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Website Copy: A Practical Guide for Writing Copy with AI

robot made out of cardboard hoolding a pencil with a notebook in front of it and a speech bubble that reads 'my puns might be rusty, but my copy is gold'

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Writing your website copy can be the most annoying part when it comes to building a website. Which words do you use? what tone should you use? the list of questions goes on. We can now leverage AI to speed up the process and even create options for the same piece of content in a matter of seconds

In short, the goal should be to get your audience to take action. With AI, create a user avatar and a tone of voice that resonates with that avatar. Get the AI to list out all of the relevant keywords and figure out the main points that you want to get across, then start prompting AI to write your copy

There is more that we have to cover when writing your copy with AI, if you enter a subpar prompt then you will get a subpar answer. Next, we’ll break down each step so you can create a website copy for your site without breaking a sweat.

Define Your Website Goal

Before we even open up an AI prompt you have to figure out what the goal of your site is. In other words, what do you want the reader to know and what do you want the reader to do?

Action step: Open up a Google Doc, or your editor of choice, and answer these questions. Start by listing out all of your objectives for your website and write down everything that comes to mind here are some examples to get started.

  • Request a quote
  • Learn about your photography style
  • Book a call
  • Make a purchase
  • Download lead magnet

I am a wedding photographer and want to create a goal for someone visiting my website. what are some examples of goals for a wedding photographer’s website?

Now that you have listed out your website goals, pick one. Bombarding your website visitors with too many calls to action increases the likelihood of them not doing anything. It’s like when you watch a YouTube video and they ask you to comment, like, subscribe and hit the bell, no one is going to do all of those things at once. Pick one action you want them to do and nothing else.

Find a Way to Measure Your Goal

What do you want them to think and do? Don’t create a broad goal like creating brand awareness or getting more sales. Be specific and focus on something that can be measured, for example, increasing the number of inquiries through our online form, increasing the number of inquiries through my Instagram account. Be specific, the more specific the easy we can focus on what needs to be improved.

If you get stuck just use the AI prompt

What are different ways that I can measure this goal

Find Your Target Audience

It’s doubtful that you know someone who is 35 was the same person they were when they were 25, so why put them in the same demographic as 25 – 35 years old? I find that the best way to find your target audience is to base it on someone you already know or a client you have previously enjoyed working with.

“When you speak to everyone, you speak to no one.”

Meredith Hill

For example, if you’re targeting engaged couples planning their wedding, think of someone you know who is engaged and planning their wedding, what are they into, how they do their research, do they read books magazines or articles research, on Instagram or TikTok. Do they use a phone tablet or laptop to surf the web? when do they sure f the web? a lot more specific than 25 to 35 right?

Create a User profile

Now organise your target audience into 3 modes, physical, cognitive and emotional state. After we create these profiles we’ll add them to the prompt and use this as the foundation for writing out copy with AI.

Physical state: what is your reader doing while they’re reading your website copy? sitting on the couch or sitting on the bus from work. sitting at the dining table or their desk. Are they even sitting when reading your copy?

How will these states affect how they read? On the go? keep it short and clear call to action, If they relaxing on the couch you can write something that they can invest a little more time in.

Cognitive state: What is your reader capable of? Are they well versed in the subject you’re writing about, are they new to it, what is their reading level? If they are not well versed in the subject then try writing in plain language and explaining important subjects in simple terms. If a reader understands the topic you won’t need to go into depth about the subject. Don’t sweat with this part we’ll get A.I. to do most of the heavy lifting.

Emotional state: Stressed and busy or relaxed and time to learn and understand how this will affect their patience. Are they stressed? keep it simple, straightforward and clear, for example, their photographer cancelled on them and now they need a photographer ASAP! Or are they in a good mood? it’s okay to play around and add some humour.

Now start creating your user profiles

Action step: Great! now that you have written up your user profile add it to the prompt. Here is a template

I want to create a user profile for my target audience that I will use when writing my website copy. Don’t write the copy just yet, let me know if you understand. There are 3 modes that my target audience will be in when reading the sales copy on my website: physical, cognitive and emotional, here are the 3 modes of my target audience that I want you to keep in mind when writing my copy: [ Paste in your physical, cognitive and emotional states here ]

Use the Action or Educate Strategy

There are 2 strategies when trying to turn your website visitors into clients, the Action strategy and the Education strategy.

Action Strategy

Action strategy is short and persuasive and encourages your audience to carry out a task like book a call or make an inquiry. This is done with limited-time offers to create a sense of urgency, pop-up forms to get a free wedding planning checklist in exchange for their email

It sums up everything the reader needs to know so they can take the next logical step on your website. But visitors who are going to make a larger investment, need more info before opening their wallets.

Educate Strategy

The educate strategy is best when you want to remove any perceived risk, by building that trust through testimonials, your previous work and case studies i.e. portfolio, nurturing that long-term relationship with blog posts or providing free resources like wedding planning resources. you could even take it a step further and build that trust with your Instagram account, if you have your work on there and not images of last weekend where you got a little messy. This lets your visitors take action when they are ready

Action step: Figure out which strategy will resonate with your audience, you could even have a mix of them to convert your visitors. Use the prompt below and describe your ideal client avatar to suit your goals.

Example of prompt to figure out which strategy is best for your business

Here is the prompt so you don’t have to type it out:

As a wedding photographer which strategy is best for converting my website visitors into clients, the action strategy or education strategy? My audience is [ describe audience here ]

Create your Tone of Voice

In addition to creating your strategy, objectives and purpose, we need to find your voice, tone and phrasing, that will be consistent throughout the entire copy. We can’t have one without the other so let’s start.

The tone of voice starts with good grammar, sometimes when typing we don’t do things good, see what I did there, I recommend Grammarly to work alongside you, it checks for spelling errors as well as grammatical errors in real-time, plus it’s free.

Grammarly in action and showing the grammar mistake in the previous paragraph

When finding your tone of voice don’t use colloquialisms or fluff i.e. saying something without actually saying anything. Think of your 10-year-old niece telling a story about what happened at lunch that doesn’t go anywhere. Be clear and straight to the point and the tone will follow.

If you get stuck, find someone who has the same audience as you and has the tone of voice you’re after. If it attracts your attention and you have the same traits as your audience then it might just attract your audience’s attention.

Bonus Tip: Use a positive tone of voice and focus on what you can do, not what your competitors can’t do, it comes off as confident.

“If your audience doesn’t understand what you’ve said, you haven’t understood your audience”

Copywrong to Copywriter: A Practical Guide to Copywriting for Small Businesses, Small Organizations, Sole Traders and Lone Rangers by Tait Ischia

Action step: Start writing out your copy, don’t worry about tone of voice just yet, just get your message written out and make sure it is clear and straight to the point. Once you have your message written out. Open up your prompt and let’s get started finding your tone of voice.

As a wedding photographer who is targeting [ audience here ]. What are 3 tones of voice that will attract that type of audience with my website copywriting?

Tips on Writing Your Copy

Paradox of Choice

Ever watch a YouTube video that tells you to like, comment and subscribe? Have ever done all three? I doubt it, this is because of the paradox of choice, having too many choices actually limits our freedom therefore creating more friction for the actions you want your visitors to do. Only have 1 action maybe 2 for your visitors to do when they read your copy.

Make it Skimmable

On top of limiting your visitor’s choices is the readability, this helps readers quickly find what they’re looking for, by laying out your copy in order of importance readers can quickly find what they’re looking for and creates a better user experience, nobody wants to read a large body of text.

Some further reading on Readability

Replace the Old With The New

The goal of your website is to persuade your visitor to complete an action with as little as possible. If you had 100 testimonials instead of listing them all out you could write 5 out of 5 stars based on 100 reviews

That would be really impressive if you had that rating by the way, and then have 6 of the best reviews, or if you have 6 really good examples of wedding photography shoots then only showcase those shoots, don’t add every single shoot you do, and yes images are apart of copy as well, choose images that support your narrative.

Only Add Your Most Frequently Asked Questions

This one sounds like a no brainer but time and time again I noticed that a lot of websites add every single question they can think of in their FAQ section. This is not helpful for someone looking for answers. Only add your most frequently asked questions, ordered by popularity.

The Fold Doesn’t Exist

The fold doesn’t exist referring to newspapers where the headline had to capture the user’s attention so a reader would pick up the paper and read the rest. Websites are different, people know to scroll past the fold, that’s if your page loads fast enough, so with that in mind try not to cramp all of your content ‘above the fold’. Tell a story and give them a reason to keep scrolling.

Write a Clickbaity Title

A Clickbait title is something that says it’s gonna show you and then shows something else and doesnt deliver, we have all seen them, Lose 10kg in 10 days, Grandma’s Tea Party with T-Rex? Found Jurassic Photos! Grow your… feet by 5 inches.

Jokes aside, don’t short-change your audience by tricking them with clickbait titles, instead provide value. Try different headlines add some humour, juxtapositions keep trying until you find something that works.

“Almost everything that’s true is boring and almost everything that’s interesting is false”

Clay Shirky

Your Copy a Living Thing

With time you’ll notice that some parts work and other parts of your copy could be better at converting, and just like living things, if it doesn’t adapt it dies. A little melodramatic but, you get what im mean. This step you can’t really execute until you have data and data comes with time so don’t forget step 2 “Find a way to measure your goal”, measure everything you can to improve your copy.

cycle of testing and updating copy

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