Newsletter #22 – Wireframing Your Copy

Hey everyone,

Most of us can pinpoint a few notable things we’ve done in our freelance business that have helped us seriously level up in terms of project $$$$ and confidence.

One of these game-changers for me was wireframing my copywriting

This includes things like:

  • Website pages
  • Landing pages
  • Sales pages
  • Emails (e.g. heavily designed ecommerce emails)

Here’s an example of a landing page wireframe if you’re not familiar with the term:

Basically, instead of delivering a text version of your copy to your client in Word or Google docs, you’re laying out what you’ve written in a very basic, low-fi visual framework.

This helps your client to see how the page might look when it goes live on the web.

You’re not replacing a designer.

And you’re not being super nerdy. Clients love this, trust me.

Wireframes are just a method of helping you more clearly communicate the logic and reasoning behind your copy.

Here’s why you should be using wireframes

  • It makes it a heckuvalot easier for you to visualize what you’ve written—so you can ensure headlines aren’t too long, buttons are in the right place, and the body copy doesn’t look like a complete clusterf*ck
  • You can see how a visitor to the website page might experience your copy when they land there
  • Your client can instantly make more sense of copy that’s laid out in an on-page context vs. a text document
  • You can walk your client through the page easily to explain your messaging, which reduces revision requests, confusion, and pushbacks—and builds trust in your ability as a copywriter and strategist
  • Less revisions = potentially hours of time saved on every project
  • You can put your prices up! (more on that below)

I write my copy directly into my wireframes, because it helps me think more contextually about how a site visitor will land on the page and then move around.

But you do you! It’s perfectly okay to write your copy and then create a wireframe for it. There’s no right or wrong way here 🙂

What do you need to get started?

There are plenty of wireframing tools around these days, so when you’re choosing one, you’ll need to keep in mind:

  • The cost – some tools look free on the surface, but might end up costing you if you want to add access for clients/teams to collaborate
  • Collaboration – your wireframe tool should be shareable, and allow your clients to easily leave feedback in the document
  • Fanciness – your wireframing tool doesn’t need all the bells and whistles. It just needs to provide a visual context to your writing. Keep it simple so your client doesn’t get distracted from looking at your copy!

I asked a few top web copywriters what they’re using to wireframe their copy, and we’re all in agreement that these are the top 3 tools right now:

I prefer to use Google docs to create wireframes, because it’s free, and super easy to use.

Also, most people are used to working in Gdocs, so clients won’t have to spend time faffing around with unfamiliar software in order to leave feedback on your copy.

Get started!

  • Wireframing With Balsamiq For Copywriters Who Don’t Suck – a free, super informative, and entertaining YouTube tutorial by fellow copywriter Joel Klettke on how to create website and landing pages with Balsamiq
  • Landing Page Wireframe Template – these mix & match Google doc templates by copywriter Michal Eisikowitz let you create wireframes for any website page quickly and easily.

    This is $37 – but it might be one of the best investments you’ll make for your business this year if you write web pages. I bought this myself and it saved me a ton of time fiddling around trying to create frames and tables myself in Google docs!
  • How To Wireframe Your Landing Pages – a free tutorial by Joanna Wiebe of Copyhackers showing you how to create wireframes with Photoshop
  • Loom – once you’ve finished your wireframed copy, use this free and simple screen recording tool to make a video walkthrough for your client.

    You’ll talk through the wireframe section by section, and at line-level if you need to, explaining what you’ve written, why you’ve laid things out in this order, and why you’ve included other specific elements like CTA button copy, messaging and positioning, logos, quotes, case studies etc.

    This sounds like a massive pain in the butt, but it’s actually quite easy. Walkthroughs are a fantastic way to make sure you can back up what you’ve written with facts and customer data, and answer any questions the client might have about your copy.

    Send the Loom video across to your client before you send them your wireframe, so they don’t skip watching it!

    Loom will notify you when someone has watched the video, so you can send them across the wireframe document at that point for feedback.

Wireframing is a professional skill you can add to your writing services. It increases your value over a writer that doesn’t offer this step in their process — so charge accordingly.

You should mention in proposals that copy will be wireframed with a video walkthrough, and then include this service in your total project price.

Wireframes seem to wow every client I’ve worked with, from the moment I mention it in sales calls to when I hand over the completed copy. It’s a no-brainer.

It lets clients see that you can deliver more than just copy, and that you understand the strategy behind creating high-converting pages.

If you’ve got any questions about using wireframes, just hit reply to this email 🙂

See you next week!

Newsletters I’m loving right now

  • How to earn $10k from your first book – we’ve all got a book inside us waiting to get out! Nathan Barry (founder of Convert Kit) will help you simplify the process. He’ll show you how to get started (and actually finish) writing a book AND launch it successfully.

  • The Neuron – AI tech is moving fast, and as writers, we need to keep up. Join 80,000+ readers and stay up to date with the latest AI developments and how they might impact you.

  • Conversion Engineering – if you’re thinking about launching a course, this is the newsletter for you. Ross O’Lochlainn is a conversion expert that has helped a ton of writers and entrepreneurs earn a ton of money from selling courses.

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