Welcome back to part two of our three-part series on copywriting for the web. Last week, we discussed the basics of voice, tone, and style, and offered some tips to help you create solid messaging guidelines to steer the copywriting process.
Now that you have your guidelines set and are ready to get started, all you need is a team to do the work. Copywriting for a website can feel like a daunting and challenging task for one person to tackle on their own. There are a few different approaches you can take to simplify the process. Let’s dive a little deeper into each one.
Leverage staff’s skills
No one knows your organization and subject matter better than the people who live and breathe it every day. You and your staff are delivering work that aligns with your mission and is guided by the larger vision of your organization. You are the ones who created, designed, and live out the programs, initiatives, and products that you offer.
When creating a plan of who’s going to be writing what copy, lean on staff member’s individual skills and expertise areas. For example, recruit the director or manager of a particular program to write the copy for that program’s page. By relying on their own extensive knowledge and the messaging guidelines you’ve created, every staff member should have everything they need to write great copy for the website.
Consider staff members’ skills outside of their job description to help out with the copywriting process: You might find your coworker who is an avid reader also has a keen eye for grammar and spelling, or that someone in IT is able to effortlessly create bird’s eye view outlines that other people can help fill in.
Additionally, we recommend assigning one person to be the designated point-person. This role would help keep all the copywriting tasks organized and on-schedule, and is the person everyone knows to come to with questions and clarifications about guidelines, deadlines, etc.
Hire an expert
Many people hesitate when we suggest hiring a copywriter to help them with written content for their new website. How will they ever understand our message and product in such a short amount of time? Simple – that’s their job.
A talented copywriter is not only good at writing, but they are adept to getting up to speed rather quickly. They know what questions to ask and how to research and engage stakeholders correctly in order to grow their understanding of the organizations they partner with.
While most good copywriters can adapt to any subject matter, we usually recommend a copywriter who is familiar with your organization’s sector. This will allow for a more seamless partnership, as they will already know how to speak the industry language, and have a better understanding of your audience and overall goals.
Another benefit of hiring an expert is that they provide an objective view of your written content. There is such a thing as being “too close” to a certain topic. For someone who is close to the work an organization does (i.e., your staff, board members, directors), it can be hard to discern the most important information from the nitty-gritty details. Copywriters can help weave out the bigger picture and help you write copy that drives this idea home in a digestible and compelling way.
When you hire a copywriter, you are able to have someone write about your organization in a positive light without focusing heavily on jargon. They are experts in writing copy that is informative, engaging and captivating.
Hiring a copywriter does not mean they take over and you lose control over the process. It’s important to approach working with a copywriter as a collaborative process. They’re able to do most of the heavy-lifting as far as content creation, and your team takes on the role of editor.
Choose your own adventure
The beauty of assembling your own team to tackle copywriting for your website is that you get to choose which direction you want to take. You can choose to solely rely on your team’s expertise and passion, or outsource the grunt work of copywriting to an expert. If you want, you can do a little bit of both. It’s up to you to decide what makes the most sense for your organization.
Whichever path you choose, congratulations, you have assembled a team to help you tackle the copywriting process for your new website.
Next week, we’ll take a look at some best practices and rules to follow when actually writing content. In the meantime, feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions about how to put a successful copywriting team together.