4 Things to Think About Before You Write Content for Your New Website

Writing your own content for your website – it’s pretty much on par with cleaning the cat’s litter box or getting a root canal. But there’s no escaping it as a small business owner, unless you decide to hire someone to do it for you. And even then, you need to be closely involved in the process.

Your website can rise or fall depending on the quality of your content. That’s why it’s so important to invest yourself in the process of creating well-thought and well-written content for your site.  It’s hard work. Trust me, I know. I recently relaunched my website and found it extremely daunting to write my own content. Go figure! Writing for clients’ websites generally goes quite smoothly, but writing about what I know best (i.e. ME!) gave me a run for my money.

Need to write content for your website? Prepare for the work ahead by realizing you’ll need to do…

Dedicate time to creating, reviewing, and revamping content.

Expect to spend hours and hours and more hours on your website content.  It takes time to figure out what key points and details you want to communicate on each page – and even more time to sit down and write about them. Then there’s the likelihood you’ll find yourself not 100% pleased with your first draft – or maybe even your second or third. Because you’ll want your content to be nearly perfect when your website launches, anticipate you’ll be doing a fair share of rewriting your own content, too.

Put yourself in the prospective client’s shoes.

You know your services and products inside out. You know they’re really good. You know they can help your audience. Now you need to inform, convince, and convert your site visitors. That means your content has to give readers the details they need about what you offer, tell them what’s in it for them, and give them reason and motivation for calling, emailing, or completing your online contact form.

Watch your tone.

As you’re writing your content, you’ll need to keep your brand’s personality in mind. Your content needs to sound like your company in tone and formality. Does it make sense to push the envelope with a degree of edginess or is your brand more conservative? For nearly every type of business, I think a conversational style is effective, but to what extent varies.

Comply with space constraints within the design.

Certain design frameworks and templates have elements like text blocks, sliders, etc.  Where they occur on your website, your writing will need to be brief and to the point because there’s not enough space to fit long chunks of text. Easy enough, right? Believe it or not, writing less can often prove more difficult than writing more. You’ll need to choose your words more carefully because there will be fewer of them to get the message across.

A few tips to help you when you’re writing your own website content:

  • Schedule time on your calendar for working on your content. If you don’t have it baked into your calendar, you’ll be tempted to push it off to another day, week, month…and that could delay your website’s debut – not to mention, it could strain your relations with your web designer who is waiting on you to fulfill your end of the bargain.
  • Ask your customers what they find most valuable about working with you? Review past testimonials to see if there are common themes. If certain qualities about your customer service or approach to delivering services stands out in the minds of your clients, it will probably stand out to prospects as well.
  • Read aloud everything you write and ask yourself, “Does it sound like us?” If it doesn’t, back to the drawing board!
  • If you’re struggling with your content, consider asking a professional writer/editor for assistance. If  pondering what to write and revising your content over and over again are pulling you away from revenue-producing activities, your cost to hire a freelancer could pay for itself. Yes, you’ll still need to get involved via providing information and feedback, but you’ll lighten your load by outsourcing the heavy lifting.

Your turn! If you’ve written your own website content, what challenges and frustrations have you experienced? If you’ve outsourced your website writing, did you find it worth the dollars spent?

By Dawn Mentzer

(This has been another Insatiable Solopreneur™ post)

2 comments on “4 Things to Think About Before You Write Content for Your New Website
  1. Jason Clegg says:

    Great post, Dawn! I’m a big fan of your tip about internalizing the VOICE of the company or product in your copy. “Personality In Copy” — very critical idea to really get for best results.

    -Jason Clegg

    • Dawn says:

      Hi Jason! Thank you very much! I agree that letting your personality shine through is so very important…it’s one way to differentiate when products and services are similar to a competitor’s. BTW, I’m a big fan of what you and Stephanie are doing at Convert with Content. Always solid content and smart info!

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