7-Step Plan for Working With
Web-Copy Clients

To make a fantastic living as a web copywriter, you’ve got to have a plan.

What do I mean?

You need to know exactly what you’re going to do with clients from start to finish. From the initial phone call … to the research and planning … to writing their web copy … to getting the bigger paychecks you deserve.

For example …

Let’s say your phone rings and it’s Joe, CEO of Joe’s Cha-Cha Palace.

He’s frustrated because he’s had only one visitor to his website all month long. To make matters worse, his online store hasn’t sold a single pair of dance shoes!

He desperately wants your help to turn things around. And he knows you can deliver the goods. You see, he’s worked with other “amateur” web copywriters before. The ones who settle for one-shot projects like writing a single landing page … a single home page … a single sales page … and the like.

But you’re different. You know how to better serve your clients. And in the process, you create the kind of client loyalty that will keep you busy and profitable for years to come.

This is exactly how successful AWAI member Pam Foster approaches her web-copywriting business. Pam’s currently earning a very good living on a consistent basis writing web copy. But here’s the thing …

Pam is able to achieve this kind of success because she’s developed a proven, clear, step-by-step system to dealing with any kind of web-copy client that comes her way.

It’s a series of seven steps that allows her to identify her client’s needs, write the copy necessary to get the job done, and, as a result, charge FAR MORE for her services than her competition. What’s more, her clients LOVE her!

Best of all, it’s a strategy anyone can follow. Briefly …

Step 1: Create the proposal. When a client first contacts you, he’s looking to you to solve a big problem for him, whether it’s getting more leads from his website, more sales, more email opt-ins, etc. So what do you do? You talk to him. Find out exactly what the problem is by asking specific questions about what he’s currently doing and what his goals are. Once you’ve done that, you can create your proposal.

Step 2: Do some in-depth discovery. Simply put, do your research. Find out what the competition is doing. Learn who your client’s target audience is. Find out what keywords your client’s website should be using. All this information will help you when it comes time to write the copy.

Step 3: Do a usability analysis. Take a good look at your client’s website. Figure out how user-friendly it is. For example, does the home page have 20 graphics competing for the viewer’s attention? Is the website difficult to navigate? What things are stopping the viewer from taking the action the client wants him to take? In short, look at every aspect of your client’s website and determine what things need to stay or change in order to achieve the website’s goal (make sales, generate leads, etc). To make this process easy, Pam created a step-by-step 21-point checklist for herself. This way, no matter what kind of website comes her way (whether it’s for a Fortune 500 or a local Mom-n-Pop), she knows exactly what to look for.

Step 4: Complete a web creative brief. This is where you start to think about your client’s USP … the promises he wants to make … the benefits of using his products or services. Make notes and keep them handy, because you’ll be using them once you start writing the web copy.

Step 5: Create a site-architecture roadmap. Don’t worry. It’s easier than it sounds (and you don’t need to know any kind of crazy programming language or anything like that). Basically, this is where the rubber starts to meet the road. You’re going to map out for the client how the web pages on his site should flow. What’s the best way to walk his prospect through the site … all with the goal of getting that prospect to take action? As a web expert who understands both copy and website architecture, you know best what this flow should be. Knowing how to do this is something that will separate you from 99% of other web copywriters and “experts” out there.

Step 6: Write! Now that you’ve done all the necessary legwork, this part will be a piece of cake. It’s time to write all the content for all the pages that are needed to make your client’s website effective. This could mean writing search-engine-optimized articles, writing the “About Us” page, maybe a “Frequently Asked Questions” page, etc.

Step 7: Go beyond the website and web content. Here’s where you can flex your copywriting and marketing muscles even more (and get an even bigger paycheck). Simply put, if it’s an option, create a marketing plan to get more visitors to your client’s website. This can be done through pay-per-click marketing, direct mail, space ads that tell readers to go to the website, postcards, advertorials, press releases, email campaigns, e-zines, etc. It’s up to you to figure out what makes the most sense for your client.

If you’d like a more detailed look at each of these 7 steps, check out Pam’s brand-new program, The Web Copywriter’s Clear Path to Profits …

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

At last, a professional organization that caters to the needs of direct-response industry writers. Find out how membership can change the course of your career. Learn More »

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Published: February 16, 2009

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