If the thought of writing content for your website fills you with dread, then I have a few tips that may help so that you can make the process a little easier.
I’m no writer, so the stuff I’m sharing here are tricks I’ve learned from pro-writers and online marketers.
They’ve helped me get into a writers’ mindset and hopefully they’ll do the same for you.
But why is it important that I add content to my site? I hear you ask.
Well, if you have a website for your small business or side hustle and you need it to do a little work for you by getting some leads or sales through the door, then you’re going to have to be creative with your content.
Because, if making sales from your website was as easy as setting up a site and adding some nice looking pictures, then I’d be writing this little blurb from my yacht in Monaco.
The reality is, if you are serious about taking your business online to a higher level, then you need to consider using blogs or some other type of content to help your customers with the things that are troubling to them.
Why is this ?
Well, think about your activities online when you need to know something.
You look it up on the Googles or the Youtubes to find an expert who can show you the way to solve your problem, or provide some first-hand advice that you need for your particular circumstance.
For example, say you’re looking to purchase a new car or household appliance; you’ll do some online research first, then go and check out the goods.
The people who are searching for your stuff online are no different.
They are in discovery mode, meaning they’re looking for the answers that you can provide.
Your answers to their questions will form the backbone of your website content.
This allows you to put yourself in the position of ‘trusted advisor’ where they can:
- See that you know what you’re talking about
- Receive help from you
- Decide if they like the cut of your jib so to speak
OK, now you understand why this type of content on your website is important.
If you’re not used to writing or creating content, you might think it might be difficult to put together.
Well yes and no.
Nothing worth doing well is ever easy, but there are a few tricks and tips to help you get this sort of stuff done while keeping a smile on your face.
So in this post I’m gonna share my 4 step secret to writing blog posts effectively.
(When I say my secret, I mean the tips I’ve learned from other folks who do this waaay better than me.)
Step 1 – Plan your content
There nothing technical to worry about here.
All you need to do is use 1 document of your choice, be it a Word document, physical note pad or notes on your phone or tablet.
Just pick 1 or 2 tools where you can gather your thoughts.
Then just write down anything connected with the fears, issues, complaints or questions that your customers have, either with you, your business or with the type of service you offer.
For example, I have a simple list in Google Docs of topics that include the following:
- How to write (because I’m not good at it)
- How to use video, even if you’re scared of going on camera
- How to add images to your website so they have a better chance of being found
- How to set up a web page
- What is the difference between a blog page and a web page
- What is a plug in
Planning your content doesn’t mean you have to have a detailed structure.
Instead, you just need to take note of the things that your customers are having problems with and write them down
And also write down how you would help them.
Step 2 – Create your content outline
This step uses a couple of very useful tricks I picked up from studying folks who do this kind of work for a very good living.
Firstly, there is nothing complicated here, so don’t worry about having to write if you feel that you are not good at the written word.
You don’t have to be, you just need to know your stuff, be excited about it and know how to help your customers.
So the trick I learnt is a very simple 3 step framework for getting your stuff down on paper.
It goes like this…
- Here’s a problem you’ve had or may have in the future
- Here’s how to deal with that problem
- Here’s how I can help you with that if you want me to
These three statements are solely focussed on your ideal customer and them alone.
Here’s an example to give you a clearer idea of what I mean.
Say you are a personal coach or trainer, a framework could look like this
- Your clients are a busy mums, who are struggling to get motivated
- You provide some tips you or some of your clients have used to overcome this problem
- You offer more support with a call to action AFTER you have delivered the content (details of your Website, Facebook Page or phone number to set up a call or discussion, if they want to know/learn more)
Easy, now you’re ready for Step 3…
Step 3 – Create a draft with a Free Writing session
Free writing is a great nugget of wisdom I gained from master writers of web copy.
Basically Free Writing is spending an UNINTERRUPTED 10 or 20 minutes of writing whatever is in your head that relates to what you outlined in Step 2 without editing your work.
It’s really important to do this without worrying about spelling mistakes or bad grammar.
The aim is to let the creative side of your brain do the work.
Describe the method you would use in Step 2 of the framework as if you were talking with your ideal client.
Include the words and phrases you would use and any stories from past customers, or your experiences.
What you write will not look pretty. There’ll be spelling errors and bad grammar, but that is not the point here.
And not all of what you write will make the final cut, but the imagination muscle in your brain will be kept well flexed and coming up with ideas and content ideas.
If you know your stuff and your ideal client, this will be a lot easier to manage than you think.
It may seem a little weird just to write without editing. I admit, it took me a couple of goes to get used to it. But it will provide you with a technique to taking some of the sting out of creating customer focussed content for your website, especially if you don’t think you can write.
If you want a little more detail on what I mean by this, then take a look at this (6min-ish) video I shot while I was putting this post together.
Once you have completed your brain dump, give yourself a pat on the back and go do something else for the next 24 hours, because you’re going to revisit your ‘rough draft’ with a more critical eye in Step 4
Step 4 – Edit and Refine
This is where you need your editors hat.
Using a fresh set of eyes you can correct the spelling and grammar of the piece from Step 3 and refine your ideas into the finished masterpiece ready to be shared with your tribe.
I understand that typing what could be misspelt garbage without any self edits may seem a little strange at first, but it will hinder your progress if you try to edit and create at the same time.
Note: If you are able to do this, then congrats to you, us mere mortals need to rely on tried and trusted tips from the masters.
So that’s why I recommend purging your brain of ideas in a Free Writing exercise. I find it the best way to tackle content tasks, especially where there’s a lot of writing involved.
Now, it won’t make you a Pulitzer Prize contender and you won’t get comfortable with this method of content creation overnight.
But, if you stick at it and focus on generating content that your customers need, then with some practice, you’ll be able to knock out blog posts and articles with a greater degree of ease.
I hope this helps in some way, I certainly have found this technique very useful.
If you’ve found anything here useful, please share it with someone who you think it could help.
Best of luck with your site.
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