As much as it pains me to say this—I am a website copywriter, after all, so websites are quite literally my specialty, my livelihood, my existence (dramatic, but true?)—not every single business needs a website. They just don’t.
Would I like every business to have one, for my own convenience as a potential consumer / patron / client / customer? Yeah, I would.
Would I like everyone on planet earth to see the value in having professionally-crafted website copy? Yeah, I would.
But this isn’t about me. It’s about you and your business.
So, how do you know if YOU need a website? Great question. I can’t answer it for you, because I don’t know you or your business intimately. What I *can* do for you, though, is tell you this…
These are the benefits of having a website:
As a rule, if you’re operating a business that you want people to take seriously, you’re gonna need a website.
Before launching that site, though, there are a few things you’ll need to decide first—while it IS possible to make the decision to start a new business and launch a website 10 minutes later, I highly recommend knowing…
→ What does your business do?
If you don’t know what your business is offering to the world, you’re probably just a liiiittle too new for a website. You don’t have to be 100% certain that you’re going to offer those specific services or products for all of eternity—you can, of course, make updates to your website copy at any time to reflect necessary changes or shifts—but you DO need to be able to articulate the WHAT of your biz on your site, or else people will be too confused to buy / sign up / download / inquire.
→ Who do you serve?
Knowing exactly who your audience is will drastically improve your website copy, and, in turn, your readers’ experience on your site. When you’re clear on who you’re marketing to, you can be much more specific, which makes it easier for you to speak their language. (Check out my target audience development workbook if you need help with this!)
→ Which problem are you solving / which need or want are you meeting for them?
Once you know who your ideal client or customer is, you’ll need to decide HOW exactly you’re serving them. Which problem of theirs is your product or service solving? Are you meeting a need or want they’ve been trying to fill?
You’ll need to get as clear as possible about how, specifically, you’re improving their current situation, and which role you play in your story. This will make everything about creating your new site easier, from writing your website copy, to choosing a design vibe.
→ Why would someone want to work with you / buy from your brand?
What makes you worth the investment? Why are you better than your competitors? What is it about you or your brand that stands out? Give your future customers or clients a reason to click “add to cart” or “inquire now”!
(And if you need help with figuring out your IT factor—the thing that makes you so freaking special and worthy of working with or buying from—consider hiring a website copywriter! I know a really good one. 😏)
→ What is the action you want your readers to take when they visit your site?
Is your goal for them to inquire to work with you? Buy your course? Download your freebie? Subscribe to your YouTube channel? Choose a main CTA (that’s “call to action” for my non-marketing homies) and keep it in mind as you write your website copy / design your site, to ensure the reader journey is consistent with the action you’re hoping they’ll take.
[EX: You don’t want all of your copy to talk about working with you, then having no call to action about how to take the next step, aka how they can inquire.]
Check out this post about how to keep your website readers reading if you need help with this!
→ How do you want people to feel when they read your site?
This one may be a little difficult to answer if you’re launching your first-ever website, but think about how you feel when you visit some of your favorite websites. Which emotion do you want to evoke when your readers visit you online?
Take these BTL website copy projects as examples:
This cannabis-focused e-commerce brand sells rolling trays, and offers community to fellow cannabis lovers who are sick of the stereotypes they often face. We want them to feel calm, understood, and comfortable when they visit Chill Haus Club.
This CPA for content creators offers accounting services for bloggers, social media influencers, and creators who want to run profitable businesses without confusion.
Because her clients typically have been under-supported by their previous accountants, we want them to feel like they’re in good hands with Peach Perfect Financials, so we’re hoping they feel recognized, empowered, and at peace.
This expert wedding planner serves her couples by ensuring them that they are in charge of their big day, and she doesn’t want them to ever feel like they have to do something based on a trend, or a family tradition, or what a wedding vendor tells them to.
When people visit her site, we want them to feel like she’s their best friend, biggest supporter, and advocate, so they can relax throughout their wedding planning process & not feel stressed. We want them to feel a breath of fresh air; something they’ve likely been lacking for a bit.
Having clarity about these elements of your business will help you write the best website copy and select the best, most aligned option for website design.
Now, speaking of… it’s *finally* time we chat about the process of launching your site, shall we?!
Launching a brand new site—whether it’s your first one ever, or the millionth iteration of it—takes a lot of work, and can often feel overwhelming. This isn’t gonna be one of those blog posts.
Instead, I’m boiling down the website launch process into 6 easy steps, outlining the decisions you need to make, things you need to do, and elements of the process you absolutely can’t skip, in an effort to make it easy for you to launch your new site!
So, what do you say—you ready to get into it?! 👇
This is a topic with enough opinions surrounding it to start a literal brawl, but I’m not afraid to throw my hat in the ring: I’m a Showit girlie, through and through.
I wrote an entire post about the Showit vs. Squarespace debate—check it out here!—because I’ve found that, at least with my clients and community, those two website builders are the most common choices.
However, Shopify and Webflow are also great options for you if you find they suit your business.
If I had to give you my quick-and-dirty advice about selecting a website hosting platform, though, here it is:
Disclaimer: take my advice with a grain of salt. Like I said, everyone has strong opinions about website builders, and those are mine. You are free to make your own.
(But I recommend listening to mine if you’ve yet to form yours yet. 😂)
Ah, the best part of launching your new site!
(Yes, I’m biased. Duh.)
Your website physically cannot exist without copy, unless you plan on your entire site being… pictures.
Website copy = words on your site. Specifically, words written with the intention of directing your website’s readers to take an action. And you’re gonna need website copy if you want your site to convert.
Here are your options:
If you’re planning on writing it yourself, you’ll save some serious cash, but you might find it to be a bit difficult—everyone always underestimates how much time, effort, strategy, and just straight up WORK goes into website copywriting.
I’m not one to steer you away from a DIY, though, so I’ve made some resources for you:
I’m also obsessed with reviewing copy—it’s one of my favorite services I offer. So, if you’ve DIYed your website copy, and you want a website copywriter to review and edit it with you, check out my copy audits!
And, of course, if you’re looking for someone to write your website copy for you, count me in. However, I typically book out 3-5 months in advance, so inquire soon if you’re interested in working with me this year!
Just like you can’t have a website without website copy, you can’t have a website without website design. And, again, just like with copy, you’ve got options:
I’m partial to option 1, half because I don’t have the time to spend designing a website—mine is literally 55+ pages total, because I’m dramatic—and half because there are about a trillion people who could do a better job designing than I could, and I want my website to be ridiculously beautiful.
My lovely bestie, Sarah Kleist, falls under the “designers that can create ridiculously beautiful things” category, so I chose to work with her to design the past two iterations of my site, and I very highly recommend her if you’re looking for a kickass, SEO-informed, creative Showit website designer.
I also recommend Briarcroft Lane, Mariko Studio, Wilda Casado, The SM Collective, Folk Founded, Local Creative Co, South Co Studio, Arq Shopify Studio, M. Bird, Aletheia Made, Melo Creative, Letter South, and about a trillion other designers.
(Maybe one of these days I’ll get around to writing a post about that—but if you’re looking for more recs, DM me on IG with the vibe you’re looking for & I’ll refer you to someone great; promise!)
To learn more about why they’re the obvious choice for Showit website design templates, you can read my love letter, or see for yourself on their site! I’m painfully obsessed with everything they’ve ever created (and are currently creating). And you can use my code “BTLCOPY” for 15% off of all of it!
For Squarespace website templates, check out Folk Founded. Kate’s a student of my website copywriting course and her site is 🔥
If we’re talking technicalities, you really should consider search engine optimization before writing your website copy—you’ll want to make sure you’re targeting the correct keywords, and optimizing your headlines, and adding enough copy to each page, and writing for both humans and search engines—but since this blog post is intended to be an easy guide, we’re gonna skip over that part for now.
(Although if you’d like to learn, I’m game for teaching you! In my website copywriting and content marketing course, I go over everything you need to know about SEO—and nothing that you don’t—with the help of my friends at Duo Collective!)
The longer your readers spend on your site, the more credible Miss Google thinks you are. And the more credible Miss Google thinks you are, the better chance you have of showing up in search results. And the more you show up in search results, the more people will visit your site.
And the more people who visit your site, the more inquiries you’ll get, sales you’ll earn, subscribers you’ll get, money you’ll make… you see where I’m going with this one, right?
Normally, I’d have made #5 on this checklist all about blogging, and even though I’m the loudest preacher of “all brands should blog!” I know that’s not a realistic task for every single business owner, especially if you’re brand new, or launching a website for the first time.
So, instead, I’m telling you to decide how you’re going to encourage your readers to spend more time on your website.
→ Are you going to make your website copy extra engaging by adding a few sections to your Services page, or your About page?
→ Are you going to add a Portfolio section to showcase your work, with lots of calls to action throughout your site to entice readers to visit it?
→ Are you going to take my advice and start blogging, since it’s the best content marketing tool available to you in 2023?
It’s up to you—but don’t forget: your first goal is, of course, to inspire your readers to take your desired action, but your second goal is to get people to stay on your site as long as possible.
(It’s what I call a scroll-stopping site; something that feels as engaging and exciting as reading the stories written by your favorite author. Make ’em wanna stay a while, k?)
Again, this is another tip that I want to just scream: start email marketing.
I won’t lie to you, I’m a bully. I want to force you to create a lead magnet, write bomb opt-in copy, write a welcome sequence, and send a newsletter every week, because I’m 100% positive it would get you the literal BEST results EVER.
(Speaking from experience; both mine and my clients’.)
Being a great email marketer allows you to also become an expert at building connections, selling to your audience without being salesy, and growing your authority as the face of your brand. I personally feel, as you may have guessed, that taking advantage of email marketing (at least as a service-based business owner!) is a nonnegotiable.
Buuuut, at the end of the day, I can’t make you do anything you don’t want to do, so I suppose I’ll simply *suggest* email marketing as one of the ways you can continue the relationship with your readers after they’ve browsed your site:
…email marketing is still my favorite option, though. Ya know, in case you were confused.
Before you hit “publish” on your site, there are a few essential things you’ll want to make sure of:
Those 4 things are the most important elements of your pre-publish check, but I’ve got a whooole lot of ’em, if you’re interested! It’s basically my job to share them with you, as (self-proclaimed) Website Queen. Click here to download my FREE New Website Checklist!
Thank you so much for reading this post; I hope you found it helpful! I just launched my brand new website, and I’m so, so, soo0o0o excited for how it turned out—I’d love for you to go stalk it, if you’ve got a minute.
For more marketing tips like this, make sure you subscribe to my weekly newsletter; I send one marketing tip, once a week, and I think you’re gonna love it. ❤️
If we haven’t had the chance to *virtually* meet yet, hi! I’m Sara Noel—website copywriter and marketing mentor for creatives, copywriters, and all-around cool people. If you like my content and you want even more BTL in your life, here are a few ways you can connect with me:
Subscribe to my newsletter! I send one marketing tip, once a week – and, according to my subscribers, it’s “the best marketing newsletter on the Internet” and “the only reason to wake up on Tuesday mornings.” So… yeah. You’ll love ‘er. 😏 Click here to subscribe!
Check out my services. I write website copy, sales pages, email sequences, blog posts, and brand messaging guides for entrepreneurs of all kinds! Maybe you’re my next favorite client.
Read the rest of my blog. It’s home to everything from copywriting tips, to marketing education, to freelance advice, to portfolio-worthy projects… if you like this post, you’ll love the blog. Here’s a quick roundup of my most popular posts.
Sign up for my web copy course. Actually, it’s not *only* about website copywriting—I also teach modules on copywriting basics, developing your target audience, search engine optimization, blogging, and email marketing.
Enlist me as your mentor. If you’re interested in having a big-sis-style mentor to help you grow your freelance copywriting business & get results, I’m your girl.
If you're an entrepreneur, business owner, or course creator with big dreams of success and growth—and a big, scary blank document standing in your way every time you sit down to write your own copy—nice to meet you, I'm your new solution.
Through what I like to call sales-focused storytelling, I'll help you find your brand's voice, perfectly position your offerings, develop your target market, and write copy that resonates with your ideal audience. And I'll do it all while keeping your personality at the forefront of every draft, to ensure that each word aligns with your true self.
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Writing your own website or sales page copy doesn't have to be something you stress over anymore. I'd love to work with you to craft conversion-friendly, SEO-optimized copy your leads will love.
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