Writing Website Copy is Like Raising a Toddler

I was writing a 20+ page website and 25+ page relocation guide 23 hours before I had my daughter. It went something like this: contraction, breath, type, type, type, contraction, send to client, pack for hospital. I promised myself that I would not let the business that I worked so many years to establish, fall by the wayside as I sauntered into motherhood.

Fast-forward 2 years…

How can I get my toddler’s attention and coax her to do what I want? Is poopey spelled with “ey” or a “y”? Is preschool hyphenated? When I started critiquing Curious George Makes Pancakes and spelling “poop” in my head, I knew it was time to make good on my promise and get back to my copywriting business. It was time to use my brain or lose my mind.

Fast-forward 2 weeks…

Now my adorable daughter is enrolled in a pre-preschool program. I’m catching up with clients. And I’m wondering if I still have what it takes to be a great copywriter?

You bet I do. See, I’ve realized that I’ve been perfecting my writing skills while raising my daughter all along. Within the first few months of her life, I knew that my daughter was strong-willed. As the months tick by, her stubbornness requires me to see things as she does. A copywriter does the same. Before beginning any project, I have to learn who my audience is and write copy that speaks to them on their level.

In my house, “yang yang” means raisins and earrings. My child speaks a language that doesn’t resemble anything like English. Yet, we manage to communicate quite well with one another. How? Just like a copywriter, I’ve learned her needs and wants and I make sure they are addressed in our activities and conversations.

All needs and wants are not created equal and effective copy thoughtfully addresses issues specific to each audience. Let’s say my client sells real estate. Her website visitors’ wants and needs are very different from those visiting an IT consulting website.

Tell my child to find her shoes, pick up toys, eat lunch, and put Elmo on the table and she’ll ignore me as she goes about her merry way. She can do all that and more, but we have to take it step by step. Websites have an ultimate goal to get contact information, sell a product or service, etc. Achieving that goal means writing copy that walks readers through the process of concisely and logically. Take them in fifty directions at once and they’ll click off your site going about their merry way.

Like any honest mother will admit, I’m not above bribery. And neither should you be when it comes to your website content. Typically, offering a bribe to get your visitor to buy a product or divulge their contact information creates a win-win situation. Fruit snacks or a book works for me as a mother, but special discounts, added value information, or a free gift works as a copywriter.

You’ve finished the article like a good reader and if you were my child, I’d be whipping out the fruit snacks right now. But effective copy speaks to your audience, right? So here’s your treat. Worried that your current website copy doesn’t target your readers, effectively address their needs and wants, or persuasively lead them through the buying process? Contact me for a FREE home page review. No fruit snacks, but you’ll get an objective evaluation of your content.

Brenda Galloway