Brainstorming ideas for a web project the other day, I said to my coworkers, “Writing for a corporate website is like dating.”
They nodded in agreement. I could see years of frustrated dating experiences flash across their faces.
Whether you like it or not, dating has its own rules and etiquette. If you want to keep a person interested, you should avoid doing certain things like belching loudly or talking excessively about an ex.
Like dating, writing effectively for a corporate website or blog has its own rules and etiquette. Here are five ways that writing for a corporate website is like dating:
1. Don’t talk about yourself too much but reveal enough to portray an honest image. On a date, no one wants to listen to the other person talk endlessly about how great he or she is. It’s exhausting and, frankly, very boring. When someone visits your website, that person is not interested in plowing through the dense jungle or your content. In both dating and writing, reveal just enough (true) information to keep the person interested.
2. Choose your words carefully and use language responsibly. During a first date, the other person is probably listening very carefully to every word you say (I do). Pay close attention to the way you describe things; avoid using negative words, and you won’t seem like a negative person. On your website, you will also want to choose exactly the right words to best describe your product/service. When you only have a few words to describe yourself, you will want to choose those words wisely.
3. Stop trying so hard to impress and focus on finding the best fit. Sometimes, during a date, you may be so focused on trying to impress the other person that you lose sight of the point: to figure out whether or not you actually like that person. When you write, worry more about writing something that will attract the people you want to attract, instead of trying to impress everyone. You can’t win over everyone with your words.
4. Make sure your content looks presentable. For a date, you will want to present your best self. Take a shower, comb your hair, wear clean clothes, brush your teeth, apply some lipstick. When you write, your words should not only read well but look presentable too. Insert paragraph breaks where necessary. Make sure sentences look manageable and that they don’t overwhelm the reader.
5. Make sure you post the correct contact information. If you have a good date, you hope the person will call you or that the person gives you the correct phone number so that you can call them. When writing for a company website, make sure the site visitor knows exactly how to make the next move; no potential customer should be searching for the contact page or instructions to proceed.
(Photo by www.charlietphoto.com)