Noel Qualter, a UK table magician wrote an excellent guide for any magician thinking about creating their own website or revamping the one they have.
Among the advice warning against things like Coming Soon! pages, using Adobe flash and automatically starting music comes possibly the biggest lesson of all.
Make sure all of the copy on your site reflects you well, is cleanly written and above all else, isn’t stolen from the site of another magician.
Write Your Own Copy
This is a massive one and a task that many magicians hate doing it but its ESSENTIAL. You want the words on your website to represent you as a performer. If you think you are a terrible writer you can get somebody else to do it for you. If you have the budget, you can pay a freelance copywriter from a site like Elance.
If you find it hard to generate the content, then try this. Write down ten questions in the 3rd person. Dream up the kind of questions you might be asked by an aggressive reporter, if they were doing a very in depth piece on you. Questions like, “why are you better than other magicians” and “how did you get started in magic”. Imagine you are being interviewed on a chat show about your magic. When you have done this, spend a few days slowly typing out your genuine answers. It’s a lot easier to answer these questions than to fill a blank page. You can then use this content to turn it into a unique page of text for your site. Show the questions to family and friends and see if they have any questions they’d like to know the answers to and add them to the list.
If you are totally bereft of ideas and broke, then beg somebody you know to write for you. Everybody knows somebody who is a decent writer but above all don’t copy and paste the words from another magician’s website.
The online world is a small place and you don’t want to get caught out plagiarising text. You might think it’s a small crime but you are stealing the intellectual property of another performer. It took them hours and days to compose the sales copy and you waltzed straight in and stole it. There are sites like Copyscape that many professional magicians use to check their text hasn’t been stolen. I make time every few months to run my site through Copyscape and I always find a few offenders who have stolen pages and text from me. It takes time and effort to email them asking them to remove it.
For the record, this excerpt was published with the full consent of Noel. Make sure you visit here to read the rest of his post.