About Phronesis

Aristotle was a big fan of phronesis, apparently. Along with sophia, it's one of the two 'intellectual virtues'. But whereas sophia is about understanding the way the world is, phronesis is about enhancing the world.

To me, it means doing the right thing, at the right time, in the right way. There's no point having a purely Flash-based website if Google only crawls plain text. There's no point targeting the keywords 'spring' and 'summer' in winter, unless you're in an industry that sells ahead of time - like clothing, or holidays.

In terms of copywriting, it's more than just understanding your industry and the web. Your site can top every SERP you choose, but that doesn't mean any of your visitors will convert into sales.

Your copy needs to be:
  • search-visible

  • grammatically correct

  • engaging

  • enticing

How do we achieve those last two? Well, I'm a fan of consumer psychology. The kind of thought processes advertisers put in before launching a new campaign.

Put very simply, your copy needs to be positive - whatever industry you're in (cancer and debt can be particularly challenging) - and lead the reader into the state of mind where buying from you will support that positive feeling.

Charities do this by making you feel good about helping others. Most brands used to do it by making their product seem luxurious or indulgent. These days it's often just a case of whose ad is 'funniest' or most original.

Online your options are limited, so it's even more important to get it right. You've got very few words to get the reader hooked and even fewer to convert them into a sale. Trust it to someone with the experience and prudence to make every word count.