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Blog, How-To, Web Writing Mistakes, Website Content, Website Copy

Web Writing Mistake #1: The Introduction to What You Say

There’s nothing wrong with writing your own website content because you’re talented or you can’t afford to hire a copywriter. You just have to go about it the right way.

Web Writing Mistake #1: Introducing What You’re ABOUT to Say

Every pixel of space on your website is valuable, so you can’t afford to waste it. You have between 3 and 5 seconds to capture a reader’s interest. Beyond that, he or she is going to stay on your site and explore or click the “Back” button to see what your competitors have to say.

When you waste time stating the obvious, you’re not going to keep your readers’ interest very long. Skip straight to the point by:

  • Avoiding useless segues into bulleted lists
  • Steering clear of phrases such as “Below you will find…” and “Read on for more information”

Look at the difference between the way these two introductions read:

  • Here is a list you will find useful in making the decision to hire a personal injury attorney.

    1. Make sure you ask him how much experience he has.
    2. Have your documents ready in case he wants them.

  • If you’re hiring a personal injury attorney, you’ll need to ask him several questions, including:

    1. How much experience do you have with cases like mine?
    2. What documentation do you need from me to move forward with my case?

Why would you waste valuable space to introduce what you’re about to say? People aren’t stupid, so don’t treat them as if they are. You’re not writing a middle school book report; you’re writing something that needs to capture your audience’s attention and get them to work with you.

Skip the Hassle and Hire a Pro

Naturally, you could forget about all this (and ignore the silly rules of English) and hire someone else to write your copy for you. If that’s not feasible, that’s okay – just write the way you’d talk to a stranger and you should be able to pull it off.

About Angie Papple Johnston

Angie Papple Johnston was formally trained as a journalist by the U.S. Army and now makes her living writing engaging and informative B2B and B2C sales copy, website content, press releases and more. Connect with Angie on Google+, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.