Pop Your (Web) Copy
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Pop Your (Web) Copy



t’s easy to underestimate the importance of good copywriting and editing, especially for the web. Anybody who can read can write and edit, right?...

t’s easy to underestimate the importance of good copywriting and editing, especially for the web. Anybody who can read can write and edit, right?

Wrong. Strong copywriting is a specialized skill, and your silent/deadly weapon in creating awesome websites that really work.

Tiffani will talk about what makes for good web copy, how it’s different than other types of copy, how to learn how to write it, and why you should.



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Pop Your (Web) Copy Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Hi, I’m Tiffani. I like to read and write. Friday, June 26, 2009
  • 2. I’m here to talk to you about your (web) copy. Friday, June 26, 2009
  • 3. (my boss) Friday, June 26, 2009
  • 4. Friday, June 26, 2009
  • 5. A little more about me Community Specialist and Account/Project Manager Blue Flavor M.A in Ethics & Philosophy University of Chicago Lived a block from Barack Obama Ran a vegan restaurant B.A.’s in Psychology Religious Studies Indiana University Studied Wolof in Senegal Friday, June 26, 2009
  • 6. Disclaimer: I’m still a new kid. http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.noob.no/noob-kid.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.noob.no/ &usg=__ReP5lYrAQ07A1QMhty6DpiQ4xRg=&h=470&w=500&sz=22&hl=en&start=7&sig2=kzue5KcaIjXcQ5hHV3wTsw&um=1&tbnid=D4JjcMr5g0MkSM:&tbnh=122&tbnw=130&prev=/images%3Fq %3Dnoob%26hl%3Den%26client%3Dfirefox-a%26rls%3Dorg.mozilla:en-US:official%26sa%3DG%26um%3D1&ei=yBlBSpfLOJTYswOgsNCfCQ Friday, June 26, 2009
  • 7. What is Copywriting? Friday, June 26, 2009
  • 8. Brain dump. Journalism. Magazine writing. Diary. Self expression. Making yourself laugh. Writing an email. Tricking people. Friday, June 26, 2009
  • 9. Not just pretty pictures. Or grids. icons. colors. Friday, June 26, 2009
  • 10. Copywriting is a user experience problem! http://www.websiteoptimization.com/secrets/seo/1-13-honeycomb-morville.jpg Friday, June 26, 2009
  • 11. Copywriting is using words to sell stuff. http://www.claudehopkinsaudio.com/oglivy2.jpg products, businesses, opinions, ideas. Friday, June 26, 2009
  • 12. Copywriting is using words to create tribes. http://images.businessweek.com/ss/06/09/bloggers/image/sethgodin.jpg (of people who like you and your biz) Friday, June 26, 2009
  • 13. "Getting across the perfect message, with the perfect words." - Rob Nightingale Friday, June 26, 2009
  • 14. This is copywriting. Friday, June 26, 2009
  • 15. Good copy addresses a very important question. Friday, June 26, 2009
  • 16. WIFM It’s business! Friday, June 26, 2009
  • 17. What really persuades consumers to buy or not to buy is the content of your advertising, not its form. - David Ogilvy Friday, June 26, 2009
  • 18. Some Basics. Friday, June 26, 2009
  • 19. Be a good writer. (like, generally) Friday, June 26, 2009
  • 20. Don’t know how? Get these books. Friday, June 26, 2009
  • 21. The Four Big’ns Brevity. Simplicity. Clarity. Humanity. Friday, June 26, 2009
  • 22. Brevity ten words, not thirty. Friday, June 26, 2009
  • 23. http://www.braintraffic.com/what-we-do/ Friday, June 26, 2009
  • 24. Simplicity http://www.charlesknobloch.com/hvra/2007-11GLImages/I4.jpg Friday, June 26, 2009
  • 25. Friday, June 26, 2009
  • 26. Clarity Friday, June 26, 2009
  • 27. Jargon Use it when it matters. Write plainly where possible. Everyone can understand plain language.You can be taken seriously without jargon. Friday, June 26, 2009
  • 28. Actual Sentence Translated The Acme Defense Systems We care about strategy is to understand the customers. We make enduring needs of customers our products better and provide value-added by using new solutions to meet their technology. requirements. The strategy includes understanding the Copywritten art of using current and emerging technologies to The strongest improve the capabilities of defense system in existing products and the world. delivering new solutions. Friday, June 26, 2009
  • 29. Humanity your Self, in writing. http://www.flickr.com/photos/library_of_congress/3066025100/ Friday, June 26, 2009
  • 30. Friday, June 26, 2009
  • 31. Friday, June 26, 2009
  • 32. Rands in Repose What does a lie sound like? How do we decide to trust? There’s a reason why you can figure out in an instant whether a mail is spam or not. It’s not a single, measurable thing, but a whole set of small, invisible variables with which you can instantly make a judgment — I do not trust this mail. You have a complex set of analytical mental muscles that help you make critical snap emotional judgments. Whether it’s a mail, a website, or a person, your brain can instantly look at 12 imperceptible aspects of a thing to determine how you should feel. Friday, June 26, 2009
  • 33. Friday, June 26, 2009
  • 34. Friday, June 26, 2009
  • 35. Experimentation leads to great new things. http://www.hss.state.ak.us/gcdse/history/Images/section%2003%20-%20renaissance/3e-early-surgery.jpg Friday, June 26, 2009
  • 36. “Hard writing makes easy reading. Easy writing makes hard reading.” - Zinsser Good writing takes work and patience. Friday, June 26, 2009
  • 37. Writing to sell. Friday, June 26, 2009
  • 38. Do your homework. Know your position. who’s your audience? what does your product do? what does your audience want? Friday, June 26, 2009
  • 39. Be clear and direct. orange juice from Uwajimaya Friday, June 26, 2009
  • 40. Show benefits and features. minimal design! asks question Navigation ties in perfectly friendly, confident free! benefits listed Friday, June 26, 2009
  • 41. Get specific (wifm) Friday, June 26, 2009
  • 42. Grab peoples’ attention. Friday, June 26, 2009
  • 43. sexy! Rock the visuals. (From Kind Company) http://kindcompany.com/ Friday, June 26, 2009
  • 44. But remember: The good news is that anyone who touches copy can make a difference by insisting that every chunk of text on the site is doing something concrete. “Selling” is a muzzy, undefined process, so you can’t tell if you’re doing it properly just by looking. Copy needs specific goals to accomplish. - Erin Kissane http://www.alistapart.com/articles/writingcontentthatworksforaliving/ Friday, June 26, 2009
  • 45. Web Copy is Special. Why? Friday, June 26, 2009
  • 46. It’s about helping people do stuff. (plus all of the above) Friday, June 26, 2009
  • 47. It’s interactive, silly. Friday, June 26, 2009
  • 48. Find. Understand. Act. From homepage to contact form. Friday, June 26, 2009
  • 49. Copy in direct proximity to an action must be insanely clear. Friday, June 26, 2009
  • 50. Your Audience who are they? Friday, June 26, 2009
  • 51. Goal-driven, page-scanning, self-interested creatures... in a hurry. Friday, June 26, 2009
  • 52. Dealing With Scanners • use bullet points • highlight important words • few words • chunk sections •one idea per paragraph http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/0/03/Gort_Firing.jpg Friday, June 26, 2009
  • 53. Invert the Pyramid. title main point support history end http://www.radiantdaggers.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/inverted-pyramid.jpg Friday, June 26, 2009
  • 54. Finesse Headings. http://media2.moma.org/collection_images/resized/343/w500h420/CRI_7343.jpg Friday, June 26, 2009
  • 55. whassup? chillin. be conversational. Friday, June 26, 2009
  • 56. Friday, June 26, 2009
  • 57. Imperative statement: Passive voice: The CMS was built with scalability in mind to facilitate ease of use by you. Active voice: We built a scalable, easy-to-use CMS. Friday, June 26, 2009
  • 58. Cut the Crap. Throw out what doesn’t work. Friday, June 26, 2009
  • 59. http://museum.msu.edu/museum/tes/talltale/talltale02.jpg Tell a story. with your copy, visuals, and brand. Friday, June 26, 2009
  • 60. More Special Considerations for Web Writers. Friday, June 26, 2009
  • 61. Designers and Writers “Ideally, you should work with a writer from day one to design the voice of the copy in conjunction with the visual language of the site. And getting a writer involved early can help you solve lots of other problems—from content strategy issues to information architecture snags. ” - Bronywn Jones, A List Apart http://www.alistapart.com/articles/betterwritingthroughdesign/ Friday, June 26, 2009
  • 62. You’ll need a plan. (a content strategy) Content strategy plans for the creation, publication, and governance of useful, usable content. Kristina Halvorson, of Brain Traffic Content Strategy Queen Friday, June 26, 2009
  • 63. Who will make it? Who will publish it? How often? For what audience? Who will be responsible for overseeing it? What are our key themes? This is why some copy sucks. Friday, June 26, 2009
  • 64. Know technology. (nothin’ fancy) Friday, June 26, 2009
  • 65. You’re in business. http://www.earlyofficemuseum.com/IMagesWWW/Equitable_Bldg_NYC_Largest_Business_Bldg_in_World.jpg Friday, June 26, 2009
  • 66. Business’ Goals your job. User’s Goals Friday, June 26, 2009
  • 67. Pop Your (Web) Copy. http://www.obfuscated.org/static/images/douchebag.jpg Friday, June 26, 2009
  • 68. Readings The Copywriter’s Handbook, Robert W. Bly Content Strategy for the Web, Kristina Halvorson Killer Web Content, Gerry McGovern Content Critical, Gerry McGovern and Rob Norton Ogilvy on Advertising, David Ogilvy The Art of Writing Advertising, Ogilvy, Bernbach, etc. Letting Go of the Words, Ginny Redish When You Catch an Adjective, Kill It, Ben Yagoda On Writing Well, William Zinsser Friday, June 26, 2009
  • 69. I hope I made you happy. Feel free to hire me. tiffani@secondandpark.com tiffani@thingsthatarebrown.com twitter: ticjones Friday, June 26, 2009