Newcomers to web page creation often make the mistake of not realizing the unique nature of writing for the web. They may turn to previously-developed print material, and just paste it into a web page. If they write something fresh, they may write it without understanding how web page writing is different. To have powerful web pages, you need to master the difference.
Most writing we encounter has one of three purposes: to entertain, to inform, or to influence (sometimes to inform or influence in an entertaining manner). But another type of writing is designed to promote action. This is copywriting, and its purpose is to get you to do something. Two frequent actions it promotes are to buy this product or give to that cause. Sometimes, however, it is to call or send in a card for more information, or visit an establishment, or sign up for a list.
The internet is an active medium, and everyone who uses it is out to accomplish something. Maybe they want to connect with friends, read something interesting, find directions, get information, shop–the list is extensive. It should be easy to see the connection with copywriting. Copywriting is designed to encourage people to take action; people come to the internet for the purpose of taking some sort of action. That’s why print copy is not sufficient for web pages. For an effective web page, you need to promote the desired action. Granted, that action may sometimes be just to get the visitor to click on another page, but it is still an action.
If you do not understand the dynamics of copywriting, and the particular requirements of web pages, you should consider hiring a professional copywriter. Why go to the expense of having a website if it is populated with impotent text? An investment in effective copy will result in powerful and productive pages.
What about a blog? Do the same considerations apply? The Smithery will address that next time.