Thursday, 30 April 2009

How to....Write Website Content (Part1)

One of the biggest challenges you will face with your website is writing the content, and it can be very daunting! It is important and there’s a lot of pressure to get it right first time. Plus there are a million and one places to start and it does takes time.

There’s no real way to get away from it – unless you hire a copywriter to do it for you - however the benefits are long lasting and profitable. Below are the reasons to for spending the time writing your content, and in this series will be a number of tips to help you write content and avoid writers block!

Why write content

It is an old cliché, but it is very hard to write a series like this without bringing it up, Content is King.

Content is so important to your website because it will help get you found in search engines and will give existing and potential customers the information they need. You can tell potential customers exactly what you do, how you do it and point out all the good bits about your company, and its products or services Best of all - they have chosen to read it and are probably sitting comfortably in the comfort of their own home or office. It gives you the chance to blow your own trumpet beacuse, lets face it, if you don’t do it, who else will?

Don’t panic, your content will never be perfect

This may be a funny way to start a paragraph, but it’s true. You should always strive to be better, to improve your content. I know that the thought of writing everything down and it being ‘set in stone’ is overwhelming, like having brochures printed – once it’s sent to the printers, there’s no turning back. A website is very different, it is meant to be dymanic, and can be easily chanegs as needed.Whether a spelling mistake has slipped through or you don’t like the way a sentence is worded, you have the option to fix it, without having to enter discussions with the printers or start all over again.

Writing good content takes time

Like any job worth doing, you need to give it some time. If you keep your goal in mind – a well written website that brings in plenty of new business – and if you can plan to spend 30 minutes every now and then working on a section, your content will be written in no time at all.

Start at the beginning...

Ok. So now that you are relaxed – you know it has to be done, you know it’s not going to be set in stone, you have decided to spend some time working on it – where exactly do you start?

Write a list of all of the pages needed on your website, starting a new page with each title.

It is likely that the Home or Index page will be first in your list, but this may not be the best place to start as this can incorporate bits and pieces from all of the other pages, and should ideally be a summary of what can be expected on the website or show of all the best bits. So choose the page that you are most confident writing and start there. How about the Contact page? Or About Us? And then get scribbling – make notes, bullet points, or if you feel up to it whole paragraphs. You’ll be surprised how quickly you can get something down. Now do this for every page and you’ll have the outline for your content. It’s as easy as that!

Come back next week for Part 2 - What makes good content?

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