How to Increase Sales With Content Writing

Contributing Editor

Increase your sales by writing contentWriting good website content is hard. Unfortunately, many senior business owners consider content writing as an afterthought. Few people actually write content and even fewer can do it well.

In an ideal world, content would be written before any website was designed, coded, or tested. How can you create a design concept without any idea about the quantity of text or the number of navigation items? However, content is rarely considered as a top priority and it is often the last piece of the website puzzle.

This leads to one of the most frustrating aspects of freelance web design: sites can be delayed by many weeks, if not months, waiting for clients to provide their documentation. The project delay is understandable: clients are running their business and can not give content the thought it deserves. They are starting with a blank sheet and may not appreciate the need for keyword analysis, search engine optimization, and concise writing.

Given that content hold-ups can affect delivery schedules, payment, and other projects, it is surprising to discover that few web development agencies offer content writing services. It is much easier for a client to review and amend existing text than write it from scratch.

I suspect many agencies do not offer the service because:

  1. They are designers or coders rather than writers.
  2. Writing takes time and often requires a significant amount of research.
  3. There is a fear of misunderstanding the client’s industry or using incorrect terminology.

These problems are easily overcome – and the service is chargeable. Your contract just needs to stipulate that the website will not go live until the the client signs an agreement to say they have verified the text and it has been completed to their satisfaction.

Content writing services can make your agency stand out from the crowd. That is likely to become increasingly important during the economic downturn.

Have content delays affected your schedule? Do you – or will you – provide content writing services?

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  • Anonymous

    It has never really occurred to me that anyone would not write content on behalf of their clients. I have always done it. I would be reluctant to ask any of my clients to write their own copy and none have ever requested to do so.

  • http://www.panoconsulting.co.uk panoconsulting

    Content writing services is something that I have been considering recently as I look to increase the services I offer and your article has given me some food for thought. Thanks.

  • Jan Jelínek

    That is good idea, because we have problem to get anything from the client site, sometime.

  • Anonymously

    I’d be more interested in knowing how to source content development — any suggestions? Thanks!

  • http://www.optimalworks.net/ Craig Buckler

    The SitePoint marketplace is certainly a great place to start if you need to recruit writers. Advertising a vacancy on your website is another idea: the current economic climate should make it easier to attract talented writers.

  • wildscribe

    I look at writing content as another opportunity to make money.

    One of the first questions that I ask when I put together a price quote is “who is going to write the content for the website.” In some cases, the client suggests taking the content from an exsisting brochure or manual. But most of the time, they need someone to write the content, and if that is the case, I always charge them extra for writing. I have a friend who is a newspaper reporter and loves to get side work.

  • CSFX

    Thankfully the agency I work for operate in a single industry. We are lucky enough to understand the industry and therefore we can write accurate copy without spending time researching the subject matter

  • http://www.ventanazul.com alexisb

    That’s a pretty good idea and will add it to my list of services. I hate when I have to wait weeks for content and when it finally comes it’s not as good as it should.

    I would like to correct many parts in my many of my client’s content but then I think I’m not charging for that so why shoud I?

  • http://www.submitinme.com guna

    This is a tricky situation. In reality this is not so easy as it sounds. We have tried this earlier only to be bombarded with so many questions from the client. While it is a pain to wait for client content (Believe me we are waiting for content from clients for orders made in 2008) It is equally dangerous to prepare content for clients.The clients(who delay content) themselves don’t have any idea on what they need. As soon as you come up with some content, they will ask their secretary/friend or someone to review. This is the potentially dangerous situation as most of the time the reviewers come up with something entirely new that you have to rewrite everything. It doesn’t end there.. The client then reviews himself and will ask to make changes.. From our experience it is a pain..

  • http://www.pamil-visions.com Phil Butler

    Great points Craig, BTW I visited your site, I love the design. We have worked for many entities providing various kinds of content, and as you say, it would be a big plus to think about the content before the design is effected. It never works this way, even though some startups use content providers on a massive scale.

    Mass producing content in that way, is obviously not the “quality” way to go. I have found that most developments, like anything else, are centric to one of two areas of expertise the developers have. Like a construction contractor who started out being a carpenter, his or her framing and woodwork will likely be great, while the tile work or electrical may suffer.

    Always,
    Phil

  • offthelorry

    i have seen your view about Increase Sales Content Writing That is good idea, because we have problem to get anything from the client site, sometime.

  • http://www.patricksamphire.com/ PatrickSamphire

    My in-house team always write the content as early as we can. This is because it’s far easier for us to produce a good site with content professionally written by someone who really understands websites than to trying to deal with badly-written, amateur text. We ask the clients to check for accuracy but nothing else. If we.ve got our planning right, we’ve already decided on the style, audience, aims and so on, so we’ve rarely had changes other than on factual grounds.

  • MF Clear Copy

    As an internet marketing copywriter, I often face these obstacles when trying to show clients the value of good content. It is frequently an afterthought for them, but I’ve seen over and over again that the sites that plan the content from the beginning, and continue to add relevant, timely content on an ongoing basis, have the best results.

    Thanks for your blog post–I’ll definitely be linking to it from my site!