Tools and Tips for Writing Your Website Copy (With a Checklist!)
You’ve hired a designer to create your new website’s look, but what about the copy? It can feel overwhelming at first, but it’s a lot easier to write your website than you think.
A little bit of planning and organization up front will help everything go smoothly, and you’ll be writing from the heart before you know it.
Get instant access to your free website copy checklist here:
How to Write Amazing Website Copy
First of all, don’t worry! Nothing digital is set in stone. Even after your new website is launched, you can tweak your copy whenever you like, so it doesn’t need to be perfect before you hand it over to your designer.
Using a platform like Squarespace makes it super easy to edit in the future. Think of it like a living, breathing thing. Your site will change and grow with you.
Here’s how to plan out your website copy and get writing!
Step 1: Outline Your Pages
Before you start writing, create a list of all the pages your website needs.
You can write out your pages as a list on a piece of paper, like this:
Or, if you prefer a more visual style, you could use a sitemap tool like WriteMaps.
PRO TIP: Create a list of keywords and search terms that apply to your business. Keep them handy so that you can weave them into your website copy when it makes sense.
Step 2: Website Copy Content Strategy
For each of your website’s pages above, write out what you need to include on them.
For example, your About page might include a bit about your business’ history, and your own story of becoming an entrepreneur. Your Services page should, obviously, list out your services or packages.
Here’s an example of how that list could look:
- Photography of you in action with your service/product or a video of you telling your story
- 1 sentence description that explains what you do / who you are
- Link to services page with paragraph about your services
- Your email address
- 3 client testimonials
- Your freebie for lead generation (sales copy)
- Do you want a promotional pop-up when visitors arrive at your site? If so, what should it say? What is your offer?
- Email newsletter signup area, including a description, thank you for subscribing message, and what people can expect to receive from you.
- My education and coaching background
- Some personal facts about me
- Professional headshot
- Your story
- How to contact you
- Descriptions, features and benefits of your...
- 1:1 services
- Group services
- Mastermind group
- Case Studies / testimonials
- Photography of you in action providing your services
- Link to schedule an appointment
- At least 5 of your best testimonials
- Headshots for each testimonial quote
- Their permission :)
- Contact information, including your company email address (Still working with a @gmail.com address? Step it up with a @yourcompany.com address!)
- Contact form fields. Think about what information you would like to know before you jump on a call with a prospective client/customer.
- Business hours
- 1-3 sentences of what to expect when they contact you (will get back to you in 24-48 hours, etc)
- Description of your blog
- Your bio, a short version
- List of categories (use your keywords as inspiration)
- List of tags (say your categories are breakfast, lunch, dinner, your tags would be chicken, beef, vegetarian, etc)
Keep this list handy so you can use it as a checklist as you write each page.
Step 3: Write!
Once you have your outline, get to work! Again, don’t worry about making it perfect. Your designer will take your copy and arrange it on your new site design. If anything’s missing, they will use dummy copy. You will have an opportunity to edit your copy throughout the revision process.
Starting to write is often the biggest challenge. Once you get some words out, it becomes a lot easier to keep going. Soon enough, you’ll have all the copy you need.
Keep your copy to a max of 600 words per page. If you have more to say, create a downloadable brochure instead.
After you’ve finished writing a draft of every page, go back to your outline and make sure you’ve included all the key elements you wrote down.
PRO TIP: HEADLINES
Ensure each page headline or subheading contains an SEO keyword. In addition to having your main headline, make sure to include a few subheadings throughout the page to break up the copy.
You can use CoSchedule’s free Headline Analyzer to evaluate your headlines if you want to try out different ones!
Headlines are important. They capture your visitor’s attention right away and signal to them if they should keep reading, or move on to another site. Each headline should be followed by no more than 300 words for easy readability.
Step 4: Review Your Work
After you’ve written the first draft, read it over and ask yourself a few key questions:
- Am I speaking directly to my dream client/customer?
- Are you mixing up the use of first and third person? Pick one and stick with it!
- Do you have an irresistible offer in exchange for an email address or trigger to get in touch?
- Do you have more than 600 words per page? (If so, edit it down!)
Once those are taken care of, picture yourself as your ideal customer and give it another read from their perspective.
Step 5: Send Your Copy to Your Designer
When you’re done, send it off! Your designer needs your copy to finish creating your new website, so they’ll be thrilled to have it.
There are a million ways to send it. You could write in a Word document (or Pages for Mac), or use a free PC office suite like OpenOffice.
A great solution is Google Docs, which lets you share a document with your designer in real-time, meaning either of you can make edits or comments right in the document and collaborate seamlessly. This is perfect for working remotely with your designer.
To Supplement the Copy Checklist - Get a Page-By-Page Guide
Want a template to help write your copy by page? Download my free Website Content Planner Workbook to guide you step-by-step (and page-by-page)!