Website Copywriter Tips: Web Copy Sabotage


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How does your personality affect your web copy? Whether you mean to or not, your site reflects you in ways you might not notice: sometimes good, sometimes bad. While personality peccadilloes can be endearing in social situations, minor personality flaws can cause web copy sabotage.

So before you get out your keyboard, get out a mirror.

Why not see if any of these 3 personality traits are seeping into the design and copy of your web site?

  • Insecurity
  • Pride
  • Anxiety
Web Copy Sabotage #1: Insecure people create timid sites

Most people are insecure in certain situations as they vary their image to gain the favour of others. Nothing kills web copy faster than trying to be a people pleaser. Insecure people create timid sites that try to be all things to all people. Instead of declaring, “Here’s who I am, " insecure web copy tentatively pleads, “I can be whatever you want; hope you find something you like. " How forgettable and phony is that?

Secure people on the other hand have learned to get real.

Some people like them; others don’t. Their web copy stands out because their authors stand up. Their web copy is memorable because it is authentic. Does your web copy take a stand or does it sit on the sidelines wanting to be liked? Is your web copy real or real phony?

Web Copy Sabotage #2: Proud people produce narcissistic sites

While timid web copy aims overly outward, narcissistic web copy looks too far in the other direction. Business owners have a justifiable pride in their business. Sorry to say this pride can lead to web copy sabotage.

  • Many owners lost in their delight often boast, “Look what I can do, " instead of proclaiming, “Look what you get. "
  • Their web copy tends to focus on features instead of real customer benefits. It highlights trained staff rather than peace of mind.
Missing are empathy and impact. Nothing kills internet rapport like a one-sided, relationship. Does your web copy brag about you or resonate with strangers?

Web Copy Sabotage #3: Anxious people make nervous sites

Nervous sites are the most common form of web copy sabotage. They don’t gaze outward or inward; they look nowhere, all hurried and patchy.

The visuals are the first give-away:

  • a little red here and a dash of purple there
  • a touch of bold with a smidgen of underlining
  • a bevy of random quotations
  • a frenzy of isolated graphics
Where’s the rhyme? Where’s the reason? Where is the message? The web copy reads more like a digital ransom note than a calm presentation of a distinctive value proposition.

The sad part is this kind of web copy sabotage is that it frequently betrays an honest business person who is just not comfortable about expressing his business. This web copy unfairly depicts sleaze and incredulity.

Sometimes the anxiety is driven by a specific learning style. A number of individuals are more comfortable with trees than a forest, preferring details to the big picture. That’s too bad because site visitors usually crave the big picture before they invest their care and clicks. What image does your web copy convey – calm or chaos?

Web Copy Sabotage: What can you do about it?

So you’re not perfect.

Everybody is a bit insecure, a tad proud and slightly anxious. The trick is to keep these failings from invading your web copy. So what can you do to prevent web copy sabotage?

Your human shortcomings might populate your site because you are just too close to the data to detect your demons creeping up the keyboard.

You’ve got to get some distance. First have a third party who’s not a family member play site doctor, looking for symptoms of insecurity, pride, and anxiety in your site design and copy.

There’s nothing like conducting your own foible check to be sure you parked your sabotaging issues at the curb, not in your web copy. Here are 3 questions to ask:

1) What exactly does my site stand for?
2) How do my visitors see themselves?
3) How have I organized my design and copy?

If these tactics don’t help you improve your web copy, you could either see a qualified psychiatrist or hire – you know – a handy copywriter.


Website copywriter, SEO Copywriter Paul Matthews gets business. Receive your FREE website copy analysis and view more FREE Articles in the series Website Copywriter Tips .


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