Why Website Projects Turn into Haunted Houses

Your website mockup might have a great design. But without great copy, it will seem like a decaying ruin—haunted by the ghosts of words that could have been.

website projects turn into haunted houses

Haunted houses aren’t just for Halloween. They populate the web, too: that is, the unpublished white space of the web, in the form of website projects that get kicked off, then stall, sputter, and die.

Website and graphic designer friend Sharon Schanzer first told us about the internet’s haunted houses:

“Many times, the hold-up for my projects is copy,” she says. “It might be a brochure, a website, a PowerPoint, whatever. Without copy, I can’t really do any real design work. Projects sit around, haunting people’s intentions and their resolve.”

When your website team knows what it’s doing, the finished site will grab your customers by the collar, and tug them firmly toward a sale. Every day that a business fails to launch its website is a day without this effective conversion machine. And the longer you or your staff flail around trying to capture your essence in copy, the more of a chore it becomes. If you’re trying and failing to write your site yourself, then our advice is to stop, shop, and BYOC (bring your own copywriter). Once that happens:

  1. Your designer will tailor everything (website navigation, page design, user interface) to your copy, and vice versa.
  2. You can focus your energy elsewhere.
  3. You’ll launch your website or marketing collateral the minute you need to (now).

Don’t let your big, beautiful website project fall into crumbling mansion-style disrepair. Don’t fill it with ghostly “lorem ipsums,” gathering mental cobwebs, opening its door to no one, and waiting for the launch date that never comes. Instead, hire us—we’ll air out the stuffy rooms, and bring in the kind of foot traffic that means business.

Jean Tang

Jean Tang

A champion of high-end content, Jean is a living tribute to copywriting for humans. In 2012, at a TEDx talk, she declared her now widely viewed “War Against Bland.” The visionary founder of MarketSmiths, Jean leads her growing team to captivate, inspire, and motivate readers. She has helped thousands of global clients generate revenue from words (up to 12,000% ROI), and transformed the writing of hundreds of seminar attendees at the SXSW Interactive Festival (2014 and 2015), SXSW V2V (2014), the Small Business Summit (2014, NYC), and other venues.

More from MarketSmiths

For financial services brands, consistent messaging is a must for effective marketing.

Cash in on Consistency: Building a Strong Finance Brand with Repeatable Messaging

The American flag flying backwards

The Dangers of Ignoring Your Actual Audience

the marie kondo marketing copywriting approach

Spark Joy and Tidy Up Your Marketing Copy: 3 Key KonMari Method Tactics

marketsmiths pen

The 5 Necessary Pillars of Effective Website Copy

Inc 5000 content agency

M/WBE certified enterprise.

Design by WorstOfAllDesign. Digital Strategy by MadPipe. Photography by Chellise Michael.