Running an online business takes a lot of preparation. It’s not something you can decide to do on Monday and have up and running by midday Wednesday. A big reason behind that is there is a lot of planning that needs to happen and a lot of copy that needs to be written.
If you're not used to writing a lot, that can seem really daunting. It's one thing to know why your business and products are great, it's another thing entirely to convince others to believe that they are, too.
Your copy can make or break your business, so I wanted to take a lot of the stress out of writing your copy for you and walk you through each piece of copy you'll need to create and how to create it.
About Me Page
This is arguably the most difficult piece of copy anyone ever writes. It feels like the first day of school when the teacher made you stand up, introduce yourself, and list something interesting about you. I’ve known myself for 21 years and still, the best thing I can ever think of to say is that I never learnt to wink.
And unfortunately that fun fact won’t interest anyone on the about me page on my blog, so I had to crash and burn a few times before I learnt how to write a solid about me through trial and error.
What I found? About me pages need to include five elements and from there they are pretty formulaic.
What to include
- Your name
- What you do generally
- What you do more specifically
- Your why - what compelled you to start your business
- Your relevant background information (where you grew up, graduated from, etc.)
Depending on your business you can decide whether or not you want to make your about me page warm and personal or keep it strictly business. For most individual run businesses where you are as much of the brand as your products are, I’d recommend adding a personal touch to help your audience connect with you.
Your FAQ Page
FAQ pages will save you a world of time in the long run. People are going to have questions, and chances are that people are going to have the same questions and you’re going to be better off if you answer them from the get go.
You can answer questions about yourself but more importantly, answer questions about your business. Let people know how long you’ve been at it, what your qualifications are, what your services and offerings are and any other questions relevant to your own business model.
Your FAQ will be a living document that evolves with your business and as you get questions from your audience you can add them to the document. From there, whenever you get an email or comment asking you something you’ve already covered, you can warmly direct them to your FAQ.
As your business grows and you begin to get even more questions, you might consider designing your FAQ page like Etsy does where each question is a link that takes you to an answer. This helps keep your page organized and from looking cluttered.
If your website has a static homepage it’s going to be the first impression for a lot of people, so make sure to wow them. You also want to focus on naturally interjecting the keywords that you’d like to rank for. These are the words that strongly align with your business and your offerings and what you want your audience to associate with your brand.
You’ll also want your homepage to be broken up with both paragraphs and headings to make it scannable. Homepages should be inviting, not made up of intimidating walls of text.
Additionally, you want your homepage to be easily navigable by featuring only the most important links and hiding others under drop down menus or on other pages.
On Melyssa Griffin's website, you can see she has four important links on the top navigation bar, and then if you scroll down there are three more options.
Whether you consider yourself a “blogger” or not, having blog posts on your website can only serve to benefit you. Blog posts act as free content that will help establish yourself as an authority on your chosen topic and can help garner you some serious SEO power.
When it comes to writing these blog posts, though, it’s easy to get caught up. What do you even write in the first place?
Before I start any post I ask myself what I want the end result for the reader to be - what is their takeaway? For example, when I was brainstorming this post I wanted to help y’all become more comfortable with creating copy.
This question works for every niche, let’s take a look at a few examples:
- If you’re in the food niche write a post teaching your audience how to pick perfect produce out at the grocery store.
- If you’re in the beauty niche write a post teaching your audience how to create a day to night makeup look.
- If you’re in the blogging niche write a post teaching your audience how to create an email list.
Another thing to keep in mind is that long form content will perform infinitely better than short little snips both in terms of search engine ranking and capturing your audience. You want your blog posts to be the most valuable piece of free content that your audience members can find so they associate quality and value with your brand.
Though we recommend using an email list to sell your online courses, you can actually have a successful launch with just your blog if you play your cards right.
I know we’ve been over this in the past, but the number way to collect emails is to give something away for free to your audience. This can be in the form of a checklist, eguide, shopping list, or whatever floats your boat, really.
Content upgrades will serve as the free trial for your paid offerings, so you need them to be top notch so people will feel secure buying from you. Even if your paid offerings are incredible, a sub-par content upgrade can lead your audience to think that all of your content is sub par.
The number one thing to consider when designing your upgrade? What value you want it to provide to your audience. From there, you can decide what type of content upgrade to create.
If you’re teaching your audience how to set up an at home portrait studio, you can create a thorough shopping list that walks them through everything that they’ll need to purchase.
Your content upgrade will serve as an example of what you’re capable of, so let it speak for itself. It shouldn’t be an in-your-face advert for your paid product, but a small link is OK after you’ve provided value.
Sales page copy
Now we are getting into the meat and potatoes of your business - the sales page. This is the copy that will ultimately help your customers decide whether to purchase or move along.
Your sales page has to do two things: capture attention and keep attention. That means it needs to be beautiful in terms of both imagery and copy.
The most important thing about sales pages copy is to make it all about your audience by using benefit driven language. Instead of saying, “I’m giving you 5 hours worth of content that I spent 2 months creating!” You can say “After taking this course you’ll be able X which will result in Y and Z.”
Now, I’ve gone waaaay in depth about writing your sales page here, but let me break down a short and sweet version for y’all.
Make sure it’s munchable. Huge walls of text will scare people away and they won’t read what you have to say. By breaking it up into paragraphs and making your sales page visually interesting with images and graphics people are more likely to read through it.
Tell a story. Let people know that you understand their pain points and can help them work through them by telling them how you used to be exactly where they are now. By painting a vivid picture of who can benefit from your product and the problems you’re going to solve, you can help people connect with your product.
Overcome objections. People don’t want to spend their money, so they’re going to look for excuses on why they shouldn’t buy. Dispel those thoughts before they even think them by letting them know why they couldn’t learn your material on their own or how you spent over $1500 mastering the topic and your course is only $100. Ease your customers’ mind before they’ve even thought to worry.
Use clear calls to action. People seem to be afraid of coming off as “salesy” but at the end of the day you are trying to sell something, after all, so salesy is exactly what you need. It can be as simple as writing out “Buy now!” or a little punchier, “Join the fun and buy today!” Regardless of how your call to action is worded, make sure that it’s included.
Click the example to make it bigger or check out the full sales page here.
Your email sequence
Sending strategic emails out to your list is just as important as your sales page copy because that is how a large portion of your list will find your sales page in the first place. Writing emails that people will open and that will catch their interest is very important and not something you should take lightly or treat as an afterthought.
We recommend using our Crazy 8 Launch Strategy which you might want to check out to get a deeper understanding, but let’s also go over some key elements of key emails that you should be sending.
First of all: Subject lines. I still struggle when it comes to writing powerful subject lines, but I try to follow a few guidelines:
- Be straightforward. Cutesy subject lines might be fun, but you also want to be able to convey that your email has value, too.
- Don’t be over enthusiastic. Want to know what makes me delete an email quicker than anything? When it’s written like, “YOU’LL NEVER BELIEVE IT!!!!” emails in caps seem click-baity and overly market-y. Write like you would to a friend.
- Be concise. If your subject line is too long it’ll get cut off and your subject line writing efforts will all be for not. Avoid that by getting to the point as quickly as possible.
Next comes your welcome email. When people sign up for your list, a warm welcome can go a long way in building a relationship. You can introduce who you are, what you do, and maybe even include some fun facts about yourself (I know, it’s hard!) that people might not be able to find on your main website. You want this email to help your audience make a connection with you that goes deeper than just your services.
You want this email to be warm and personal, but also include links to your most popular posts and products.
Interested in seeing examples of the types of emails you should be writing for your online business? Check out our ultimate email example guide.
Your 404 pages
Chances are, people are going to stumble upon broken links every now and then. Make sure that those pages aren’t wasted. The default will probably say something like, “This page does not exist, try again later.” and while that’s fine, it’s not doing much for you or your business.
Instead, harness that page to link your audience to your most important and valuable pages. You can throw in some personality, too, and say something like, “Well, this is awkward you seem to have stumbled upon a page that doesn’t exist. Weird. Try checking out _______, ________, or ______ instead!”
That way instead of just clicking off you give your audience options to check out something interesting.
Your contact page
You want to provide a place where your audience can get a hold of you with questions or follow you on social media. This page can be short and concise, but consider saving yourself time in the long run by including these elements:
- Link to your FAQ page and ask your audience to read it before sending you emails.
- Use a separate email address specifically for your business - don’t have your personal email anywhere on your site.
- Link to your social media channels and recommend that if your audience just wants to say “hi” to tweet you, and if they have a business question to shoot you an email. Keeping your emails strictly business will help keep your inbox organized.
Now go get 'em
Once you get in the groove of things writing copy isn't nearly as stressful of a process as it is in the beginning. If you're having trouble getting started set a time and just write. Once the time goes off go back to edit and refine - at least you'll have something to work with.