Spend just a couple of minutes looking around this site and you’ll soon realize that I’m far from a professional writer.
My spellings not too bad, but my grammar and punctuation leave a lot to be desired.
Wait, that’s not all, the structure of my sentences are all over the place and the size of my paragraphs vary drastically.
After my confession, you’re probably wondering how on earth I can show you how to write effective content for your website right?
Well, just before you reach for that little X in the corner to close down the page, let me explain.
Writing Great Website Content is Completely Different To an Essay or Formal Document
I always try my best with punctuation and grammar, but I honestly don’t let it bother me that much.
You see, when a visitor lands on this site, I know they are here looking for help with building a website.
In this case, you’re looking for advice on creating content.
My only concern is to write a helpful article on the topic so you can leave here and begin writing your own content with confidence.
This should also be your primary concern when writing, to help your visitors find exactly what they are looking for.
So, forget everything you learned at School about writing, it really doesn’t apply to the internet.
If you can help people, then no one will care that you’ve missed a punctuation mark or have the odd spelling mistake.
For each piece of content I create, I use my own finely tuned, 8-step process which we’ll be a looking at together below. I think you’re going to find very revealing!
Let’s get started.
Step 1. Coming Up With Ideas To Write About
Fresh, quality content is the key to success with any site and most website owners can easily think of the first 5, maybe even 10 things they want to write about.
But what happens once you’ve exhausted these ideas?
I’m about to show you how I come up with new content ideas and this will work just as well for you too regardless of what your site is about.
Last time I had a 30-minute research session, I came away with over 80 ideas for future articles. Today, we only need one.
Open up a spreadsheet, or grab a pen and paper, either will do just fine. At the top of the page write down the theme or subject of your website.
Mine’s “helping people create a website”.
Next, scribble down as many sub-topics (categories) as you can think of, topics related to the theme of your site that will be of interest to your target audience.
People come to my site for looking for help with a number of different things and I can use them as my sub-topics as you can see below;
(Your list will obviously be completely different to mine).
- Website builder reviews
- Website builder comparisons
- Website content
- Monetization strategies
- Search Engine Optimization
If you’re struggling to come up with categories, take a look at some websites similar to your own and see how they are divided up and what kind of things they’re talking about.
It’s fine to use your competitor’s sites as inspiration, but don’t copy them, be original and stand out from the crowd.
I know from experience that there’s probably a hundred different things you can write about for each category, so never worry about running out of ideas.
Step 2. Topics You Simply Have To Cover in Your Article
To stand a chance of ranking well in the search results such as Google and Bing, it makes sense that our content needs to be better than the other websites that are currently ranked for it.
To ensure my content is, I simply head over to Google and type in my topic. I then click on the websites that are currently listed there.
I then scan the content of each site and look for the common themes.
If more than one site is talking about a topic, then it means it’s relevant and important to your readers and you should definitely include these things in your own article.
**Word of warning: Don’t copy, your content must be original.
This is why you’ll usually find me writing about things from my perspective, sharing my own experiences with my readers rather than simply saying “do this and then do that”.
This makes my content original and I highly recommend you do the same. Use your own voice, add your personal spin on the subject, and your content will be as unique as you are.
Once you’ve compiled your list of themes, add some of your own ideas to it and come up with ways to build and improve on the websites already there.
Some common themes I found when studying other sites for this article are as follows;
- Using headlines.
- How long should an article be
- Speaking to your audience.
- Using keywords within your content.
- Generating ideas to write about.
- Using correct grammar and punctuation.
- Adding a call to action.
Now I have my list, I can begin planning the structure of my article.
I may use these ideas as subheadings, or I may just touch upon them somewhere within the content, as long as I covered them somewhere, I’m happy.
Step 3. Plan Out Your Article With a Series of Sub-headings
No one likes to read a sea of text. Each item you discuss should have a separate heading, this breaks up your content nicely and adds some much-needed structure to the page.
This also works well as many people simply scan the page of text, if you have separate headings, they can easily find what they need.
Below you can see how I planned out this article before I began writing with subheadings of the things I wanted to cover.
- How writing for a website is different to an essay
- Coming up with a list of topics to write about
- Topics you should include in your article or post.
- Writing out your content.
- Using a Call to action
- Conclusion / summary
I do this each time I write, it helps me write a lot faster as I have a clarity in what I’m writing about.
Step 4. Create a Captivating Title
You could easily spend all day reading articles about how to create the perfect title but I prefer to keep things simple.
When crafting your title or headline, just keep these 2 things in mind;
#1 Make sure the topic of your article (also known as keywords) is in there somewhere. This will help your visitors and search engines understand exactly what your post is about.
#2 Don’t be boring, add a few words to make people want to click on it to see what you have to say. If it doesn’t capture their attention, they’ll simply skip past your site in the search results and visit a site that does.
I titled this page “How to write effective website content that connects with your readers”. I added the last part as connecting with your readers is vital if you want them to stay on your page.
You can see some other ways to create interest and intrigue when writing titles below;
- 7 things you didn’t know about “your topic”
- Don’t “your topic” until you read this
- How to “your topic” in 5 easy steps.
One more thing, try to keep the length to 60 characters or less as this is the longest title Google will display, any more will be cut off.
Step 5. Introduce Your Article and Tell People What They’ll Learn
The introduction in my view is the second most important aspect of your whole article after the title.
It’s your chance to grab the reader’s attention.
If they like what they read here, the chances are they will stick around and read the rest of the page.
If not, well, you get the picture.
Think of this intro as a prelude to the rest of your article and exactly what you’ll be covering.
Step 6. Make Sure It’s Easy To Read
As well as being interesting, it’s crucial that your content is easy to consume.
Below are four rules that I’ve come to live by;
#1 Use a conversational tone. After all, this isn’t a formal document you’re writing. Pretend you’re talking to a friend only instead of speaking the words, type them onto the page instead.
#2 Always use black text on a white background. You may think multi-colored writing looks different or “cool”, but your visitors probably won’t.
#3 Use short paragraphs, 3 or 4 sentences works really well. It makes the content much easier on the eye.
#4 Use lists and bullet points. People love them and it helps them to consume information in a simple and memorable way.
Step 7. Check Your Spelling, Punctuation, and Grammar
As I’ve touched upon a couple of times already, I do my best in this area.
I’m not out to impress anyone with my writing skills, I’d rather help the people that come to my site instead.
That’s me, but if you own a small business, then I think there definitely needs to be an air of professionalism to your writing. This is your storefront and it’s what people who visit your site will judge you on
I use a free program called Grammarly. Once installed, the free version picks up on basic spelling, punctuation, and grammar mistakes.
The paid version does a lot more, but I find the free version is more than enough for my needs and I highly recommend you try it out.
Step 8. Don’t Forget To Add a “Call-to-Action”
I’m going to hazard a guess that the reason you created your site in the first place is because you want your readers to perform some sort of action.
Maybe you want them to call you, request a quote, sign up to an email list, follow you on your social network, or maybe you want engagement through comments.
Whatever it is, you should always tell people exactly what to do in a subtle way at the end each piece of content.
I use a different call to action depending on the subject of my article.
Sometimes I want people to read a different post to build on what they’ve just read, other times I may want to gently nudge them towards a particular website builder review.
While some people prefer banners, I usually prefer to a line or two of text along the lines of……
“Thanks for reading my post, if you would like more information on “your topic” then click here to find out more”.
I then ask people for comments underneath the call to action where people can share their thoughts and leave any questions they have about what they’ve just read.
Which just so happens to be another fantastic way to interact and connect with your readers.
Well, That’s just about it
I hope I’ve been able to add some clarity to the much-feared world of content writing.
The trick is to simply have fun with your writing and who knows, in time you may even begin to enjoy it, I know I do!
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them in the comments section below. I’ll get back to you as soon as I possibly can.