Hiring a writer is one of the smartest moves any small business can make.
I’m not just saying that because it’s what I do. I’m saying it because I have seen the toll that bad writing can have on a small business, and I’ve seen the effect of good writing.
For all you out there who know your website needs updating and are thinking about doing it yourself, please read the following analogy.
You need a new computer. You’re not sure what to get. (Although if you have half a brain, you should get a mac and I’m only saying this because it’s opinion week. Any other day I will respectfully acknowledge your right to buy a PC, although I may silently judge).
Sorry for the opinionated rant…back to the story:
You walk into a store and ask a sales person for help. You pick him because he looks knowledgeable, and he has glasses. This reassures you for some strange reason that you may decide to talk to your therapist about. He’s in his mid to late 30s which means he isn’t so old he doesn’t understand computers, but he’s not so young that you’re afraid he’s going to ask for a bottle in the middle of the conversation.
You introduce yourself, and tell him what you’re looking for in a computer. And that’s when it happens. He launches into an incredibly dry monologue about the computer in front of you. You don’t really follow a word he says, he uses technical terms that make your brain hurt, and you’re not even sure he listened to what you were looking for in the first place.
After four minutes your eyes glaze over and you patiently wait for him to be done. Let’s face it, if you could have walked away in the middle of the story without being rude, you would have.
The point of this story? Poorly written webcopy gives visitors the option to walk away in the middle of a long, boring story. If this sales person were to write the web copy for the computer store, it may be very informative, but chances are, it won’t be engaging. Most visitors will walk away in the middle of his story.
Now imagine you walk into the computer store and you ask a different sales person for help. This person is younger, but now you’re thinking maybe you need someone younger who isn’t going to bore you to death with crazy words. He has kind of a hipster look to him, and smiles at you. He’s friendly so you pick him as your guy. Again, you let him know what you’re looking for in a computer. And that’s when it happens.
Guy #2 launches into an incredibly personal story about the computer in front of him and why he loves it and you just have to buy it. His aunt got it for him for his 21st birthday and he used the computer to sign up for an online dating service and now he has a girlfriend and they’re going to have sushi for dinner that night. It’s a wonderful story. You were entertained. But did he convince you to buy the computer? Probably not.
Webcopy that is full of enthusiasm and makes you want to read it really fast like a teenage girl talking is fun, but it isn’t informative. It’s engaging, but it doesn’t make the sale.
There’s a magic behind writing copy that both provides information while also engaging visitors. Most small businesses owners can sit down and write about their company, but the question is: are they giving the correct information while also making it interesting? Probably not.
With my analogy I hope I’ve shown why it’s so important to have informative and engaging copy. It’s a skill that most copywriters work their entire lives to perfect. Make the investment to hire someone to write your copy in a way that will entertain and inform those who visit your site.
So ends the week of opinions. I feel like none of mine were overly controversial but it felt good to get my ideas and opinions out there. I encourage all bloggers to do the same!
What do you think about my analogy? Did it work for you? Do you think hiring a professional writer is worth your money?