Good Copy Matters

How many times does such good copy attract your attention that you stop in your tracks and read it? All the time? Once a month? Twice a year? With so many Web sites online, the percentage of those with great copy is pretty low.

If you’re planning a Web site or a redesign, would you consider hiring a professional copywriter? Most people I ask respond that they don’t want to spend the money or don’t have the money, that they can write something up themselves. Unfortunately, the value of a professional copywriter is often misunderstood.

Although I’m on the design and development side of the web business, I’m also a strong advocate of the importance of great copy. A gorgeous design may look good, but it needs to accentuate the already great copy.

Where can you find information about great copywriting?

  1. If you’re a copywriter, someone who might be interested in understanding what makes great copy, or perhaps would like to ask questions, I-Copywriting, a new list moderated by the talented and expert copywriter Nick Usborne is just the ticket.
  2. High Rankings, moderated by search engine experts Jill Whalen and Heather Lloyd-Martin, offers an information-packed discussion digest on writing dynamite copy for search engine optimization, too. Heather is a gifted copywriter specializing in search engines, and Jill is a search engine optimization expert.
  3. Coming in June to will be a new category on content, copywriting, and resources. As editor of, I’m in the midst of developing a major transformation and expansion to include several new and important categories and sections. So stay tuned. In the meantime, though, here are a few listings from the upcoming new section:
    • Content Development
      ClickZ’s regular column by Susan Solomon. Quite a few articles online, more added each week. Read them at the site, or also subscribe to receive them each week via email.
    • Difference Between Paper and Online Presentation
      Article at Sun Microsystems. Excellent.
    • How Users Read on the Web
      Jakob Nielsen’s insightful article about the unique ways people read on the web versus print. This is a must read.
    • Killer Web Content 101
      by Heather Martin for Workz. Learn solid web writing principles. Excellent points made in this article.
    • High Rankings
      Highly respected, highly regarded discussion newsletter on web content and high search engine rankings, owned by Jill Whalen of and Heather Martin of Success Works. Learn how to write savvy content to also achieve high search engine rankings. Dozens of articles here, and archives of all their weekly discussion newsletters. Fabulous resource for web content and also for search engine rankings.
    • Sun Microsystems - Writing for the Web
      Sun Microsystems' section with nemerous articles on writing for the web, developing content, navigation, design, scannability, and more. Important source.
    • Ten Terrible Web Writing Mistakes
      by Heather Martin, Success Works. Excellent article with 10 critical points to remember when writing for the web.
    • Writing for the Web
      by Jakob Nielsen. Good article with links to further resources on the specific needs for writing for the web.
    • Writing Online
      Nick Usborne’s terrific regular column at ClickZ. Read it online or subscribe via email.
    • Why Web Users Scan Instead of Read
      Jakob Nielsen’s sidebar to the above article but warranting a link on its own. Insightful Information.

These two great discussion lists and the sneak preview of’s upcoming content and copywriting section will give you some resources to learning more about what it takes to write or improve the copy at your own site or for your clients and also give you some leads on hiring a professional copywriter.

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