This may sound weird coming from a writer, but anyone who is literate (and even some semi-literates) can write. So, if you think you can write your own website, you are literally correct. All it takes is taking the time to sit down and do it.
But (you knew there was a “but” coming, right?) the fact that you can put words on a page yourself doesn’t mean that you should do it. Beyond the fact that there is a difference between writing and good writing, when you are running a web business you’re actually talking about a completely different skill – copywriting.
What is copywriting? Essentially, it’s using words to market your product. Your goal is to persuade people. To get their attention, appeal to their emotions, and make them respond with a specific action – usually, purchasing your services or buying your products.
If you are trying to decide whether or not you need to hire a professional copywriter for your web business or if you can create the content on your own, ask yourself these questions:
Can you determine your target audience and effectively “sell them” on your product? Professional copywriters are experienced in writing for a wide variety of audiences and tend to be very good at making subtle changes to the tone and wording of their work to make it appeal to specific markets. They also research demographics – location, gender, age, wealth – and psychographics – values, attitudes, and habits.
Can you sell your product or business in a line? When describing something important, most of us want to talk about it at length. In fact, we find it hard to boil it down to just a few words. Unfortunately, most people are impatient and don’t want to read a thesis paper on your business. You need to be able to write a pithy one-liner that says who you are and why your business or product is better than everyone else’s. Copywriters specialize in this kind of writing.
Do you understand SEO and keep up with the latest changes? Search engine optimization – or lack thereof – is one of the biggest factors in web businesses succeeding or failing. If you do it well, your site will rocket to the top of the search engine rankings while maintaining a quality that you can be proud of. If you don’t do it, or implement it poorly, people won’t even know your site exists, or will avoid it like the plague.
If you answered no to any of these questions, you might want to at least talk to a few copywriters and see what they can offer you and how much they charge for their services. You might be surprised how much your dollar will buy you – and how much working with a professional can improve your site!