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writing my own website content? Take a long hard look at yourselfie

Selfie Portrait

You're writing the copy for your own website but you won't get it right first time, no-one ever does. Right now you have a thing or two to learn from the old masters.

Writing website content is hard

The idea for a new blog article can come to you at any time. The idea for this website design blog post came to me last night whilst I was on the cross trainer watching episode one of Fleabag on the BBC's iPlayer. The TV show had nothing to do with web design but did feature a lovely 'evil stepmother' cameo by Olivia Coleman, who acted her socks-off portraying someone who was painting a self-portrait and was simply aching for her stepdaughter to ask for a sneak-peek.

Last night it struck me that all too many websites are bold attempts at self portraits which, to anyone other than their writers, end up looking like disposable and forgettable selfies.

The selfie vs the self-portrait

The self-portrait appears to be a painter's attempt to bring forth the Jungian shadow, to reveal something of themselves that the outside world couldn't possibly ever get to see. Sometimes disturbing but frequently striking, the self-portrait reveals a brutal honesty that has been captured from deep within the self, revealing personality traits which are often at odds with the ego presented to the outside world.
"Painting oneself is not an innocuous act: it is a questioning which often leads to an identity crisis."

Today's selfie, captured in a flash and posted across the Internet to mirror and project the ego of the subject, is the complete opposite of the self-portrait because it's quick, shallow and all about personal brand.

Selfie or selfless?

In my experience, people generally want to write website content themselves because there's a perception that writing my own website content is way to reduce the price paid for a website. This is, of course, true but it's far from correct. For those with a desire to write their own content the price they actually end-up paying is, very often, poor Google visibility. The selfie-centric text produced tends to be all about them and not what they do for their Customers. The resultant, harmful commercial invisibility all stems from perceiving zero benefit in having someone else write about what their Customers want to buy.

You may be reading this blog post because you're trying to work-out a web design budget and, somewhere inside your head, there's a voice telling you I should be writing my own website content. I hope you're finding this post relevant and intriguing. You see I've written this post for you - I haven't set out to write about my website copywriting services. This blog post is more self-portrait than selfie. I'm hoping that, by sharing some of my inner darkness, you'll come to appreciate the time-saving, Google-ranking value that a website copywriter offers.

What's the hold-up?

All too often we're asked to design and build a website but are told not to bother quoting for the writing of website copy or shooting website photographs. We see it time and again; Customers don't want to commission content from us because they can generate all this amazing content themselves, right? Yes, it can. But our wait for website content slows-down our production and is the one thing in business that drives me to want to cut my own ear off.

When it comes to writing my own website content, you cannot start budgeting for content production early enough - both in terms of money and time. Our own website consultancy process, atEase, gets the content production underway before the design work starts.

"I reckon everyone's got about five webpages in 'em"

Once you've written about your mission and passion in business, your products, your services, your people and your prices you'll probably dry-up and, for the first time, encounter website writers' block. But you'll not have budgeted for website copywriting and so you'll struggle-on; begrudgingly trying to write website content and making the huge mistake of thinking that you're being forced to write the website content for me and totally missing the point that you're actually supposed to be writing for your Customers.

You can't commission a self-portrait

When you ask Sub@omic to design and develop a website for you, we'll strongly encourage you to have someone other than yourself write the website content for your website. Last month, one of our Customers just smashed the record for the longest time taken to produce a website: a staggering 2.5 years. The hold-up? They're writing their own content and, all too painfully, discovering that writing website content is not their core business. This new record is one that I sincerely hope will stand the test of time and never, ever, get beaten ever again.

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Sub@omic is an independent web consultancy developing cognitive designer websites, based in Harpenden, Hertfordshire, UK