But who writes the homepage?

fight for homepageThere are copywriters for copy, and content writers for content…but who writes a website’s homepage?

There is no doubt that writers and copywriter are in demand.

With the explosive growth of web content marketing and social media, a lot of words need to be written. Not to mention all those sales pages and landing pages. And the emails and newsletters.

So it’s no surprise that when you do some Google searches for words and terms like copywriter and “content writer” you get a lot of results.

Here’s what I found today on Google

copywriter – 13,800,000 results

“content writer” – 4,180,000 results

There is plenty of supply and demand when it comes to copywriting and web content writing.

Which brings us to my key question…who writes the homepage?

Is it the copywriter or the content writer? Or both? Or neither?

Searching on Google again yields some pretty skinny results:

“homepage writer” – 26,600 results

“homepage copywriter” – 4,750 results

Based on these figures, it seems there isn’t much interest in writers who specialize in writing homepages.

Which is nuts, because the homepage of any site is one of the most important and, arguably, the hardest to write.

Yes, I know that homepages aren’t seen as being as important as they were 10 years ago, because so much search and social media traffic is driven directly to internal pages. But even so, your homepage is your shop window. It’s where you make it clear to your first-time visitors what you’re about. It’s where you let new visitors know they are in the right place. It’s where you make people feel confident you have the answers to their questions or their problems.

And it’s where many people navigate to after they have read that internal page they came to via search or social media. They click through to the home page to answer the question, “Who are these guys?”

Which brings us to the next challenge when writing a homepage.

If challenge #1 is to clearly and concisely communicate what the site is about, challenge #2 is to work within the architecture of the site and help visitors link through to the interior pages that will provide the answers they are looking for.

Which brings us to challenge #3, which is working side by side with the designer, usability expert and site architect.

I think a lot of writers shy away from writing homepages because it’s often a tough and messy business. There are a lot of people to try to please. A big team is involved. In addition to the designer, usability experts and site architect, you often have to accommodate the site’s founder and a bunch of marketing people.

While the marketing people are fighting with everyone else on the team, the writer is often pushed to one side and asked to do his or her work only after everyone else has reached a tangled compromise.

Which bring me back to my earlier point… This is nuts!

The trouble is, it has been nuts since the 1990s, when it was just as hard for the writer to shoulder his or her way in and say, “Guys, without the right words you have NOTHING!”

A great homepage needs great writing. Period.

And for all its challenges – being part of that big, messy, squabbling team that fights over what should happen on the homepage – it can be a lot of fun. A challenge, yes. But fun too.

So if you have sharp writing skills and the aggressive instincts of a mixed martial arts fighter, this could be an exciting new writing niche for you!

Seriously. Based on a little Google research, there seem to be very few writers who specialize in homepages. There’s a gap there.

About the author: Nick Usborne is an online writer, copywriter, author and coach.

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3 thoughts on “But who writes the homepage?

  1. The homepage needs to answer “at a glance” “What is your Purpose?” Less is MORE.

    Google’s home page is great. No BS fluff crap to distract you. Plus you know why you went to Google, and that was to search for stuff, at least that was the reason years ago.

    http://www.naturalnews.com is about learning what is going on behind the scenes that affects Mother Nature and your life (from food to the environment).

    It take no brains to navigate your site, hence it better be intuitive. the worst thing anyone can do is to make the home page “unique” as in an “operational” way to navigate it. Consider that our unconscious has been trained since at least 2000 on how to navigate a website, or application by using drop down (pull down) menus, etc.

    If the operations of your website is too new, that’s like putting the steerwheel of the car in the back seat and the pedals in the trunk, and hiding the doors. That’s just plain DUMB.

    And goodbye, I’m off THAT site in 10 seconds.

    hope that helps

    Kerry

  2. Hi Nick,

    I’m confused. I read your recent Excess Voice 358 about writing your homepage. And I agree, I believe they do hold a lot of value. It is the virtual window display. But your numbers mentioned, pasted below, didn’t add up to me. When I do a Google search for “homepage writer” 186,000,000 results, and for “homepage copywriter” 593,000 results.

    Am I doing something wrong when I do a search? Does the niche hold as much potential as you mentioned?

    ******
    Searching on Google again yields some pretty skinny results:

    “homepage writer” – 26,600 results

    “homepage copywriter” – 4,750 results

    • When you do a Google search for a phrase, be sure to include the “inverted commas” before and after, otherwise the search will include the phrase PLUS the individual words.

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