How to Start Writing Content for Your Website
I think it was Bill Gates who first declared “content is king” (it used to be cash - but these are the times we live in). And it is true, for many reasons. But what is ‘content’, and why is it important?
Content is basically information that you publish on your website (or on Social Media, in emails or YouTube). Content (should), be used as a way to educate or help the people in your market. It follows that you will attract more customers into your business if you can help them overcome challenges or frustrations, solve their problems, or generally get what they want.
It used to be the case that content was used by sketchy SEO providers to “stuff” keywords onto your website in order to improve your ranking. You probably remember reading articles or blogs that were basically gibberish, loaded with keywords. So they made no sense, and were a complete waste of time to read. That’s what Google thought too, and cracked down on ‘keyword stuffing’ pretty harshly.
Content is still one of the best ways to help your website to rank in organic search (if done properly), to educate potential customers, and to establish your business as an authority in your market. But it needs to have real meaning and relevance for the reader. There is a wonderful Australian marketing consultant called Kerwin Rae (look him up, especially if you are in e-commerce), who produces loads of content in the form of videos. He describes the content he produces as ‘utility marketing’. What this means is that every piece of content he produces, MUST be useful to the end user. He does a bang up job of it, too.
So how do you, as a business owner, make a start on this? Here are a couple of suggestions to help you:
Content needs to be about topics that your ideal customer or client is actually interested in, and searching on. How do you figure out what this is? The best way is to actually talk to your ideal customers and ASK them (seems crazy and old fashioned, but still the best way). What are the questions that you are regularly asked? What are some of the best tips or hints you can share with prospective customers around their specific problems or issues?
Use online resources such as www.AnswerThePublic.com to search on keywords specific to your industry and find out what the most commonly asked questions are online. It is actually an incredible tool, and when you search on specific keywords, you will be given data that looks like this:
You can see that I have typed in the keywords “writing content”, and these are the questions most asked on those particular keywords. I have taken the question “How to start writing content for website” and used it as the headline for this blog post. Why? Because that is a specific search query that is most common for the keywords “writing content ”. Or to put it another way, that is a question people want to find out answers to.
3. Always make your content (whether it is videos, articles, blog posts, emails or website copy), focussed on one particular question/ problem or topic at a time, and write with your reader in mind. This means avoid going off on a tangent, or using jargon or industry terms or language that they would not understand. This makes people feel stupid (because they don’t know what you are talking about), and defeats the purpose of producing the content. You want people to feel better informed or educated as a result of having consumed the content you produce. If you can do this, they will feel better about themselves and also about potentially doing business with you.
4. Make sure your content offers information that people can take away and use (either apply to their situation, or to move them further along the buying cycle). Don’t be afraid to give away your best advice or information. It’s called “moving the free line”, and it serves to establish you as an expert or authority in your field. It also shows that you are generous with your information and are not afraid that people will “take” your information and use it without you. The opposite is more likely to happen when people trust you because of the information you are willing to give to them, with no expectation that they will get anything from you.
So that is a little guide to understanding the power and importance of writing content. If you are still lost for words, or just don’t have the time to do this in your own business, give me a call on 0400 069 711.