What I learned from (finally) rewriting my web copy, despite having written web copy for (literally) hundreds of clients.
“Oh my god, writing my web copy is so HAAAAAARD,” I lamented to Sherie, in her car on the way to a client presentation.
That was meant to be hilarious. Because of course Sherie already knew that. She’d reached out for my help wrestling her own website copy, she’d seen me take on other web copy projects, and she still sends web copy clients my way.
Writing web copy that captures your spirit and voice, that speaks exclusively and appealingly to your people, that describes what you do in a clear, compelling way and incites people to ask for your help – yeah. It’s a big job.
A big job I do All. The. Time. So I set aside exactly 2 days.
I was actually pretty jazzed to spend 2 days writing about myself, about my perfect clients, about my business.
That was before rewriting the headline 16 times. (You may have noticed the headline is only 2 words. There were a lot of combinations and permutations of those 2 words before I settled down.)
Oh my god, the re-writing! Every single time I opened that site, I edited. I tweaked and twirled, wrote and re-wrote, added, subtracted, hit save, re-save, un-save, forget-to-save. 2 days turned into 2 weeks, 2 months and I’m ashamed to admit, longer.
What do I say to every edit-zealous client? “Listen – there’s more than one way to say this well. This edit’s not wrong, neither was the last one. We just have to pick ONE of these beautiful sentences, and go with it.”
Good writers will find many ways to say the right thing. When you edit endlessly, no one sees any of it.
Writing about myself was delightfully tempting. I am an endlessly fascinating person, just ask me. Of course, the secret of effective web copy is making your About Page not about you, but about your clients. You want them to see themselves in your copy, connect with what you’re saying, and feel something. (Like, feel something good, if you want them as a client. It’s okay if they feel meh about you, if they’re not the droids you’re looking for.)
So I also edited my About page sixteen hundred times, trying to balance honestly, vulnerability, credibility, expertise, humour, and useful information. You can be the judge of how I did.
The correct ratio for your About Page is 5 parts truth & vulnerability, 4 parts ‘this is why I get you’, 2 parts IRL credentials.
Do I love my web copy right now? Yes. Will I love it forever? Nope.
Just like my husband & I celebrate each anniversary with an ‘Airing of Grievances’, there will always be stuff we want to do better. Don’t think a million tiny grievances escaped unnoticed while pulling this site together.
Is it okay that my homepage head shot shows my old glasses? Should I hold off going live till I have a booking app tied to my contact page? How do I get your Free Download to download? Should I wait to get approved names and photos to go with the testimonials? All great questions. All evil wormholes of delay. All things I can work on while you’re browsing my Better Done Than Perfect site.
The right place for perfection is on the For Next Time list.
I’m thrilled to have a new online shingle. (The kind for your shop, not the kind in your skin.)
I’m thrilled to have worked through the process I follow for clients. I appreciate that hard questions have to be answered, there are no shortcuts, and no matter how badly we want to get it done on our own, writing is way less scary and more fun with a candid, caring editor.
And now I’m excited to point curious people to this site so they can get a feel for what I do, what I love and where I hope I can help. That means you, too. Whenever you’re ready to write.