20 tools for writing excellent website copy
In my experience, whenever I ask my clients to produce their website copy it seems that the writing process strikes them as fun and inspiring or completely terrifying and overwhelming.
And yet it's supposedly pretty simple, right?
The copy on your website just needs to explain what you do, the type of client you work with and why it's great working with you!
But this doesn't come easily for most of us.
So here is the golden tip for getting through it less painfully: approach your writing as if you are speaking to a friend.
Yes, it's your website but the content is not really about you, but what's in it for your clients. This is such a key point that if you bear this in mind as you write, you'll be writing copy that captivates your clients in no time.
That said, because writing copy can feel incredibly hard and sometimes it's hard to step back and be really clear on what needs to be communicated, I would recommend looking into hiring a copywriter to help you. They'll make it so much easier to find clarity, distill the important points into succinct text, and most importantly, ensure that your copy actually converts a reader into a buyer!
But if your budget doesn't stretch to copywriting services, below are the best resources & tips I've found to help you DIY it.
RESOURCES FOR WRITING YOUR OWN COPY
This resource list provides links to sites that will give you great advice and support for writing great web copy:
1. Copywriting 101 by Copyblogger [FREE] – How to Strategically Deliver Words that Get People to Take Action: this excellent 10-lesson e-book will give you a foundation in the most essential elements of online marketing.
2. Great article by Alyssa Martin on how to "steal" copy straight out of your clients' mouths and tips on how to organize and use that amazing contnt!
3. 20 Killer Web Copywriting Tips – These 20 copywriting tips from Writtent are so helpful for creating great copy for your website.
4. Common mistakes you might be making in your About page: This helpful checklist by Mei at Creative Hive is good to have on hand to work through when you're writing your About page. https://www.creativehiveco.com/common-mistakes-youre-making-in-your-about-page/
5. Free Copywriting Worksheets by Copy Hackers – Copy Hackers gives you 16 worksheets that will help you get very specific about applying top copywriting principles to your the text on your website.
6. The Definitive Guide to Copywriting – This comprehensive guide from Quick Sprout covers everything you need to learn in order to optimize your copy. It walks you through each stage of producing content while always keeping an eye on the prize: i.e. increasing website conversions.
7. How to Write a Compelling Introductory Paragraph – This article from grammar girl gives invaluable tips on how to write an introductory paragraph. Throughout the rest of her site and in her podcast, Mignon Fogarty, aka Grammar Girl, provides fun, accessible tips on improving your writing.
8. Grammar Guide - This is the best online grammar guide I've found. If you have any question around word usage, this should be your go-to resource!
Automatic Editing Tools
Use these online proofreaders and automatic editing tools to improve your writing as you build up your confidence:
After the Deadline – Uses artificial intelligence and natural language processing technology to find your writing errors and offer smart suggestions.
Correctica – Checks emails, documents, PDFs and blog posts and catches what spell checkers, grammar checkers, and human editors miss.
Grammarly – Instantly fixes over 250 types of errors in your copy, most of which Microsoft Word can’t find.
Hemingway – Web-based app that makes your writing bold and clear. Enter any text to see where you can simplify your prose. [My favorite!]
Paper Rater – Grammar and plagiarism checker.
ProWritingAid – Analyzes your writing and produces reports on overused words, writing style, sentence length, grammar and repeated words and phrases.
Free Summarizer – Summarizes any text in just a few seconds, then sends you the summary via email.
Writefull – App that provides feedback on your writing by checking your text against databases of correct language usage.
These writing platforms let you write, collaborate and publish all with one tool.
Airstory – Research and write in one place. Drag-and-drop your research, data points, images, graphs and more into a single outline or doc.
Draft – Writing collaboration tool with version control, editing assistance and cloud syncing.
Penflip – Writing collaboration tool with one-click ebook publishing.
ZenPen – Distraction-free writing zone.
In the comments below let me know if you have any other resources you'd recommend that we can add to this list!