Writing Content for Your Website
Content on your website defines your business. It informs visitors how you run your business, where you focus your efforts, and whether or not they should do business with you.
Creating content for your website can seem like a daunting task at first. However, with your knowledge and field expertise it doesn’t have to be. In this post we share a few of the best tactics to cut down the time required to write content and still produce strong results.
Note: Even if you enjoy writing content with a pen and paper, we encourage you to do it on a computer to cut time. This may be obvious to some, but it is a question we’ve received before!
Your objective in this chapter is to learn some tactics for producing content on your website.
How to Write Content: A Guide
Most people don’t claim to be amazing writers. In fact, for many (including myself), the thought of writing content may sound terrible. It doesn’t have to be.
By this point in the guide, hopefully you have your list of content that needs to be written and a few bullet points of ideas to include. If not, put it together and then come back to this guide. Having a list in place decreases that all-dreaded “blank page syndrome.” Keep in mind that you don’t need to write a best-selling novel, just something compelling enough to convert website visitors into leads.
If you have been in business for any amount of time, you have probably already converted potential customers into buyers. Therefore, you have a basic understanding of topics that interest prospective customers. Understand that most visitors to your website have the same questions and needs as people you’ve talked to in person; this can help put your writing in perspective.
We use a strategy called the “10-20-10 process” to produce content here at Orange Fox. We hope it helps you, too.
Step 1: Use a stopwatch to keep yourself moving. We currently use this one (feel free to bookmark this page to come back each time you need to write):
The first 15 minutes are spent writing down ideas for paragraphs. These can be bullet points or sentences. Essentially, whatever will be the most effective way for you to review them in the future. This is simply a “brain dump” of the ideas you have for posts.
Step 2: Spend 25 minutes writing the content for the page. The goal is not to have perfect grammar or spelling. It’s to get your ideas onto the page. For some people, this is the most difficult part because they want it to make sense and look good. However, if you pause too long, the creative thoughts in your mind might stop.
Step 3: The last 15 minutes are for re-reading your content and editing the structure, punctuation, grammar and poorly written sentences. While doing this, you may come up with additional ideas or sentences that you would like to add so your reader better understands your content.
Step 4: Read your content out loud to make sure it makes sense. Make final corrections to your content.
In less than an hour, you should have a solid page of content for your website. It is important to use a timer or you may spend all day overthinking your writing and end up achieving the same results. The length of time it takes will vary from page to page, but setting a limit helps you to organize your time.
Other Tactics For Producing Content
If the steps above didn’t help you, here are a few other tactics for producing content:
- Minimize distractions as much as possible. This includes Facebook, Outlook notifications, Skype, cell phones and extra programs on your computer
- Have a short list of ideas to include in the content before you begin. Stuck? Search for other businesses in your niche and get ideas from their content.
- Use sites like Quora.com to generate ideas of what the public is curious about in your industry.
- If you run into a brain block while writing, put a place holder in your writing (i.e. “*****”) and skip to the next section. Return to this area at a later point. Sometimes, the longer you stare at the screen, the more difficult it is to come up with an idea.
- Use the “K.I.S.S.” principle. If you confuse your readers or make them feel unintelligent, chances are they will go somewhere else to find answers to their questions. Instead, keep topics simple. Invite visitors to schedule a call to discuss more complex issues. Remember that some content may be “common sense” to you since you are so familiar with your industry, but to an outsider it may be difficult to understand.
- Be concise. Readers lose interest in sentences that ramble on and on. Focus on the main issue at hand and leave out the “fluff.”
- Include a call to action. This is simple but crucial and many business websites forget to do it. A call to action simply encourages the reader to take an action after reading the article. It could be to call you, fill out a form, or visit your office. This alone will dramatically increase your conversions.
- If you truly struggle, consider hiring a writer. There are many resources online for writers, but sometimes the quality does not correlate with the price. We recommend finding an individual who will interview you (over the phone or in person) and then write content based on your answers. Finding a reliable writer can be a difficult process so we only recommend this as a last resort.
Hopefully those tactics will help you be well on your way to creating content for your website.
Your objective in this chapter was to learn some tactics for producing content on your website.
Hopefully this post has helped to lessen your anxiety of writing. There is no magic method to write out your content without some solid time involved. We hope that this guide helped you to focus your efforts and decrease the overall time you spend writing. Remember, you don’t have to have perfect content on the day you launch your site. It simply needs to be good enough to showcase your expertise and encourage visitors to contact you. You can work on upgrading it once the site is live.
Don’t let anxiety over producing content prevent you from launching your website. Schedule a few hours and get it done!
See you in the next chapter!