I help a lot of small business owners get their website live and launched to the world. And if you’ve ever worked on a website, or at least thought about creating one, you’ll know there are many elements that come together to make it not only look good but also to read well. From professional photography to click worthy Call To Actions, there’s a fair amount of work that goes into an effective website. And there’s one thing that time and again seems to be a struggle: writing your website content.
Many clients choose to DIY their website content and why shouldn’t they? They know their product or service inside and out, making them the expert. But when it comes to getting words into a Google Doc, there’s often little inspiration.
The thing is, we’re often too close to our business and our product or service to know how to describe it to our target market. We’re often the worst at writing our own About page and we often leave out valuable information that our audience is searching for.
Copywriting is an art form. It takes skill and experience to put words together to tell a business’ story and to sell a product effectively. I continually take my hat off to copywriters for doing their craft so well. And often a website’s content is in need of a third party to really know how to piece it all together.
If you have the budget for a copywriter, go for it. If you’re looking for a good one, let me know; I’ve worked with many. If your budget just doesn’t allow for it, and you can’t trade your services in exchange for your content, here are some handy tips to get the words flowing.
Tip 1: Always have your target market in mind
Often when we’re writing content, we’re writing it from our perspective and we couldn’t be more wrong. No matter what our product or service is, we should ALWAYS have our buyers, our community, at the forefront of our mind. Put yourself in their shoes. Think of them as actual people wanting to know the ins and outs of what we’re selling. Write about the information they are wanting to read.
If you are still stuck with this, have conversations with your existing customers and clients and ask them why they bought your product and why they recommend it to their friends. From there, the words will flow.
Tip 2: Listen to your target market
Think about all the questions your customers ask you everyday. Brainstorm them down on butchers paper. Then, use those questions as the basis for writing your content.
I like to think of website content as the answers your target market are looking for. Any questions you get asked is like being handed a free coffee on low energy day. They should be music to your ears because they’re a hint about what your content should be about. All you have to do is listen (and then of course, write!).
Tip 3: What problem does your product or service solve?
Often being too close to our business means we can get stuck on a loop of writing about our offering’s features. Sure, features are good to know but our customers really want to relate to how our product (or service) is going to fix their problem. Write about the benefits and include who will benefit too. Clients love to feel like you’re speaking directly to them, like you somehow know exactly how they’re feeling and also how they will feel after going ahead with their purchase.
Tip 4: Tell a story
Rather than just listing off the inclusions of your service, set the scene for your audience so they can really relate to you and your business. And if you sell a physical product, create the scenario of when and where they are likely to use it. You want your target market to be already seeing themselves with the product before they’ve even clicked the Add to Cart button.
Tip 5: Be creative in your content layout
Good content is best read when it’s broken up into bite-sized chunks. No one likes to read an essay about a product or service. Get creative with how you structure your content. Break it up into sections and have clear headings that describe what each section is about. Deliver some information via a FAQ section; the different format is likely to keep your reader engaged.
And the best way to get your website content flowing is to just start writing.
- Break up your entire website into easy-to-tick-off tasks.
- Assign yourself a realistic timeframe for getting it done.
- Tell your mentor or business bestie your deadline and have them hold you accountable.
- Ask someone within your target market (not your best friend or your partner) to read through it and give you some tips on information that may be missing.
- Celebrate when your content is done! Hurray!
You can do it. And always remember Tip #1.