Are You Updating Your Lawn Care or Landscape Website?
8 Tips to Guide You When You Hire a Content Writer
If you’re updating your lawn care or landscape website, you know that there is a lot to do to get it up and running. And it’s vital to that you know how to lead a writer and web designer to create content that’ll make your website shine.
I’ve been helping lawn care and landscape clients with their website content for the past 22 months. And I’ve learned some things along the way. Here are eight tips to keep in mind when you hire a content writer to write your website copy:
- Make sure that someone is in charge of the entire project. From my experience, I think it’s best to hire an Internet marketing agency to not only help you with localization, but to guide the entire process. If you choose to lead the project, keep in mind that a content writer (even a subject matter expert) isn’t you. So you may have a firm idea in mind for what you want, but if you don’t communicate that idea or understand that it might take longer than you expected, you may be better off hiring a project manager to lead your website’s reconstruction.
- Make sure that you introduce your writer to your web designer. I think this is perhaps one the most important points. Most of my clients introduce me to their web designers and that makes the entire website project so much easier. You’re an expert in lawn care or landscaping. The web designer is an expert is web design and the content writer is an expert in providing the content that’ll draw people to you. Thus, it only makes sense to connect your writer with your web designer so they can collaborate. If you decide to keep the two components apart, you’re asking for trouble.
- If you expect your writer to put together footers, headers, call out text, and other writing jobs in addition to writing text, make sure that you know that this project can take longer than one month. You know the old saying, “Poor planning on your part doesn’t mean an emergency on my part.” I can’t speak about other writers, but my process of researching, writing and editing takes a bit of time—if it’s going to be done right. So, plan ahead and give your content writer plenty of time to digest, organize, and write all of your content.
- Keep your audience in mind. I can’t stress this tip enough. You are talking to clients and prospects. And they’re busy—they don’t have time to wade through a lot of green industry buzzwords or technical terms. Remember the age old rule, KISS: “Keep It Simple, Sam.” You’ll keep your readers coming to you more often if they feel that you’re not talking down to them, and they just get the basic facts to make an educated decision to hire you.
- Remember the sales funnel. When people Google “lawn care” or “landscape” business, they’re looking for a local business to come to their property and fix their problems. And that usually requires you to make an introductory visit to analyze their situation. Thus, you don’t want to bog them down with the contractual terms within your website content. If you feel that you need to have that on your website, make sure that you have it as a separate page. Link to it and allow people to choose to go there if they’re interested.
- Be clear about what you want. If your writer emails you a summary of your phone discussion with him, read over it to make sure he understood exactly what you wanted. If you tweak the information, allow him to digest it and figure it into the deadline. But don’t constantly tweak the information or add more information to the point where the writer’s eyes are going cross-eyed. I’ve learned that it’s best to take one step at a time. If you want to take more steps, then be patient and ask your writer to add it. But again, this goes back to expectations. If you want your writer to write reams of content in a short time, you may not get what you’re paying for.
- Expect that you’ll need to make some edits. Writers are not mind readers and we may not get all of your information down exactly as you want it. So, working with a writer is a process with a lot of give and take. Matter of fact, a great writer is actually a great editor. If you meet a writer that tells you that she’s going to perfectly write your copy the first time around, run the other way! Going through one or two edits is pretty normal between writers and clients.
- If the relationship turns south, part amicably. This is a hard one. Who wants to break any relationship? But personalities and expectations are different. Some folks mesh better with certain personalities than others. Realize it isn’t personal when two vastly different personalities part ways. It’s part of being in business.
Now your turn. Are you renovating your lawn care or landscape website? Are you the project manager? Will you be introducing your web designer to your writer?