People judge a site by many things, but the content is one of the factors that can have the biggest effect on whether or not someone stays on your website. Bad content scares away users, even if the rest of your site is perfect. If your content falls short of expectations, your website probably won’t give you the results that you’re looking for. You need to have fantastic content, and that takes some work.
Whether you’re just getting started in writing your own content, or whether you’ve been writing your own content for years, there are ways to make your writing even better than it already is. These seven steps can bring your writing from so-so to spectacular.
- Prepare. Before you start typing, have a goal in mind. What do you want to write about? How can you best get your point across? Have, at the very least, a rough outline and the details for your main points worked out in advance.
- Focus on Audience Needs. Why do people visit your website? If they are looking for business advice, don’t go off on a tangent about politics (unless it pertains to business). Use the language appropriate for your readers. Writing for people who are experienced in your industry may require a different writing style than writing for people who are just entering it.
- Keep it Simple. While you don’t want to make your posts for an experienced audience too simple, you also don’t want to over-complicate your content by using difficult words. Say it as simply as possible. You don’t need to dumb down your content, but you also want to make sure that it is easy to understand and, more importantly, accessible to the reader.
- Voice an opinion (and support it). Drama sells. Don’t be afraid to voice your opinion, even if it is not a popular one. Just make sure that you have strong facts to back it up. And don’t just retype what everyone else has already said. These are your opinions–make sure that the reasons behind them are yours, too.
- Teach. People visit websites to learn; make sure that your content is designed with that in mind. Give answers to common (and not so common) problems. Anticipate needs and trends, and get your readers ahead of changes in your niche or industry. Share tips and tricks that have helped you and that may help others.
- Focus on the benefits. Especially if you’re writing content for your business page, don’t put all of your focus on what your business is and what it does. Don’t focus on the product or service, or even on the end result. Focus on the (intangible) benefits. Why should your readers/potential customers buy a new software package for their workplace (for example)? It’s not because of the great price or the long list of features, although those are important too. It’s because of the benefits of owning the software: more time, less stress, same functions as competitors but less effort needed, or the benefit of around the clock technical assistance, if it’s needed.
- Captivate your readers. Don’t lose them to boring content. Use it to tell a story. Create characters that will keep your readers coming back for more. You don’t have to create a fictional world for your blog, but you do need to be a little creative. Share stories about your successes (and failures) as a business or website. Lend your site some of your personal style and character.
Which websites do you follow just for the quality of the content? Do you have favorite bloggers that create killer content on a regular basis?