Copywriting: A Good Place To Start
If you're new to website building or just getting started, one
question may haunt you. With so many different things to be
learned, where is the best place to start?
I always suggest copywriting as a great way to begin. At this
point, your eyebrows may be raised. But take a closer look.
Decisions Made Before Starting
Hopefully before turning to the task of building a site, you have
at least sufficient answers to fundamental questions such as what
you plan to sell, who you plan to sell to, and so forth.
And you probably have at least a semblance of a business plan to
guide you along the way. You may have included notions for
expanding the business from a simple beginning.
Getting even this far is a struggle for many. By the time you
have put together workable answers, you may already be tired of
the whole thing. You may have quit a time or two, only to return
grimly and determinedly to the task. At some point you may throw
your arms at the sky and shout out loud, "Enough, already!"
But You Still Need A Website
In the rush to get a business up and running, some simply throw
up a few pages and hope things go well. Which is not a good
idea. But even if you take such a minimal path, there is still
much to learn.
You'll need to know something about HTML. And you'll need to
learn how to use some kind of editor to put your web pages
Then you need to learn how to use an FTP (File Transfer Protocol)
program to manage site pages. It's not difficult to do.
Actually, you'll be doing fine within half an hour or so.
But there are several dozen other "little" things you need to
learn to do that only take half an hour or so.
At some point, you may well throw your arms again at the sky and
shout, "That's darned well enough!"
So You Go
You upload your pages, relax a bit, then kick back and admire
your handiwork. "Yeah, I've got 'groww.' I'll catch it later.
Wonder how you spell, 'spacius?' Guess I forgot to spell check
"Hey, but there's only a couple of little things like that. Right?
So what if that background doesn't quite make it. It looks
pretty good to me. Right?"
"How about the copy?" that quiet small voice within you cries
"What copy?" you scream out loud.
"You couldn't give away hundred dollars bills with that stuff."
"Of course you are."
Okay, Enough Of That
I hope you get the idea. At this point you are tired. Even
exhausted maybe. And you've a right to be. You've poured tons
of time into this project. And more than a few dollars. Won't
your visitors see this? Won't they understand?
Nope. It won't happen. You can't even *give* hundred dollar
bills away unless your copy sizzles. And you know it's so.
So Take A Deep Breath And ...
Come morning, start in. You know that great copy is a must. Now
you're going to make it happen.
But how far are you going to get? How long will it be before you
look at your work and throw your arms once again toward the sky?
And what will you say this time?
Back To Reality
If you have decent writing skills, developing those needed for
copywriting makes a lot of sense. For as you work with
copywriting, you also strengthen your general writing skills.
Even if you plan to hire pros to write your sales copy, you still
need to be able to step in and add something to a page now and
then. Or add a new one. And every word must sell.
Mastery of copywriting is not the goal; this can take a lifetime.
You simply want to be able to write reasonably good copy. Until
you can, you need to hire everything out, and this costs serious
If you wait until you launch your site before getting to this
topic, your pages will be dead on arrival.
So yes, beginning with a consideration of copywriting is a dandy
notion. You will then have at least a chance of having decent
copy, come launch day.
*Abstracted from "Secrets Of A Really Successful Website"
Comment: If you'd like to work through a great tutorial on
copywriting, check out the one Joe Robson offers at
http://www.adcopywriting.com. It's slick. And it's loaded
with terrific ideas. Further, you'll find it easy to follow
. . .
Bob McElwain, author of "Your Path To Success" and
"Secrets To A Really Successful Website." For
info, see http://sitetipsandtricks.com/webways/>
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