Unfortunately too many people jump into writing website content without a guide.
They don’t know:
- what to write about
- how to get people to actually read their articles
- or how to KEEP people reading
I want to make sure that doesn’t happen to you.
Let’s dig in.
first - why content is so important...
Content is the backbone of any drive to interact with your readers or customers. It is the most important opportunity you have to impress the reader with your knowledge, expertise or ethos. The quicker publishers realize this, the quicker their websites take the place they expect in the industry of their choice,” says Shai Aharony, CEO of Reboot Online. 7 Reasons Why Content is Still King in 2017
9 steps to writing content (for beginners)
Stand Out in the Crowd - Unique Content Gets Eyeballs on the Page
Nobody likes a broken record. You may be writing website content about topics that other writers have beaten to death, but there is always a unique road to take.
I once heard a quote that there are only 7 stories in the world.
That being said, there are endless ways of telling them in an entertaining manner.
There are so many ways to get hit by Google and thus cripple your search engines ranking, one way to get hit by a Google penalty is to have plagiarized articles on your blog. Dangers of Plagiarism for Bloggers: How to Prevent It and What Tools to Use
Before you start to writing website content, do some research. Take time to see what other people have said – check out what’s popular and then decided where you want to go.
NEVER plagiarize content.
As tempting as it may be, DO NOT cut, paste and change a few words either. First of all it’s unethical, second of all you’ll alienate a community of people and third of all it’s BORING and uninspired.
Take examples from your life. Stick to what you know and are familiar with the words will come naturally. If you’re having a tough time, read other successful blogs for inspiration and then try your hand at it.
With a little practice you will be off to the races.
Want Some Rockin' Ideas for Yer Next Post? Check It Out!
Ok, you’ve racked your brain and now you’re stuck. Writing website content is easier said than done!
What the heck am I going to write about and how am I going to find UNIQUE and entertaining ideas every. single. week.
It’s easy ladies and gentleman. There are a plethora of tools at your fingertips that you probably haven’t even considered.
- Clients: What happened in your last meeting? I bet you have loads of interesting takeaways. Is there a problem you managed to overcome that people would find helpful? Did you encounter a funny situation that is just screaming to be shared? Maybe you have a new resource that you would like to be the first to write about. Your daily life will provide you with wonderful fodder for the word mill, if you let it.
- FAQs: I bet you have tons of questions that clients ask you all the time. Why not write an informative piece to help educate the general population about topics you have a lot of knowledge about. Something may seem simple to you – but it might make a kick butt blog post. Remember we take our personal insights for granted.
- Emails: Have you ever received an email and thought, wow I bet people would find this really interesting. Bam! Another idea for a post. If it piques your interest chances are it will pique your audience’s interest too 🙂
- Google Keyword Planner: Man, do I love this tool. You can plug in a core idea and it will generate a bunch of different potential keywords. Use them to get the creative juices flowing. The good part about using Google Keyword Planner is that you already know there’s traffic for a topic. It saves you the hassle of coming up with a post idea and having to trash it because no one searches for it.
Think Long Tail Keywords When It Comes to SEO
Cute fox. But what the heck is a long-tail keyword?
Long-tail keywords are phrases (3 words or more) that people use to find specific information they are looking for. For example, let’s say you google “legos”.
The keyword “legos” is going to give you a lot of sites that may be irrelevant to what you are looking for.
If you refine the keywords and Google the term “star wars lego ships” you will get results that are more refined, instead of pages of irrelevant information.
- life insurance
- how to lose weight
long tail keywords
- life insurance for college students
- star wars lego ships
- how to lose weight over age 50
Narrowing down the keywords on your blog may increase conversion, which is your ultimate goal right?
Of course you want to have a highly trafficked site…
BUT you want people who are interesting what you are selling. If you concentrate on general search terms your bounce rate will be higher.
So what’s your bounce rate? It’s when someone clicks on a single page on your site and then clicks off without triggering any further requests. Basically it’s a sign to Google that someone left quickly because the information provided wasn’t of interest to them. If you want to read more about bounce rates click here!
You don’t want people to simply come across your site while searching for something more specific. Ultimately they have no interest in your posts or anything you may be selling.
Also it’s much easier to compete for long-tail search terms.
Let’s face it, if you are selling life insurance it’s not easy to rank on page one Google for the keyword “life insurance”. The heavy hitters have bottomless marketing budgets and name recognition.
If you shoot for a term like “life insurance for college students” you have much better odds.
Read All About It! Headlines Are Our Secret Sauce
When you’re scrolling through social media, news sites or simply Googling information what makes you stop and take notice?
Dollars to doughnuts it’s the headline.
You only have a matter of seconds to make an impact and a good headline can mean the difference between having an article get lots of clicks or just sit idle on your site.
So what do people like? There’s been a lot of research on this topic.
One of the biggest takeaways is – people LOVE list posts.
If you are unfamiliar the term list post, it’s simply and an article created from a list. A great example would be: “The top 25 life insurance bloggers in the US and their thoughts about Whole Life Insurance”.
As you can imagine, this is a fantastic way to incorporate influencers into your relationship marketing practice. Click here to read more about return on relationship marketing and why I think it’s the gold standard of internet marketing.
It’s also VERY important to concentrate on the needs of your audience and not your own opinion. People look for things that can help them solve a problem or give them additional resources. If you aren’t adding value, they aren’t going to take the time to read your post.
Here’s a great article about creating headlines that produce results. Click here to read more: We Analyzed More Than 1 Million Posts. Here’s What We Learned.
If you want to see how your headline stacks up in terms of emotional connection try your hand at the emotional value analyzer! You can plug in your headline to see how well you are emotionally connecting with your readers.
Writing Website Content: The Importance of Introductions!
You don’t have a lot of time to make an impact. If you don’t give ’em what they want and do it fast – your readers are outta there.
That’s why your introduction is nearly as important as the headline.
If your introduction is weak, it’ll discourage the reader from reading further – even if the title was captivating. You could have a great blog post, but if the intro doesn’t cut it – the rest of the content won’t. The Ultimate Guide to Writing Blog Post Introductions, Neil Patel
The introduction summarizes what the article is about and ideally hooks the reader through tantalizing prose. The goal is to draw them further down the page for more information. This is your moment to shine.
If you don’t entertain people and pique their interest it’s unlikely they will continue to read your article – or ever come back for that matter!
There are three integral elements to creating a powerful introduction:
- Hook: A word or sentence that drives your reader to move through the article. It can be controversial, but it should always be personable and entertaining!
- Transition: This section will connect the hook to the rest of your content, providing the basis for people to continue reading your post.
- Thesis: Will reconfirm the reason why the reader needs move through the article.
Neil Patel has an awesome piece that goes through the details of how to draft a fantastic introduction. Click here to read more! The Ultimate Guide to Writing Blog Post Introductions
Is Less More? It Depends on the Difficulty of Your Keywords!
OK Chris, I’ve got a great idea…it’s unique, my long-tail keyword has some good potential and my headline rules.
How long do my posts have to be to get some attention?
There’s a lot of talk on the internet about how long your posts have to be.
To be frank the best posts are the ones that impart adequate information without being too wordy. My best advice is, don’t write a lot of empty content to pad your posts. No matter how long your piece is, it should be targeted and succinct.
Generally speaking posts with 1000 words or more do better on Google. Creating go to resources can be very beneficial.
That being said, you need to be a reasonably good writer to pull this off. Large swaths of boring material isn’t going to fly. You need to be organized and provide a structure with visual images that are easy to navigate to keep your audience’s attention.
Another rule of thumb is long-tail keywords have less competition, so your pieces can be shorter, although I wouldn’t personally recommend less than 500 words for any article of value.
If you are competing for tougher keywords you need to shoot for more than 2000 words. Basically, produce something that is of marked value and you will get noticed.
Don't Get Lazy - Formatting is Really Important!
Do you typically read every word in an article?
I have a confession. I rarely do.
Time is of the essence and who has enough patience to go through everything with a fine tooth comb?
We live in the age of skimming. I want to finish the whole thing, I really do. I wish you would, too. Really—stop quitting! But who am I kidding. I’m busy. You’re busy. There’s always something else to read, watch, play, or eat. You Won’t Finish This Article – Slate
Of course you take more time with legal documents or a book you’re really enjoying, but the reality is most of us SKIM.
We rush through the boring bits of an article to get to the “good stuff” or the information that drove us to click on the link in the first place.
If we see row after row of text with no direction chances are we are going to log off to find an article that is easier to navigate. This my friends, is why headlines (H1, H2 and H3) are so important. You also need to use bold, italics, bullet points, quotes and images to help people pick their way through your content.
Need help formatting? See my WordPress tips post, tip #8.
…and have I mentioned that it’s a Google friendly thing to do. It makes it easier for the bots to figure out what your content is all about.
Understand Your Audience
Ok, you’re getting your groove on – you have a following and you’re thriving in your niche.
BUT you just heard some exciting news on the radio! Your favourite band is playing and you want to write an article about it…today.
The problem is you sell financial services. Now what?
By now you should already know what makes your audience tick.
People who run popular websites join groups like reddit and forums to figure out what their tribe likes, dislikes and needs help with. They reach out to influencers on social media and put their all into a specific niche.
Targeting the needs and issues of your tribe is the key to success.
To be a popular blogger you need to be consistent. If you are always switching gears, your following will drop off. People want to know what they are going to get when they receive an email from you.
If you have an itch that needs to be scratched and it falls outside of your niche find a new venue. Don’t confuse your audience with irrelevant content. It’s divaish behaviour and it’s unlikely to increase your standing.
This isn’t to say you can’t be creative or reach outside your target audience. But consistency is very important.
Financial services and a review of a rock concert that you liked are incapitbale. If you absolutely have to switch gears, do it in a way that your audience will appreciate. Maybe you can talk about budgeting to afford to go the latest U2 concert.
Just remember a great blogger always put the needs of his or her audience FIRST.
Of course, your blog doesn’t necessarily have to be all about photography or shoes or whatever other bloggable niches there are. In many cases, the tone of your writing is also what defines your niche. For example, there are humor writers and there are news writers, and in some cases, there are humorous news writers. But whatever your decided focus is, it’s simply wise just to understand what type of content it is that you want your readers to become accustomed to seeing. These Tips Will Help You Define Your Blog Audience
Find Your Personal Voice Whatever That May Be! And Stick To It
I can’t emphasize this ENOUGH.
As I said above, you have to give your audience something different from the crowd to get attention in overpopulated spaces.
What better way to offer something that no one can replicate – than by being YOU!
There are WAYYYY too many people that try to adopt someone else’s winning formula. They knock off a popular personality in a particular space and think – why reinvent the wheel?
Well I am gonna tell you why right now. First of all they’ve worked that angle and have the market cornered. The best you can hope for is being a pale imitation of the real deal.
Secondly, you’re not being authentic and people sense this. Connection is the way most us make money on the internet. You can buy life insurance from any number of vendors out there. People come to Huntley Wealth because they know we care, will get them the best possible rates, despite having medical conditions and do it all with a smile and a few jokes.
We just don’t take ourselves too seriously.
Remember, what works for me – may not work for you at all. Gather your strengths and quirks and get out there and be REAL with people. When you do, you’ll connect with your tribe. I can guarantee it.
writing website content: The Ingredients for surefire success
Writing website content is one of the best things you can do for your business.
Your blog will help you connect with your audience and personalize your services.
If you remember the golden rule that content is king and follow these 9 tips, you will be writing earth scorching content that will grab your readers and hold their attention for years to come!