t understand what it says? Attention spans are increasingly short and you need to get your point across quickly and simply. Strip it back and strip it back some more….
And that’s it – you’re done. Now go write something amazing…