Are you making this mistake with copy?
If you’re stuck in the copy trap, you’re in trouble...
I don’t know when you started building websites, but me, I tinkered around with them for a couple of years and then got serious in 2005. HTML, Wordpress, Joomla!, Business Catalyst... Whatever my clients thought they needed, I was more than happy to slap together. I wasn’t very good, but I was successful enough.
Except... I had a secret. At heart, I was a writer.
Still am, in fact. Have been for 15 years. Which, for reasons I’m about to explain, is pretty ironic.
My biggest mistake: letting clients write their own copy
It didn’t take long to get so busy selling websites and running the company that I couldn’t put any time into the copy that clients put on their websites.
See? I told you. Kind of ironic for a writer.
Website copy can make or break a site in the search engines. It’s the heart and soul of content marketing. Heck, these days people are even talking about how website copy has made salesmen obsolete.
And there I was, leaving it up to my clients to create.
I had fallen into the copy trap — I knew that I needed to be placing more importance on my clients’ website copy, but I was just too busy keeping all of the other balls in the air to be able to juggle one more thing.
So I had my clients write the copy. And boy, did it ever take a toll.
The copy trap can kill your business
Half of my clients would write one or two pages and get frustrated because they weren’t writers... And they knew it.
They had absolutely no clue how to create website copy, and no idea how to finish the job.
So they’d put it off and put it off until their deliverables were so late that we’d slap anything up on the site — just to get it done.
The other half thought they were award-winning authors, even though they were usually the farthest thing from it.
But what these guys lacked in talent, they made up for in gusto. They’d grab on to the copy with both hands and just start spewing out any old words that popped into their heads.
Then they’d work on it and work on it until (you guessed it) their deliverables were so late that we’d slap anything up on the site — just to get it done.
Crazy, isn’t it? Two kinds of clients, both stuck in the same place. Frustrated by the process... By the fact that their new sites were nowhere to be found on Google...
By the whole experience.
And me with a bunch of angry clients on my hands — and a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach.
That’s life in the copy trap.
How I escaped the copy trap, and how you can too
Before I did any more damage, I put my website business on hold and started trying to figure out what to do.
And then (remember how I said I’m a writer?) I was lucky enough to line up a gig with a premier web agency. These guys were massive — hundreds of thousands of dollars in billings a year. Sometimes a hundred grand in a single month!
I had my eye on them, so one day I flat-out cold-called them and asked to write for their clients. I figured since I wasn’t building sites I might as well do something. And heck, I needed to pay the mortgage.
Well, that “mortgage payment” job ended up turning into a steady stream of work — web content, opt-in pages, sales pages and email messages for their clients.
Writing for them gave me the chance to see the pros at work. I watched them successfully sell clients, again and again, on the idea of good website copy. I saw the tools they used, and paid attention to the kinds of things they talked about with each of their customers.
Like why content marketing makes sense for business, and how to do it properly. And why it’s important to hand critical web copy over to an expert.
And then I had it — the secret. It was like somebody shone a light down into the copy trap — suddenly showing me all the things I had been doing wrong — and threw me a rope.
So instead of hanging myself with that rope, I grabbed and hauled myself out of the copy trap.
I took what I learned and built a system based on the real-world, on-the-ground secrets of selling web copy that I learned working in the trenches.
And I went back to writing full-time, except as an outsourcer who gets brought in to help the kind of “stuck” clients I used to see in my own web business.
Now web designers bring me in to use my website copy system successfully on site after site.
I’ve found a way out of the copy trap, and I want to share it with you in my Escape the Copy Trap email series.
What you’ll learn in this 10-part email series
When you sign up for my Escape the Copy Trap email series, here’s what you’ll learn:
Why outsourcing your clients’ web copy is the best thing you can do for your business.
What you need your client to think — before you even get started on a project — if you want to reduce scope creep and maximize profit.
How negative perceptions of outsourcing keep many web designers from reaching their full potential.
How to conquer the fear an outsourcer may make your business look bad — and how to make sure that never happens in the first place.
How to explain the value of professionally written copy to any prospect or client.
What to do — and exactly what to say — when your client says “It’s OK... We’ll write the copy ourselves.”
How to use simple tools to help your project run more smoothly and finish faster.
How to find a writer to take care of your clients’ website copy — and why, how and when to make sure you’ve got one that can actually write.
Escape the Copy Trap is full of all this — and even more useful tools and practical advice — and the 10-part series is yours free when you sign up. Now, I’m not here to spam, and I won’t share your email address... What you’ll get when you sign up is 100% pure practical, usable advice and tips.
Get the email series right now
P.S. Did you know that, after the headline, the “P.S.” is the most-read part of a sign-up page like this one? Did your client?
If the answer to either one of those questions is “No,” you need to sign up today!Sign up today!