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Content Workbook

  • January 6, 2020

Writing content for your website can be tricky. Hopefully these 6 tips make it easier. 

Content and copywriting can quickly become the bane of your life for weeks. We all like to think our users put on horse-blinders when they visit our site so they can absorb every word of your carefully crafted content. Reading word-for-word thinking ‘I finally found what I need!’

Content and copywriting can quickly become the bane of your life for weeks. We all like to think our users put on horse-blinders when they visit our site so they can absorb every word of your carefully crafted content. Reading word-for-word thinking ‘I finally found what I need!’

Unfortunately, your website visitors are probably waiting for the bus, or watching a movie on the couch, or procrastinating at work with a million other things to do. 

1. Write before the design starts

It is an incredibly common misconception that you need to see website design in order to add content. After all, how do you know what to write unless you can see where it’s going?

The problem with writing your content after the design has been completed is that you’re not going to write what’s best for your website, or worse, what you write won’t fit into the template and you’ll need to get the whole page redesigned.

You’ll get a far better result by supplying your designer with content before they get to work.

They’ll be able to use your wording as inspiration for the designs. Maybe they’ll read it and think it’ll work better as an infographic or an illustration. They’ll be able to design for your content rather than creating generic templates that cost you time and money to redesign and tweak and reformat. 

2. Don’t write for you, write for me

Ok maybe not me personally, but write for your audience. It sounds obvious and you may think you’re already doing this, but take a step back and really think about your audience.

The goal of your website is not to toot your own horn. It’s to solve some kind of problem or need for someone else. Write as if you’re talking to them, not pitching yourself at a networking event. Your site visitors should not have to figure out whether the website they’re on is for them or not. And if a visitor is unsure, they’ll hit the close button and you may never see them again. 

So make sure when you’re writing the content for your website, you’re making it ridiculously clear who it’s for and why they should care. 

3. People don’t read. They scan. 

Web simply users don’t read websites, they scan them. When you write your content try to keep paragraphs short (between 2-3 sentences) and make good use of visual markers like subheadings and bullet points to break the content up a bit.

Ideally you should be able to skim down the page quickly and get the gist of what you’re trying to say. Then people can decide whether they want to go back and read in more detail.

Essentially you’re trying to do is move away from having a block of text on your website and structure your content so it is easy to skim.

4. Change your point of view

The most useful trick you can use to make sure you’re writing for your audience is making sure there are more ‘You’s’ in your text than ‘I’s’ or ‘We’s’

When you catch yourself saying something like “We’ve been trusted by many clients” try to change it around to something like “Work with someone you trust. There will still be a time and a place for saying We but make sure the focus of the sentence is around You.

Remember, humans like talking about themselves. We’re all guilty of it (I’m doing it right now!) If you can be one of the few who really talks to your customers and not at them, you’ll stand out a mile.

BAD

“We’re trusted and established” 

GOOD:

“Work with an established firm you can trust.”

5. Don’t try too hard to please Google

Google is pretty smart these days. And it’s only going to get smarter. It knows when you’re writing for SEO and may actually penalize you for stuffing your content with keywords—even if they’re relevant.

Write your content as if you are answering your own question. There are many other SEO tactics we can discuss. But for now, just write for your audience, not Google.

6. Don’t be too clever

Write in the most basic way possible. Don’t try to be clever.
When you’re writing your content, pretend you’re at a party and you’re trying to explain it to someone who’s had a couple of glasses of wine/beer/schnapps.

In short, if you find yourself reaching for the thesaurus, don’t. You risk alienating your audience. 

BAD

Close the deal on your house within one month or we will refund your money 

GOOD

Sell your house within 1 month or your money back

Conclusion

Writing your content is going to be tough. But don’t worry about making it perfect, you can always go back and tweak when your website is live.

So go find somewhere without distractions, make yourself a cup of strong coffee and get writing that content!

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