You’ve decided you need a new website. You have found a great web design firm to handle the look and feel. They are a small shop and have a great little team working for them. They recommended you work with a web copywriter to get the written content completed.
Now, a word of advice?
Don’t wait until the design is finished and the site is being developed to pick up that phone or to send that email to a copywriter.
Very often we get calls that sound something like this:
“Help! We need 50 web pages written in the next couple of days. We tried to do it ourselves, but it is taking too long.”
How many pages need writing?
“Uh, all 50. Please help!”
Web copywriter to the rescue!
How good do you think last-minute, ill-planned, hastily written web copy is going to be?
It doesn’t matter how good that web copywriter is, anything done at the last minute is not going to be as effective in turning your prospects into customers as well-planned and well-written copy.
When copy and design go together, it’s magic
Web copywriters and designers actually like working together. We like this because we can create infinitely better websites when the look and the voice are created together.
At the same time.
Yes. The same time. You need to have your web copywriter working alongside (physically, or not) as the design is being worked on.
Designers like perfection. That’s a good thing. But sometimes in their pursuit of perfection, they design away a truth about words: sometimes we need more of them.
Involving a web copywriter from the start means that someone will be there to say that actually, a longer title is necessary. Win-win. Your designer gets copy input early on the in the design process (saving later headaches when everyone realises that the blog has longer titles than perfect 38 character ones). This also means that she will be able to begin working on the other content items ahead of time: graphics, buttons, captions, and other visual content that almost always needs a writer’s input.
Web copywriting takes a lot of time
It’s easy to overlook the fact that writing 50 pages at 450 words per page takes a lot of time.
“It’s only 50 pages”
Yes, but each page requires planning, outlining, writing, editing and proofreading. An average web copywriter working 8-hour days would need something in the region of 10 working days to create your 50 pages of web content from scratch.
And that’s only if every single page has already been identified up front.
Copy doesn’t actually have to come before design
I used to believe the opposite was true. That was before I worked in the real world.
Working in a silo, without input from another creative is harmful to good web copywriting.
It is better and more efficient to produce copy at the same time as the design, because just as my writing gives the designer an idea of how to handle the content, so does her design influence the amount and style of my copy.
Working alongside the design and development team means a more efficient website build.
A more efficient build is more affordable.
A more affordable website is better for your budget because you can spend more on promotion. And more promotion means more customers.
All because you contacted that web copywriter on day one.