Stuck on Writing your Website? Start Here.
So, you need to write for your website, but like… WHERE DO YOU START?
I hear it all the time. “Jess, I need to write my (insert web page here), but I’m just stuck. I KNOW WHAT TO SAY, BUT I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO SAY, YA KNOW?”
sometimes it just comes out a little like this:
Either way, I get it. Website copy is really hard—and believe it or not, it’s challenging for copywriters, too!
I mean, you know what to write about, but the questions still surface:
HOW do I write it?
What goes where?
Are people even going to read this?
If they read it, will they DO anything?
Friend, there is hope.
It’s not that you don’t have #alltheideas (because we all know you do), it just might be that you’re ACTUALLY starting at Square 97 when you should be starting at Square 1.
What’s Square 1, might you ask?
Where do I start when writing website copy?
You must start with the end in mind.
Wait, I thought we were talking about writing, not goal-setting?
Well, yes. But writing and goal-setting are two sides of the same coin.
Both are meant to ultimately elicit action. In goal-setting, we hope to map out a goal so that our day-to-day actions will eventually add up to reach that desired result. In writing, we hope to create a feeling, present a new idea, teach the reader something that moves them from one headspace to another (hopefully, the one in which they need what we offer) by the end of their time with us.
How to craft a goal for your website copy:
Remember: Each page has a different goal.
But each page must have one goal.
Your about page has one goal.
Your services page has one goal.
Your home page… well, your home page is different! We’ll talk more about that next week, but make sure your home page goals are clear as well.
Here are some questions to help you write that goal:
How did they get here?
Consider the journey your visitor has traversed to get to this page. How far along are they in their journey with you? Are they on the services page because they know they need what you offer? Are they on the About Page because they want to get to know you, or because they’re confused about what you actually do from your Home Page? Do some brainstorming about their journey.
How do you want your page visitor to feel?
The way you want to make your visitor feel will help dictate how you package your information. Do you want them to feel challenged or called out? Lots of mirror statements, showing them where they are and boldly calling them to more might be your style. Do you want them to feel comforted and encouraged? You will also need mirror statements here, but instead of calling them out to more, you’ll simply remind them that more is possible and you have the tools to help them get there. One says, “get out of your own way, girl” and the other says “you were made for more, and I’m here to help you.”
Here’s the thing: Both are valuable! But they each communicated a very different vibe, and choosing between the two is key to crystal clear page copy, but also a crystal clear, recognizable brand voice.
What do you want to help them overcome?
On each page, you should be considering your ideal visitor in these three brain spaces: 1) where are they now? 2) where do they want to be? 3) what is standing in their way?
Those obstacles, the things standing in their way, are a stinkin’ GOLD MINE when it comes to writing your copy. If you want someone to take massive action—or even stick with you to click to the next page—you have to overcome those obstacles, or show them how you will.
This might mean speaking to their objections in their mind, it might mean acknowledging things that haven’t worked before, or it might just mean positioning yourself as that person who has done it before and can help them get there, too.
Tip: You already have this information. It’s nestled in your offering, how you deliver your service, what makes your products different, etc. Use this to help you phrase that information in a way that makes them say OMG, I NEED THAT. Then, they’ll be ready to take action.
What do you want them to DO, once it’s all said and done?
You’ve heard it before. You MUST have a call to action on the page. BUT, a call to action does not have to be a sales pitch. Do you want them to head to the blog? Do you want them to contact you? Do you want them to download your thing? Do you want them to just click over to Instagram and follow you there? Whatever it is, make it clear and make it easy. Tell them what to do, and IF NECESSARY, tell them how to do it. You know I’m all about voice, but here it’s necessary to be absolutely clear before you can be cute or clever. Make sure they’re not left wondering what to do, even for a second.
I like to literally type out the page goal at the top of my Google Doc when I’m drafting.
Here’s a quick sentence frame so you can do the same (that rhymes!):
The goal of my (insert page title) is to make my visitor feel (insert feelings) in order to help them overcome (insert feeling or obstacle) so that they will (insert action).
Here’s an example from a client:
The goal of my About Page is to make my visitor see themselves through my story to overcome their loneliness in building a business for income AND impact so that they will book a call with me.
Your goal can be shorter than that (and it very well might be a run-on sentence)…
but the key is this:
You can only intentionally create one feeling, overcome one obstacle, and spur them to ONE ACTION at a time.
If you’re spending time on MORE than that, it may result in NO action, confused feelings, and (worst of all) adding additional obstacles.
I hope these tips empower you to FINALLY write that page on your website!
(Or to revamp what you already have and make it 10x better!)
Establish a goal for that one page you’ve been putting off writing.
THEN, take a picture of that goal and tag me over on Insta stories or send me a DM (@jessjordana) so I can cheer you on!