As you might know, I write a bit.
Sometimes not very well, sometimes just fine.
- Once I wrote a book and that did okay. Really okay. Millions $$$ okay. Sweet!!
- Then I wrote a newsletter with 250,000 subscribers.
- I’ve written an online blog for close on 10 years.
- I’ve written thousands of brochures, articles, media releases, web sites and more.
- And I’ve written a Will
So if you think I might be able to offer a real world tip or 5 on writing for online, then keep on reading Sunshine…
1. People Don’t Read
They scan. They pick out words that are sexy.
So use short sentences. And break things up a bit. Because people don’t read blocks of text!
- Sub Headings
- Bullet points
- Numbered lists
- Bolded words
Make the copy easy as pie to scan.
And give them clues on what the important words might be.
2. Use Testimonials Where It Makes Sense
If you say you provide a service that provides HUGE value, prove it with a testimonial.
“OMG!! I’m squealing like a 16 yo girl because my new BFF (Tracey) has just saved me a whopping $8,000 on my taxes.
And given me loads more time. $8k and more time – Venice, here I come! Thanks Tracey!”
3. Always, Always, Always Have A Call To Action
Tell people exactly what they have to do to get the benefits of using you.
Call NOW On 5555 5555 To Save Time, Money & Hassle
Have your call to action in the exact same place on each page.
4. Don’t Link To Things That Are The Same, Only Bigger
Don’t link your photo to the bigger image.
- It provides no additional value to the visitor
- It annoys them a bit
- It increases load time
- It decreases Google rankings
- It is the leading cause of poverty in Africa
And yes, that last bit is true.
5. Be Bold
Be controversial. Be daring. Be different.
It’s hard to stand out in a cluttered market.
And don’t worry about “proper” writing.
Don’t always start sentences the right way – start them with “And” and “But” if it feels right.
(Dear Mrs Pearce (if you ever read this), I apologise. I’ve strayed from the path of proper English that you set me on as my teacher in Grade 3. Please forgive me.)
The laws of English classes don’t count for too much when you’re trying to connect to your audience.
6. Always Under-Promise And Over-Deliver
That’s right, an extra tip! You expected 5 and I’ve absolutely delighted you with 6.
You must be dizzy with excitement!
Calm down, calm down!
You see, I’m actually very, very good at this stuff. I’ve written a bit.
- I’m the author of the most profitable business book by an Australian author in the last 10 years.
- I wrote a marketing newsletter with 1/4 million subscribers – talking all things marketing.
So I can write incredibly well. I’m not saying I’m better than Shakespeare, but……
Plus I’m thrilled that you’re having the opportunity to benefit from my brilliance.
Seriously, I am freaking amazing and you are sooooo lucky to have me writing for you!
7. Last Tip – Demonstrate Your Expertise …..But Position Yourself Appropriately
In # 6, I (in an over the top way) demonstrated my product (my expertise/writing credentials) to back up what I was saying.
You can do that too :
“This reminds me of a client recently I worked with where, because I’m a Chartered Accountant, we were able to work together to identify a rather nice $4,712 in savings…..”
See how your wording is much gentler than my outlandish self promotion and talks of “working together” whilst also mentioning you’re a Chartered Accountant (to increase the perception of you as an expert) and then gives a very precise saving amount.
(It has to be a true testimonial of course.)
That’s because you need to build credibility and trust.
How you position yourself to your target audience is important – you need to come across as:
- expert and
You can’t say:
“I’m Tracey and I am amazing!!
Seriously, I’m the greatest Chartered Accountant and consultant on bookkeeping systems in the world! My work is incredible!”
Because that’s not going to work with your target market I wouldn’t think. You can’t come across as overconfident (but you have to be confident).
And although I am all of those things I said in # 6, I said them in that way for demonstration purposes only
And here endeth the essay.