Reality Blog: An Unconventional Approach to Web Writing

Client meeting - Overcoming client difficulties

I recently had an interesting experience with a client, one that I knew was coming and was quietly dreading.

Before I explain, you need the back story.

I’ve been working with Darren for a while now. He has a small business and is full of ideas. He uses Google Ads and Facebook advertising to promote his business… trying every strategy he knows to build the business quickly.

I rewrote his website early last year and we’ve been working together ever since.

Something interesting happened along the way.

Order from Chaos

About September last year, Darren decided the website still wasn’t performing. It wasn’t bringing in enough leads.

Now, patience is not one of Darren’s strengths, so he took matters into his own hands…

Unknown to me, he re-wrote several headings and changed large chunks of copy.

I had no idea he’d been making changes, until one day when I opened the site. My heart dropped.

It was a mess.

The copy didn’t flow, some page headings were spammy, it was full of spelling mistakes, and a few links were broken. The business sells premium quality products, yet the website now projected an image of a cheap, backyard operation.

At first I was angry. Then I decided it was his site, his business, and he could do whatever he wanted.

The one thing that bugged me though was the single phrase in the Footer, “Website by Top Wire Copy” with a link to my web-writing business. There was no way I wanted my business associated with this downright awful website.

So I deleted it.

I sent Darren an email. “Hi Darren, Just letting you know I’ve removed Website by Top Wire Copy from the footer.” Nothing more, just that.

He replied asking why. This is awkward!

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Andrew Murray

Andrew Murray

Andrew has traded the daily grind for a life on the road. He loves the lure of Australia’s wide-open spaces, solitude and isolation. Andrew and his wife Peta are experienced remote travelers, living the simple life on the road. They travel, work and live in their 4x4 truck camper. Andrew plans to build his Money-Making Website Top Wire Traveller to the point where it provides a regular income... enough to sustain their lifestyle on the road.

2 Comments

  • I like the story very much. It stresses how important it is to learn or know something about web development. It is a great skill in the business world, especially in the cyber space which is my preference. Do I really have a choice. Almost every business, or anyone who wants his business to go anywhere needs a web presence. Another important lesson I learned in the article is to let the experts do their job. You can always make suggestions, but allow the expert to do the job and be responsible for the finished product.

    • Thanks Paul. Yes, having web development up your sleeve can be a valuable tool. It allows you to offer a service which is a natural extension of web writing. You’re seen as a one-stop shop, rather than the client having to find a web designer.

      Another option is to team up with a web designer… you write the copy and they do the web design.

      And yes, definitely let the experts do the job! Like every skill, the devil’s in the detail. People often forget experts have many skills, shortcuts and years of accumulated knowledge to make the finished product look slick. There’s simply no substitute for experience.

      I belive every new skill or career has an apprenticeship period, just like in a trade. The first couple of years you build on the basic knowledge, until you eventually become an expert. While training can flatten the learning curve, the only way to learn is by doing the job yourself and making mistakes.

      Regards, Andrew

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