Hands up who hates their website. Here are a few reasons why your hand just shot up into the air.
But let’s start with something positive. From talking to a few businesses recently about their websites, one promising observation I can share is this – they all had websites. This made my heart sing a little because having a website is still so important, even with social media being such a domineering force in digital marketing.
If you need a reminder why you need a website, read my last post.
I also noticed some less encouraging common themes.
- They all slightly cringed when talking about their website. 😬
- They all apologised (several times) for what was on their sites 🤭
- They all felt reluctant to send customers to their site 🚧
- They were all painfully aware of the missed opportunity 🤦♀️
- They all felt they couldn’t rectify it on their own 😫
I have a sneaky feeling these businesses aren’t alone.
And this makes me feel 😔
How many of the above would you add your tick to?
But why do you hate your website?
The reason for the vitriol you feel for your domain is probably down to at least one of the following things.
#1 The words were an afterthought
You set up your business and decide you need a website for launch. After hastily employing a web designer to make it look all pretty, you congratulate yourself on a job well done. And then a few weeks later your designer asks you for the words. Cue panic.
By this stage you’ve probably either spent all the available budget or it’s too late to hire a copywriter. So, what do you do? Lift some slightly out of date copy from a presentation you gave to your bank manager and awkwardly shoe-horn it in to fill the gaps in your site.
#2 You intended to update it in a few weeks, but three years later…
To get the site up and running for launch day, you scrabble together some hastily penned words. It’s not great, but it’s OK because it’s temporary. A stopgap. You hit publish, and promise yourself that you’ll update it in a few weeks.
But there are always a million and one other things to do. And here you are three years on, despairing at why the same regurgitated, temporary copy is still untouched and very much defining your online presence.
#3 It doesn’t sound like you
Another reason you probably hate your website is because it doesn’t sound like you. In an attempt to sound professional, you’ve ramped up the formalities and scattered jargon wherever you can.
But although your mum may be impressed by how many big words you know, in reality it sounds stilted, vaguely robotic and not at all natural. Dare we say boring? Is it any wonder you feel no connection with your content?
#4 It’s out of date
OK, so the first few points definitely aren’t you. You hired a copywriter to scribe your content and the result was a polished site that gained you many a compliment. But that was back in 2015.
When did you last update your content? Are there still references to a ‘new client win’ in 2017 and a ‘latest update’ that by your reckoning is at least three versions behind what you’re actually running with?
The scorn many feel for their websites isn’t always due to the quality of the writing, but more the shame they feel for neglecting it for far too long.
But what’s the answer to your website woe?
So you get why you hate your website, but what can you do? Take your website offline and hide behind your Instagram profile? Definitely not.
As I established in my blog last week, relying on your social media profiles, wouldn’t be wise. However, powerful these platforms are, you don’t own your presence on them.
But at the same time, having a website you only share under duress or with an apologetic disclaimer, is also not going to win you any digital marketing accolades (or online business for that matter.)
Yes, you actually need to do something about your cringey content. And that means rewriting content.
I’ll be working with the disgruntled businesses I talk about at the beginning of this post to create websites that they feel pride in. And I want to be able to help more businesses to do this as well.
You don’t have to pay me to do it for you (but you can if you want)
I’m shaking up how I’ll be working with businesses on website content going forward. Most important of all, I want to offer alternative to small business owners who are grappling with writing their own content.
When I came up with the idea for Word Stylist, my mission was to provide a range of writing services to help more businesses than I could as a conventional copywriter.
From September there will be three ways I can work with you.
⚡️Content creation: Hand it over to me and I’ll scrupulously scribe what you need by your deadline.
⚡️Content coaching: With ideas and hand-holding from me, you write the high converting content I know you’re capable of.
⚡️Content curation: Strategy sessions that will ensure you’re never lost for words again.
Send me an email if you’re interested in finding out more about any of these options.
And in addition to these paid services…
I’ll also be offering more free wordy wisdom:
⚡️Word Stylist blog. Yep, I’ll be posting more here.
⚡️Word Stylist Closet. A collection of free writing resources available exclusively to my email subscribers.
I’ll be opening the doors to the Word Stylist Closet on Friday. All will be revealed in my Cutting Room Floor newsletter on Friday 7th August. Have you signed up yet?