Beginner's Guide

Writing your own content? Here are 5 reasons why you shouldn’t

By Helen Beckingham

You can write, can’t you? You might even enjoy it. So why pay someone else to write your website content?

As a copywriter, I am that 'someone else' who gets paid to write website content. Yep, my clients shell out cash for a service that most people think they can do themselves.

Why the heck would they do that? And more importantly, why would you do that?

1. Because you don’t have time

You have a business to run. There are countless other priorities, and guess what? Writing your blogs and page content isn’t one of them. There’s a good reason for this:

It’s really difficult.

When it comes to putting pen to paper, most people discover that writing is harder than they thought. In fact, it’s a massive pain in the neck. They don’t know where to start, it takes ages – and there are better things to do. The things that you actually get paid for.

When it comes newsletters, emails and blogs a professional writer will save you hours of valuable time. For the website page content, we’re talking days. That time could be spent making money for your business.

2. Because you’re fabulous at your job

Oh go on, don’t be modest. You know you’re good. But how do you say that without sounding like a plonker?

Easy. Get someone else to say it for you.

Most businesses don’t see their value from a client’s point of view. Copywriters do.

We’re experts at working out how you benefit your target market. We put ourselves in your client’s shoes and clearly explain what they can save, gain, improve or achieve because of you.

3. Because your website visitor is impatient

Internet surfers have the attention span of a gnat. They’re looking for any excuse to hit the back button and leave.

You have about 10 seconds to grab their attention. Seriously, I’m not joking. You’ll lose them almost immediately if you do any of the following:

Readers won’t wade through unnecessary text. They want instant clarity about what you offer, and then all of them – every single one – wants the answer to one vital question:

What’s in it for me?

Professional copywriters have an uncanny ability to 'speak' to readers in a way that makes it all about them. What’s more, we can speak in a variety of voices – light, informal, professional, serious, funny, millennial, baby boomer - depending on the subject matter and target market.

Right now, the reader is you. I’m speaking directly to you in a conversational tone that (hopefully) engages you enough to stick around.

Do you have the ability to do that?

If the answer is yes, please move along. There’s nothing to see here. Otherwise, read on to the 4th reason why you need a copywriter...

4. Because website copywriting isn’t just writing

Website content is unique. Firstly, it needs to be a perfect fit for the design of the website. Get it wrong and no matter how gorgeous the design, the user experience will be rubbish. The website simply won’t do its job properly.

Secondly, website content is not the same as reading a newspaper or magazine. I’m aware, for example, that you’ve skimmed this article from one heading to the next.

Stop skimming for a second, because I’m going to tell you something interesting:

Everyone (including you) scans content in the shape of a capital F. Take a look at these red words.

We read the first sentence of the first paragraph, generally all the way to the end of the line….

Skip to the second paragraph, but give it less attention.

See what I mean? It’s an F-shape.

Skilled copywriters don’t just tailor content to the design. We also format the words to fit this odd, upside-down way of reading. I’ll put the most relevant, persuasive information at the top, where it’s guaranteed to get seen. Then I’ll work out where the reader’s attention is likely to wander.

And snap it back.

With a well-chosen word.

Like this one, for example:

5. Money

Yes, money. You’re in business to make money, right? Put simply, if you hire a professional content writer your business will be more profitable.

To summarise, here’s why:

Helen Beckingham is an SEO copywriter at Keyword Copywriting. Expert scribbler on websites, blogs and e-books, rather good bassoonist, terrible singer. Get in touch on 07765 520 624 or say hello here.