If there’s one statement I hear most often from clients, it’s this:
“I hate to write. I can’t believe you do it for a living.”
Well, here’s a little secret: I don’t always love the web copywriting process. There are times when I stare at a blank page for 20, 30, even 90 minutes. When those moments hit, I pull out my favorite (free) online tools.
If your job requires the occasional web copywriting project, try out these sites to get the job done faster and make your writing better:
This is one of my favorites for press releases. It’s just too easy to use phrases like “award-winning,” “unique,” and “global leader”… clichés that can put your business into the high-risk zone for sounding like schmuck. And, let’s face it, no one wants to read about news from a twerp.
When you’re stuck, just type the offending text into the search box, click “unsuck it” and voila—several replacement suggestions. Got a colleague insisting on a particular word? There’s even a handy “email the douchebag who used it” app for that.
Trying to write a compelling heading, title or description for your webpage? Take one of your top keyphrases, type it into Google or Bing and see what comes up. Chances are, you’ll find at least one or two great examples that grab your attention and give you some great inspiration…all in a matter of seconds.
Really, there are a number of platforms you could use here. I just happen to love HooteSuite. If you’re on Twitter, tap into the power of this platform’s statistics to create headlines that’ll draw in readers. Among the many easy-to-use analytics, you’ll see:
– Which of your posts are retweeted the most
– The number of times your links are being opened
– What links aren’t getting opened
It’s a great way to test out different headlines.
For example, when linking to a recent newspaper article I opted not to use the headline of the news story. Instead, I took a compelling stat from within the article itself and used that in my 140-character post. It turned out to be one of my most popular tweets to date. So now, when I’m writing a website case study, I know to use numbers in my headline.
Just read a blog post or news article that made you laugh? Saw a headline that grabbed your attention, but didn’t have time to read the full article? Tag them in your Evernote account. I use labels like “topic ideas” and “headlines.” Then, when it’s time to sit down and write, you can simply pull up the appropriate tag and peruse those long-forgotten articles for a little web copywriting inspiration.
Lyris Content Checker
One of the only things worse than writer’s block, in my opinion, is spending countless hours creating compelling content that’s never delivered. Lyris’ free email checker will catch word choices that could land your email newsletter in the spam folder…before you send it.
What about you? Do you have any favorite online tools for easing the pain of tough writing projects?