A web copywriting manifesto

9 writing principles to inspire the Internet to suck less

1. Copywriting is a conversation, not a lecture. So imagine a specific person sitting in front of you at a party. Write to that person, not to abstract concepts like "target audience" or "website visitors".

2. Write for the reader, not for the writer. So when writing copy, use this ration: aim for at least three "you"s to every "We"s or "I"s you write.

3. Never write copy like you're trying to win a Pulitzer prize. When people visit your website they’re donating their time and attention, so write things that respect their time. Make it fun to read. Or interesting. Or scary. Or informative.

4. Write with your ears and use the same language your reader uses, not yours. 

5. Use simple words. Your reader is busy, not stupid. So write things that are easier to read than to ignore. Avoid jargon, buzzwords, clichés, and mambo jambo language.  

6. Write clearly. Your website only has 5.59 seconds to make a great first impression and gain recognition and trust. So make sure it delivers a crystal clear message...like the waters of the Bahamas.

7. Make your reader feel important - and do it sincerely. You'll have an instant competitive advantage over your “Me me me” competitors.

8. Don't be vague, be specific. Don’t write vague phrases (e.g. Don’t say “Save Money Each Month”, say, “Save $200/ month”). 

9. If you’re the client and you’re approving copy, always judge it from the consumer’s perspective, not yours. The copy might not make a connection with you, but always remember this: you're not the one being sold to.