Developing a Style and Voice For your Web Content

Got Tone? Tips for Developing a Writing Style

Developing a writing style that appeals to your readers is an art. The tone of your copy is the key to the success of your marketing strategies. Your returns rest largely on the quality and style of your text. For companies in the healthcare, legal and financial industries, this means their text needs to be clean, clear, concise and competent. In fact, the four Cs are favored by most if not all Fortune 1000 companies. For a company that sells sports tickets or toys, a much lighter, conversational tone is the better option. We’ve had clients express concern about matching their tone when their website is completely toneless. This goes to show that tone is a sensitive and important topic. Here are a few tips for developing a voice for your web content.

Who is your target audience? This is the most important factor. A personal injury attorney who is targeting people who have been injured or lost a loved one needs to use a voice that is strong, compassionate and effectively illustrates their strengths. For example, “Contact us today to speak with a compassionate personal injury attorney who can protect your rights and act as a legal advocate.”

Now, let’s consider a restaurant that makes the best barbeque in the city. Restaurants are part of a leisure market. People dine in their free time using disposable income. To appeal to consumers, we must create a tone that actively promotes their delicious food and the lively ambiance.

“At Judge Bean’s Bar-B-Q, we make the meanest barbeque sauce east of the Mississippi and the best pulled pork ya’ll will ever taste. Stop by for a plate-clearing, finger-licking good time.”

On the other side of the spectrum, a gourmet catering company that uses local produce might need a more conservative tone. For a high-end caterer, we might use a more sophisticated, erudite tone.

“From fresh, tender arugula to locally produced cheese, we partner with local farmers to procure the finest and freshest ingredients. We use the highest-quality products and artisan cooking techniques to produce slow-food for large events.”

There is an entire spectrum of literary tones. I like to think of it like a rainbow. On one end, we have a straight-ahead, no-nonsense corporate tone. On the other, we have zany, edgy, off-the-wall. This means that there are subtle differences in tone that are comparable to the visual differences between teal and blue-green. Once you have the right tone, you’ll know it.

You wouldn’t believe how many content mills suggest the most banal and generic tones. Informative and interesting, sales driven and promotional, light and conversational or educational and informative. These are the options that a mass-market content mill will give you. They might as well as say meaningless and bland, boring and stale or light and fluffy. We’re not talking about comfort food or ice cream. Let’s get real. Don’t be tone deaf. The success of your website depends on the quality and style of your content, so you’ve got to make it good. As up-market copywriters, we collaborate, we work with clients, and we infuse our writing with creativity to match our customers’ goals. That’s why our copy is effective.

To develop the right style and tone, consider who your target market is, what you’re selling and what your goals are. Words represent your company, its personality and its products. That’s why it’s important to have a tone that accurately portrays your company’s strengths. On our own website, we like to have a little bit on fun on your text. For clients, we develop a tone based on their individual needs and goals, which are rarely the same from company to company.

You’re welcome to share your perspective on the challenges of developing the right style and tone for your web content.

Why Outsourced Copywriters Suck

Outsourcing is the latest trend to take over programming, web development and copy writing services. In a global climate where national pride is a rare commodity, many business owners see outsourcing as an affordable way to get what they need while paying prices that are below the domestic street value.

write-on-homegrownCopy writing is one of many industries that have been hit hard by the outsourcing trend. We are here to challenge this trend and set things right. Programmers and engineers were two of the first groups to be affected by outsourcing. Professionals in these high-paying industries were quickly undercut by offshore companies who could offer the same services at lower prices.

When it comes to writing effective, professional content, outsourcing has several drawbacks. Anyone who has called a tech support line in the past decade knows that these people can barely speak English let alone write it! Money. That’s what’s driving this trend. It’s not only companies that hire non-native writers from who knows where. There are many, many marketing companies and web development firms who claim to offer copy writing services as a value-added feature. However, this typically means that they mark up the low, low cost of the outsourced content they order on your behalf. Outsourced content could come from Brooklyn or Burma, but the quality is generally the same because the writers are underpaid.

As professionals in this industry, it’s sad seeing fellow writers suffering through and being subjected to sweatshop-like conditions. The push to force costs lower and lower affects professional writers everywhere. The vast majority of copy writing services pay their writers less than minimum wage. We’re talking $2 or $3 per hour or less in many cases. Even restaurant servers make tips on top of their meager hourly wages. These companies only hire independent contractors, so federal taxes, health care costs, Internet access fees and so many other expenses come directly out of the writer’s paycheck. If you’re currently ordering articles from a content mill or a firm that uses these services, there are multiple surcharges going both ways.

The company ordering for you will always mark up their prices, and the company who offers writing services will charge 30 percent in commission and administrative fees or more.  If you choose us, you’ll enjoy a variety of benefits.

  • Native English speakers
  • Trained, professional writers
  • Experienced editors
  • Real people who speak and write your language!

With our services, you might pay a little bit more, but the funds actually go to the writer. Support real professional writers, and strengthen the domestic economy by avoiding content mills and outsourced copy writing services.