Copywriting as a Part of Web Development

A part of web development is copywriting. Excellent copy means it has to be appealing to both readers and to search engines. This combination will help websites to rank highly. A problem occurs when there are space constraints to a site, page layout requirements or other issues.

Because appealing to both readers and search engines is so important, you don’t want to sacrifice one for the other. Adding a big block of copy to the middle of a page may not be the best answer, however, if a page needs content, adding a couple of sentences to the bottom of each section is a good option. Your copy will still be readable and the additional content will appeal to the search engines.

There are some things to remember when writing content for a website.

  • Web users are active. One click and they have left your site. If they don’t see a reason to stay, they won’t. There is a 10 – 15 second window available to capture a visitor’s attention.
  • The longer the text is, the less likely they are to read it. With long text, they will skim it, if they bother to read it at all.
  • Web users don’t believe in hype. If you want a web user to believe you and to believe in you, you must back up your claims.

Four questions must be answered on each page:

  • What am I doing here?
  • How do I do it?
  • What’s in it for me?
  • Where can I go, next?

If your design and navigation isn’t obvious, then you need to explain it in the copy. Most visitors will not take the time to figure this information out. If a first time visitor cannot find their way around your site, they will likely never come back.

Unless your visitors are expecting to read something on your page, don’t expect that they will read more than one or two lines of copy.

Understanding your copy is as important as length. Don’t make the copy so complicated that it is difficult to comprehend or make it so the customer will have to think about it because they won’t.

What this means is you want to convey one key idea in just one or two lines. Don’t try to add a third line because if you say too much, then even the first idea won’t penetrate. If your site needs more content, break it down into sections that are one or two paragraphs each. Say what you want to say in the first sentence and then expand the thought into the paragraph. Use meaningful headers. Most people will only scan the headers to the paragraphs and not even bother with the copy on the page, unless it is something that appeal to them. It is better to write only one or two lines with links to another page with the longer copy.

Even when users are expecting to find text heavy content, don’t expect they will take the time to read all of it. Longer copy doesn’t have to be as abrupt as shorter text, but it needs to be as easy to read.

Make your copy clear, but not boring. Lively writing with an unassuming voice is best. Boring writing will turn your reader off and nothing you say at that point will make it through.

Basic Steps Involved in Teaching Yourself to Become a Web Developer

If you’re a young person finishing high school, you had good grades, you’re sharp, you love computers, and you have financial backing…you might just be headed off to college to master the art of higher learning. However…let’s say you’re not. Let’s say that the college opportunity door opened, then closed, and you’re still standing where you were without having gone through it. SURE, you can go to college now, but do you want to?

Let’s say instead that there were a way to earn very good money in the real world, but without having to spend the next 3 or 4 years of your time (to say nothing of your money) learning a trade that may or may not pay off for you. Let’s say that you could simply apply yourself to being your own teacher, and still come out on top. That is precisely what is possible in our day and age, and precisely what you’ll need to do to make yourself a Web developer without going to college.

Okay, it’s time to talk details. Let’s start with basic computer skills. If you’re not computer literate at this point, then you’re not necessarily in the wrong place (i.e., wanting to become a Web developer), but it might just be that you’re here at the wrong time. First, become computer literate. There are other classes that are built for that. Go do that, then come back here. However, if you are computer literate, take the first step toward becoming a Web developer…and this will involve a trip to Borders, or Barnes & Noble, or whatever bookstore is close by.

#1 – Buy yourself a coffee, then go look at the Computer Programming section of the bookstore. When I first took this step, it was recommended to me that I buy Sam’s Teach Yourself ASP.NET in 21 days. I bought it. It’s a great book, but nobody told me that page one of that book is still like Greek to a true beginner. Thus, first pick up the newest teach yourself ASP.NET for true beginners and you’ll be off on the right track. Then find Sam’s Teach Yourself ASP.NET in 21 Days, or some such “instructor’s manual”.

#2 – Now, organize your schedule. You’ll be needing the next few months to BEGIN to teach yourself this trade. Decide on a truly reasonable schedule that you can live with over a relatively long period of time. It’s much better to study for one to two hours daily than for 12 hours straight on the weekend. Find the time…then sit down in front of your computer, open the first book to page one, and begin to read.

#3 – Be a kind teacher. The really cool teachers that we remember from school were the ones that were kind, but at the same time, could really teach us something. Be that way with yourself. When you’ve been studying for a few days and you shut your book, drop your head into your hands, and say, “I’ll NEVER get this!”, then be kind to yourself. Recognize that nobody got it in the first couple of days, weeks, or even months. It takes time, but you have to keep moving forward. When you get worn down, depressed, or just feel like giving up, take a break! Go make a coffee, take a nap, or whatever relaxes you. Then come back and before opening the book again, stop and ask yourself this one, simple question: What do I know right now about this subject that I did not know when I started? Chances are very, very good that you will answer that question with quite a few things that you’ve learned. Thus, you ARE INDEED learning.

#4 – Find a way to enjoy what you are learning. When we actually enjoy something, we will keep doing it. Thus, when teaching yourself to become a Web developer, don’t forget to isolate what it is that you enjoy most about the tasks that the books/manuals give you, and then capitalize on those! Share them with your family and/or friends. Live it up. Enjoy yourself.

#5 – Once you have worked hard for months at this “project”, chances are that you’ll be wanting to start to earn money at it.

Stay tuned for the following article about how to take your training to the next level…and actually earn some money!

Web Development in a Fair Way

The story

When a young man starts his LIFE alone he always have great intentions about something he already interested in be it sports, literature or technology. He always has great dreams about the future, that he will be famous in some ways, will do something nobody has ever done before and will go further then anybody in the past. He will build and then lead his business to great success, will find somebody to love, will raise a family and will lead a happy life. But as time goes by he finds it harder and harder to push through…

The business

Web development. Small or big, simple or complex, everything from one page to enterprise-level database management applications. Dealing with special needs the same way as with general queries. Working over 60 hours a week delivering only the highest quality in every job without compromise. Advanced level skills in several programming languages make it easy to select and use the right tools for every project. Having the experience to bring a project from scratch to completion. Only clean hand-written code, bespoke content management systems, unique designs, cross-browser compatibility, logical structure, extendability and interactivity – in one word, professionalism what describes the products.

Sharks in the water

Running a business always involve competitors. Old ones, new ones, smaller ones, bigger ones, less or more but there are always some. And it is all right. All right, as long as it is fair. However in the web development business nothing seems to be fair at the moment.

Customers are not aware of differences between a website and a website. They can see, what is on the screen. They can see if they can find themselves on Google. And they can see the prices. And one’s price is a really small fragment of the other. The difference is so huge that the customer thinks nobody would do it so cheap so just out of curiosity they start communicating with the guy offering the cheap price. After a few conversations it is obvious that they are talking about the same thing. It makes the customer believe that the other quote is the one which is incorrect. And there cannot be that much difference between the two products. And of course that is true.

Probably there is a little difference. Probably there is none. And even if the product is completely the same in terms of hours spent on the project, structured clean code, good results in search engines, quality design, cross-browser compatibility, high accessibility and so on, there is just a LITTLE thing… And it is called FAIRNESS.

A website can be built on a computer and can be uploaded from anywhere in the world where there is an internet connection. There are many great developers and many great designers all around the world where the cost of living is really just a small chunk comparing to the cost of living in the UK, especially around London…

So Website Owners! While you don’t call yourself a millionaire however you would be really wealthy with your monthly income in some other countries, PLEASE don’t consider your country’s prices way too high just because you are having your site done by someone from far away! Thank you.

The start

When the young man started his life finishing school with a broken-up family behind his back he still had the dream to live for. In fact, that was all he had. Everyday survival can take the focus off easily though. And it did. Forgetting your dream however does not mean that you have to lose it…

Bouncing between jobs, between pride and prejudice turned his life upside down every now and then. Everywhere he went there was somebody to tell him he is going the wrong way. Time after time somebody told him to forget his dreams and grow up. He hated them. He wished they had not been there.

Although he hated them he sometimes felt they might be right. Sometimes he felt he should gave up, like everybody seemed to had given up already around him and join the queue at the end. It seemed to be all right. It seemed to be so easy. Everybody did the same. Everybody joined the same queue. He seemed to be sticking out more and more by every day and it did not feel good. But there was something he could not get out of his mind…

“A fruit is either ripening or rotting. There is no stationary state in between.”

Those people had given up already. There was nothing in front of them. They had cut all their chances that something might change to any better. The young man suddenly had to realize that those people were the only ones who helped keeping his dream alive showing great contrast between future and survival. And he has chosen the future…

Humor of faith

The young man ended up in the United Kingdom. He came to find some answers for the questions bothering him. He wanted to stay a couple of years trying his luck and wanted to save some money. But this move gave him much more than he ever expected. Learning the language and getting familiar with British culture opened his eyes a bit wider and he has seen his dream once again. Below the surface it has grown even bigger through those years than it has been ever before. And it seems to be closing up on him now…