“I write one page of masterpiece to ninety one pages of shit. I try to put the shit in the wastebasket.”
John Crace offers advice on how to write a ‘misery memoir’, following the news that another best selling tragic biography has been exposed as a fake.
I’m stating the obvious here, but it’s amazing how many clients don’t fully anticipate or appreciate their user’s needs when it comes to web copy.
When devising web copy or a content strategy, ask yourself the following questions:
What is the purpose of your web copy? What does it need to achieve? What do customers need to do on your site and will the copy help them?
There’s hundreds of more questions you need to ask yourself. For example, does your web copy ‘sell’ your services, product or public information? Is copy ‘on message’? Does it reflect your brand values? Don’t know what your brand values are? Then find out! Does copy meet your editorial guidelines? Don’t have any guidelines? Then write some!
We all skim text (which is different to scanning) and very rarely read web page copy word for word.
This is one of the basics for web copywriters / editors, but I just had to share this classic example of how web readers skim page text.
Indulge me by doing this little exercise:
- Visit this page of the Guardian’s Eat Right website
- Read the text on the page as you normally would (or at least try to) if coming to the page anew.
- Come back to this page and read the rest of the article.
Okay. once you’ve visited the page…
How did you get on? What happened when you were faced with the wall of text? Did you skim or scroll down the page until you found something that required less effort to read?
Did you only start reading properly until you got to the first numbered / bolded bullet point?
Want to write a novel? Need inspiration? Then watch this: