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Article by Michelle Howe

Imagine comic Robin Williams has written your Web site copy. What would it be like?

Now imagine president George Bush wrote your Web site copy. Which author would you prefer?

I would bet the copy written by Robin Williams would bemuch more entertaining and fun to read than copy written byGeorge Bush. It’s just got to be because there is no way RobinWilliams’ personality would not show through in his writing.

Now take a look at the copy on your website. Is it more George than Robin?

So what makes copy boring?

Probably the biggest mistake is to create copy that doesn’tcreate a vision. If I tell you that “XYZ dresses are for themature woman,” you know we sell dresses, but you reallycan’t imagine the product. Now, what if I say, “XYZ dresses areonly for uninhibited women with luscious curves.” Get a visualon that one?

Use descriptive words that paint a picture for your audience.You want to engage your reader with words that encourage themto stay on your site and completely read your sales message.

Don’t just describe your product, make the product appeal to your reader. Communicate with emotion by telling a story. Let your readers imagine themselves using your product or service. Let them feel powerful, sexy, successful, clever or whateveremotion it is that will sell your product or service.

People aren’t so much interested in what a product does, buthow it will make their life better. You want them to have thatemotional connection by psychologically tying into their needs.

Why does someone pay 0 for a pair of shoes when a pairwill do just fine? Because when they imagine themselveswearing those 0 shoes, they are in a very happy place. Theyfeel admired, loved and so much better than other people.

So, how do you write good sales copy for your web site?

1) Start with boring copy.

The easiest way is to start with boring copy. Write out whatyou want to say without trying to be clever. Just get your ideas down first. Don’t inhibit your thoughts by worrying about whether it’s good or not. At this point you don’t needto care.

Concentrate on the benefits of your product or service, notthe features. How does your product benefit your targetaudience? List all the ways your product can make their lifebetter.

2) Organize your writing.

Now go through what you have written and make sure it has alogical flow. Use examples to demonstrate your points.

3) Write in a conversational style.

Pretend you are talking to someone who is sitting across thetable from you. How would you describe your product orservices? Now look at what you have written and change thewriting to be more conversational. Get rid of the corporatespeak and try for a more natural approach.

4) Introduce emotion into your writing.

Now that you have a pretty good handle on what you wantedto say, it is time to put some emotion into your writing.Use words that create images in your mind. Examples of someof these words are: tempting, mouth-watering, electrifying,rejuvenating and ingenious.

Try to rewrite what you have by using words that sell. Ifyou are still stumped, go on to the Internet and look atother web sites to see what others have done. Don’t plagiarize the other sites, but use them as a way to sparkideas for your site.

5) Proofread for errors.

The final sweep through your writing is to look for grammarerrors, spelling errors and context errors.

Read it out loud to yourself. How does it sound? Good writinghas a nice smooth rhythm and flow. If your writing is toochoppy you will notice the choppiness when you read the copyout loud.

About the Author

Michelle Howe, president of Word Magic, specializes in writing irresistible copy for Web sites. She is the author of Web Site Writing Made Easy and Persuasive Writing Made Easy. Visit her Web site at for a FR^EE audio download of “Pay-Per-Click Success: Attract More Customers in 30 Days or Less” and FR^EE report, “The Five-Step Plan to Article Success.”

Robin Williams opens the 35th AFI Life Achievement Award: A Tribute to Al Pacino (2007). CONNECT WITH AFI: AFI FACEBOOK APP:
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Robin Williams

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he’ll be honored on Friday May, 4 at 7:30 pm at the Castro

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