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Copywriting manifests itself in so many ways it’s hard to understand what it is. Journalists talk about making copy. So do business folk. Charities too. But what does copy mean for the web?

The website
Website copy is the bread and butter of many businesses and organizations. When someone wants information, they’re likely to search a website. The yellow pages are no longer a solid place to find information about business. It’s gone the way of the dinosaur; burned up by a meteor. Or something.

Imagine the web is the meteor! It’s coming towards businesses at 160,000 miles per hour! If you’re not prepared with a good defense, say, good copy, you’re finished.

Good copy is the best defense against the fiery flame of the search engine, the all burning eye of the savvy web surfer.

Blogging is the most basic, updatable copy you’ll find on the web. Blogging keeps your website fresh and relevant. The constant, running fire burning across the internet landscape means you need to keep your information up-to-date to fend off would-be detractors, or the next breed of businesses vying for your position.

But good copy is not limited to what is on the web. Logos and mottos, as well as all other written material you produce, is copy. Branding makes a unified you, a vision or what you are. Without it you’re toast. Your website copy needs to match the materials you send out. Otherwise you will look unfocused.

What makes good copy?

  • Is your copy jargon free? Acronyms and tricky technical terms is off putting.
  • Are you focusing on the features of a product or service as opposed to the benefits? Potential clients want to understand what you can do for them, not how you do it.
  • Are you clear, concise and persuasive? You should say what you need to say in the least amount of words necessary. Plain and simple sentence phrasing, in a conversational tone, is a must.
  • Good headlines! Writing good titles and body headlines informs the reader what they’ll find on the page, and what they’ll find next.
  • Use a conversational tone. Talk to your readers. It makes it personal. Talk to one person at a time.
  • Really study and understand your product or service. This helps you write the best copy the first time.
  • Make the reader act. Write copy that makes them want to get up and shout about what you’re doing. If you have the right product or service, this is never too difficult.
  • Make your copy digestible. Using bold headings, bullet points or numbers to make the main points clear. Most folks tend not to read an entire page of information. Make it easy to skim.

Writing good copy isn’t rocket science, but it takes practice. You work on your business cards and pitch constantly as a way to promote yourself. Copy is just another extension of showing the best you possible.