The number one characteristic of a great website is content that speaks to its audience. The text and graphics all work together to entertain, teach, and drive conversions. But it can be extremely hard to write content for your own business.
The problem often occurs because we have trouble stepping into the shoes of our target market and thinking about how they would react. It’s sometimes really hard to figure out what questions they are asking and answer those.
And yet blogging and creating new content can often be a huge factor in the success or failure of your site. Search engines love new content, and by writing new things, you position yourself as the authority. This builds trust with those that you want to work with and potential links to your site from other trusted sources. It’s a win-win for everyone.
Another part of the problem is that many of us feel we need to be totally unique. That we must create an idea that no one else has ever written about. This is not the case and can even cause lower traffic and fewer conversions.
You see, when everyone is writing about it, the search engines can rank the articles and it most likely has a search following. If no one is writing about it, no one is probably asking about it.
So, let’s talk about writing and my top 5 tips to help you create more and better content.
Tip #1 – Write often
I cannot stress this one enough. If you don’t take the time to write anything, you won’t gain anything. Some of the content marketing people I follow the most suggest writing every day.
Now, this does not always work for a full-sized blog article, with lots of research. But it does help you to keep your creative brain happy. This in turn makes those full-sized articles easier. Even if you choose to write only the full-sized articles, set a consistent pace that you can maintain and enjoy.
When you write more often, your style and writing skills improve. You become more fluent in sharing your personality. When you have a view on something, you will enjoy sharing it more and care less about the nay-sayers.
Some people like to write a social media post each day and then once a week compile those thoughts into a blog article. This is a great way of breaking up a stressful task by turning it into a fun and enjoyable experience.
Tip #2 – Know who you want to talk to
Not everything I write is for the same person. Some of my content is for those interested in having a website built, others are for people who want to handle site maintenance on their own. Some of it is like this article, teaching you 5 tips to help you grow.
My point is, that when I start an article, I have an audience member in mind. Not the whole audience. But one specific person. I think about what that person knows, and what they want to know, and my article plays off those strengths and weaknesses.
If I am writing a how-to article aimed at someone who does not know how to do something, I probably should avoid techy terms. It does not matter if the industry says those things. My reader probably does not.
When you write for the correct audience, people will enjoy reading your articles more, and they will understand the topic. This in turn makes them want to read more from you and so on.
Tip #3 – Take a break
My favorite way to write is to start with the title. I will often choose a rough title or topic days in advance of what I am trying to write.
This allows my brain to continue to think it over. It becomes a subconscious thought. I will think about it while I am doing other tasks. Sometimes I will write a little more down. But most of the time I just let it stew.
When the time comes to write the article, since I have already been thinking about it, the article just kind of flows out. The thoughts might come out in the wrong order, but that’s ok. That’s why we can edit.
When I am writing, I will also take a break in the middle or if my ideas run dry. Don’t force it. Go relax and let your brain recharge a bit. I always recommend breaks to help you create better content.
Tip #4 – Write as you and what you know
As I talked about above, you will rarely write something unique in idea form. But I don’t care who you are, if you write something it will be unique to you. Most people rarely have the same idea in the same exact way.
If you follow your voice, then everything you create will be fundamentally different from any other article other there. For example, if your website and your competitor’s site have the same blog article, each will share a different point of view.
I would even go as far as to suggest that you write some of the same articles. Sure, you can switch up the titles. This adds to your style. My favorite way to do this is to skim over some of the blog titles on other web designers who I look up to. See my article about personality for more ideas to add your style to your writing.
I do not read the articles. I don’t want to know what the headings are. The title alone is my inspiration for what I want to write about. My unique spin on the topic comes from not copying, which no one wants anyway.
I always put my spin on the title as well. You should never try to be a mirror image of someone else. Write in your style, use the words you like.
Along the same lines as writing something new and original, comes writing what you know.
If I find a headline I like and want to repurpose, I write it down. But if it’s a headline from a topic that is too advanced for my idea market, or I don’t already know it, then I doubt I will write it.
People can smell fluff from a mile away. If you go into writing an article just for the sake of writing and make it up as you go along, people are going to call you out on it. And whatever chance of building trust with them goes out the window in a heartbeat.
Tip #5 – Go for it
Pick a time and start writing.
As I write this article, it is roasting outside, and I have a million other things to do. I could put this down and work on any other thing. I could waste time away on Facebook. Or take a nice nap…
But I told myself I needed to write this article today. I made a date with myself, and I won’t stand myself up. Who likes to be stood up for a date?
Sometimes life happens. My planned time for this article was 9 am. It’s now closer to 5 pm. I choose to get some errands done. But I made the change and held myself to the goal.
It’s important to write and not care about how it looks as well. I have said it before, write to the end, then spell check and edit. When you stop every few seconds to fix a minor typo, you risk losing your train of thought and are more likely to go back to procrastinating instead.
Bonus Tip #6 – Who cares what they think
I left this heading kind of vague on purpose. We are all plagued by fears of rejection. You can sit there all day long and wonder if what you write will mean anything to anyone at all.
This is where tip #6 comes in. You need to ignore those that are negative. Or those in your head that doom you without even saying a word.
If you write with true intent, to those that you truly wish to serve, then whatever you write will reach them at some point. I strongly believe that those who are meant to work with you will be there eventually. The more you put yourself out there the easier you make it for them to find you.
Don’t stress what others think of your writings. Stress what your ideal client thinks about your audience. Write to serve and you will go far. Even without perfect spelling, grammar, or other fluff that is so often thought to be the answer.
The key to writing website content, or any other marketing content is to know your audience. Look towards serving them with your content and ideas. Even if your goal is to make sales, nobody wants to be hard sold.
If you follow these tips, it will become easier to write. And the more you write, the closer you will be to your audience. You will start to understand them more and in turn, they will be drawn to you.
Don’t give up, take some time, and give it a try. It might take a few months, but I bet you will start seeing results if you focus your energy on it.
The same applies to writing your website content. Write and start writing. Edit later and test what you create. You can always change what you wrote later. Make the time and get it done.
No business has ever succeeded by procrastination.