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Persuasive copywriting

I'm not a copywriter but I'm someone who has built websites and writes. These are some points that I think are important.

    1. Am I in the right place?

    Be very clear to the visitor that they are in the right place. Is your website for them? Are they your audience. Something simple like: if you're XXX, looking for YYY, then this is for you. If you need help with ZZZ, you're in the right place.

    2. Keep it simple

    I don't like those websites that write screeds and screeds of content. You know the kind, buy this great course. Half an hour later, you're still reading the blurb.

    3. The Paul Jarvis method

    Of all the people I've read over the years, Paul Jarvis (now Fathom co-founder) is the one I miss the most. His website was clean and simple. (Maybe you could call him an aficionado of the tiny web back then). I anticipated his newsletter every Sunday, I hung on every word. He rarely promoted anything he was selling. He would talk about topics, provide great information, week after week, and then put a PS at the bottom of an email. 'Just to let you know there's a new eCourse live today' or 'My book is out now'. Of course, you clicked and bought it because each weekly newsletter had laid the foundation. And no hard sell!

    4. Be yourself

    I remember shocking someone years and years ago. I attended a networking event in Manchester. Before I went I checked out the event organiser's website. It was awful. Bland, badly put together, dull. Then, when I arrived, I met her! She was one of these women who is a force to be reckoned with. Immaculately coiffured, dressed and put together. She had a presence. She had a massive network. She was an excellent hostess. I couldn't help myself (it's the way I am), and I told her that her website didn't reflect her at all. Which leads us on to ...

    5. Essence

    I believe that a website should reflect the essence of the individual or the brand. In the case of the individual, it needs to capture something of the person. When we look at the website, and then meet the person, there should be an alignment. There shouldn't be any surprises.

    I met someone else when I was networking. She had purple hair. She was a bit Goth. Her website showed none of this. It was like meeting two different people.

    6. Speak in your own voice

    Someone I knew and admired was very broad Yorkshire. She talked like that all the time. She was bold and brash with red hair. Her website was black, white and red. You could read her copy and hear her voice as you read it. She even wrote lots of it in capitals but it was her.

    One time she updated her website and the agency took out all the broad Yorkshire and made it bland. It was awful. I couldn't see her anywhere on the site. She knew it was a mistake and updated it again, returning to her normal style of just being herself. It wasn't perfect English, it wasn't all grammatically correct, some of it was in capitals but it was her. She made £millions, by the way!

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