It would be predictable of me to try to convince you that DIY-ing your site is the absolute worst idea ever and you should hire a copywriter.
But that’s not why I want to share my own experience of writing my own site.
I want to share it because I want everyone to know just how deeply dreadful an experience it was.
It was SO HARD! So painfully hard.
Yes, I’m a copywriter, but that only made it harder, not easier! My goal was for my website to do all the things it should do (like: inform my potential clients about me, my business, and the services I offer, as well as get them to take action on next steps), but:
I also needed it to be a stellar example of my work. To the point that people would want to hire me. Which is a lot of pressure.
Let’s be honest, writing about oneself is absolute drudgery. It’s the pits. You’re like—do I even know myself? What’s important to me? And, most importantly: what about me is going to be relevant to my target client?
These are existential questions.
Well, friends, this results in many hours in front of a blinking cursor. It results in writing up whole drafts to be discarded. It results in an identity crisis.
And it makes you want to hire a copywriter at any cost.
In the end, I did complete it myself, because of course I couldn’t resort to hiring another copywriter. (Do any copywriters actually do that?)
Here’s what I learned about being my own copywriting client:
- It was hard to get out of my own head. There was nowhere to turn, nothing to help me sift through everything I know about my own business and life experience. No one to reflect back what’s critical and what needs to be jettisoned. I was journeying through Dante’s Inferno without a guide*. The content I needed was somewhere deep in my brain amongst all the self-doubt and howling. It was nearly impossible to focus—which meant I was eating up valuable time. I even had a friend try to trick my brain by interviewing me using my own interview questions (out of order! See, tricky!), but I still turned out to be the person asking the questions and receiving the responses. And writing the copy.
- I was emotional. The success of my business was riding on this, and I felt bad that it was taking forever. I felt like I was holding up my web designer’s schedule (even though she was very kind and understanding about it). I may have even ghosted her for a bit or postponed a scheduled call because I wasn’t as far along as I thought I would be (Sorry, Rach!). Some days, I may have even pretended that I was never going to do this website rebrand in the first place. I mean, the existing site wasn’t so bad! Right?!?!
- I was overwhelmed by the number of overlapping tasks. We’re talking about collecting testimonials (maybe with photos), interviewing clients, doing a photoshoot, creating a new logo design–and the list goes on from there. Writing the copy happens before, during, and after all these other tasks are flowing along. There are many contingencies that depend on others that need to start asap–for example, you need clothes and makeup for the photoshoot but do you have your brand colors finalized? What if they clash?! Even in my case, where I had experience doing this for clients, I sometimes put the cart before the horse and lost time. Absolutely every step took longer than expected.
- I kept overthinking my plan. In my case, as a copywriter, I did have lots and lots of resources to guide me (coaches! communities! courses!) but I was still overanalyzing every decision, which sometimes took me off track. Sometimes it was comparison-itis, (Hey, she has a podcast! And a course! And a freebie! And has a social media presence on every platform! I should do that…) It’s totally fair to research and get ideas from what your competitors are doing, but you don’t want to risk being a copycat or spreading yourself too thin. It helped to have buddies to help me refocus on what was most important and stop getting distracted by shiny objects.
Ultimately, my site took me 8 months (I thought it would take 6 weeks).
Thankfully, I’m completely thrilled with the final product, so it was all worth it! (Shout out to my web designer Rachel, my logo designer Beth, and my photographer Jamilla!)
And—just because it’s hard doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it.
If you’ve read this far, and you’re convinced that you can and should go ahead and DIY your copy yourself, more power to you, truly. You’re probably an awesome writer and I believe in you!
Personally, if I hadn’t already been a copywriter creating a website about my copywriting business, I would have hired a copywriter.
That person would have:
- Taken mucho stress off my plate
- Set up an airtight process and plan
- Let me know what to expect and given me calendarized to-do items
- Been my support buddy as I worked through existential questions
- Connected me with a brilliant team of professionals
- Written my copy (phew!)
Even if you don’t hire a copywriter to write for you, you can always set up a copy strategy call to go over your plan and gather ideas and resources.
Still trying to decide how to approach your web copy? Set up a 20-minute discovery call with me and let’s talk through the possibilities.
I’d love to help save you from pointless suffering and actually free you up to have fun getting it done. XO!
*I recommend checking out Martha Beck’s book, The Way of Integrity, which published in 2021, and uses Dante’s Divine Comedy as inspiration for an exploration of the journey to personal integrity. I’ve read it twice and will read it again. (Incidentally, I haven’t read The Divine Comedy but I might.)
Brilliant! And yes, writing about yourself is drudgery, even more dreadful than writing prefaces.
And that’s saying A LOT! Thanks, Pennie!