4 Reasons Why Writing Your Own Web Content is a Bonehead Move

4 Reasons Why Writing Your Own Web Content is a Bonehead Move

web content writerYou’ve finally made the leap and you’re launching a new website. Before you cut the virtual ribbon, your web designer tells you that you’ve got to give him some content to replace that “Lorem ipsum” blurbs throughout your pages.

So you get to work and do the best you can. Months later, when your website isn’t performing well you wonder if the money you spent on the redesign was worth it.

It’s not the designer’s fault – it’s yours.

Writing your own web content is like cutting your own hair. It might look pretty straight forward. You may think that it you work slowly enough that you’ll master it. But even if you have the right scissors and a friend to help it’s still going to be a bit “off.”

Here are four reasons why writing your own content is a bonehead move.

Your website can make or break your business.

You only get one chance to make a first impression. The most amazing design in the world isn’t going to fix spelling errors, missing calls to action and other major content mistakes. By taking your web copywriting into your own hands you’re creating a stifled site that isn’t going to give you the results you’re looking for.

Web writing isn’t “regular” writing.

As an English major and then journalist, I thought I knew writing well. When I made the shift to web writing, I realized how little I actually knew! Writing for website audiences isn’t the same as putting together a report or creating a news story. Readers scan, hop around the page and skim through website text. If you don’t know how to format and layout the writing on your website, your traffic won’t covert and your website won’t be effective.

SEO Copywriting needs a special approach.

I wouldn’t be doing my job as a web writer without mentioning search engine optimization. SEO doesn’t have to be a four – er, three – letter word. Writing for search engines is something that takes skill, practice and staying on top of the latest guidelines for search engine placement. Do you have the time to follow all of that? A web writer can do it for you.

You’re too close to your product or service to write well.

I’m willing to bet you can rattle off the great things about your product or service in a heartbeat. But is that really what your prospects want to know? Since you know all of the details of what went into your product or service, it might be hard for you to pull out the key benefits and juicy details that will have your website visitors ready to buy. Knowing the ins and outs of what you do can actually be a detriment to your web content. Let a copywriter help you find the main highlights and pump them up for you.

You’re too busy to get it done.

Your new website project or product launch could be delayed weeks or months if you try to tackle it yourself. You have enough on your plate. Letting a web content writer take the reins on your project will mean a faster launch date and quicker profits.

When is it okay to DIY? Some business owners can master blogging really quickly. Others are good at creating presentations that help sell what they’ve got to offer. But when it comes to the content on your pages, you’ll get the best results by calling in a professional for SEO copywriting.

(Image Credit: Seth W.)

8 Comments

  1. Love this post! I agree that blogging is a different "animal" than web page writing — With blogging, even though you still need to be thinking about SEO, it's more about creating a voice and showing your human side, while still providing value-added content (like you just did!). For content pages, you really do need to have a professional help

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. Thanks for your comment Gwen! The points you mentioned about blogging are excellent. With a voice and a human side, it's simpler for business owners or staff to create than web pages themselves.

  3. Although, I write my own web content – no one would deny that finding help to create your web content is a smart move.

    I like your analogy.
    Even if you are the best barber in the world, you would be courting a haircut disaster if you choose to do your own haircut.

    • Hi Jeff – thanks for your comment! I agree – cutting your own hair can be a disaster. Believe me, I’ve tried! :)

  4. So to prepare you for blogging and writing web content, what would be the best degree for that?
    Thanks!

    • Leslie – I have a degree in English and a background in Journalism, and I’ve found that’s a good fit for job. I know that there are companies that are specifically looking for journalism majors and journalists because of the trend toward content marketing. I hope this helps!

  5. I get the overall point of this post and can agree. Cautiously agree.

    In recent months more social media gurus have been admitting that blogging is difficult. There’s writing for people and writing for SEO. There’s a need to create content consistently, not kinda consistently.

    However, for a lot of small businesses, there isn’t the money to hire a writer. So, what if someone could find the time to blog but not the money to outsource it? It could be a tough puzzle to solve: churn out crap data on a regular basis or, maintain a static brochure site.

    What are your thoughts?

  6. Hi Oz,

    Thanks for the comment. When it comes to website content – the copy that is permanently on your pages – I believe it’s essential to hire a professional. In order to have an effective website, those pages need to be written in a specific way to drive conversion actions.

    However, as you pointed out, blogging on a consistent basis is a challenge. I don’t think it’s an either/or proposition – there needs to be a static, well put together site. And there needs to be some kind of consistent blogging going on. If there aren’t resources to spend $400 to $1200 per month on professional blogging, there are several other options. A business could purchase editorial calendar creation services so they are relying on expert guidance but still completing the weekly or bi-weekly work themselves. They could mix things up with curated posts twice per month and original posts the other two weeks.

    In addition, regular blog content doesn’t necessarily have to be written. They could record a short podcast, share a picture, take a video, do an interview or even provide a roundup from a social media discussion.

    Or as another option, they could create one outstanding long post per month and then support that with lots of social media distribution.

    So in short, if there’s a limited budget for content, spend it on website content and then find other options for your blog.

    Thank you so much for your comment and I hope I answered your question.

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