What’s Different about Green Copywriting?

Ever since I decided to focus my copywriting work on the topic of my heart – sustainable business – I’ve felt as if I’ve been walking a path that’s barely been trodden. Despite the growing mainstreaming of green business principles, few eco-preneurs have begun info-preneuring.

Let’s face it – infopreneurs can range all over the map, from flaming hypesters to hypnotic gurus. Many are selling an “Internet lifestyle” of getting rich quick with minimal effort…and while I respect their desire to share their abundance…well… let’s just say that the owners of green businesses, my clients, tend to shy away from that kind of approach.

So in defining my services as a copywriter for eco-info-preneurs, I need to make it very clear – those priorities are not what I’m about! While I practice…well… semi-hypnotic writing, I also work to practice the triple bottom line of People, Planet and Profit, run a wind-powered office, buy carbon offsets….and generally try hard to walk my sustainable talk.

You could say I’m practicing green copywriting with an agenda: to promote not just my clients, but the whole idea of green, sustainable, environmentally and socially responsible business. To promote the idea that the Earth, in her delicate balance and biodiversity, sustains our life and endeavors and should rightly be respected, protected, and nurtured in return. That we as businesspeople should work in cooperation with the Earth rather than in heedless consumption or outright exploitation.

But how does copywriting with this underlying value differ from copywriting for business-as-usual?

All the Internet marketing gurus teach one principle that holds true for all kinds of copywriting: it needs to come from the heart. Whether you’re selling an E-book about making easy millions on Google, or an online course in greening your business, it’s the belief, passion, and sincerity of your tone that will convince the reader and inspire trust.

Back in the 90’s, in the Cluetrain Manifesto (if you haven’t read it – read it – this is where the core principles of online marketing and Web 2.0 began) presented the principle that Markets are Conversations – and the more you sound like a real, live, thinking, feeling human in those conversations, the more trust and business you will gain.

That’s one of the founding principles of Your Words’ Worth. And I believe that passionate, from-the-heart quality is also what sets green copywriting apart from other types of online copywriting.

Sure, the seller of Making Easy Millions on Google is probably just as passionate about this product as the seller of Greening Your Business 101. But I think the type of passion differs enormously…and this inevitably shows up in the tone of the copywriting.

You see, in green copywriting just as in green business, Profit isn’t the only target of passion – People and the Planet are equally important. And if that passion isn’t felt, if that underlying environmental and social responsibility isn’t evident…well, no sincerity, no sale!

So when you look for a copywriter to promote your green business, ask – does he or she know about corporate social/environmental responsibility? the triple bottom line? carbon offsetting? fair trade? a living wage? If terms like these are familiar – are they just quaint concepts, or are they living ideals?

Bottom line – does your copywriter share your passion?

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