Do you consider yourself a writer? Then don’t read this article!
As a business owner, you’re called on to manage a variety of tasks. Due to the importance of content, one of those tasks is writing. You have content to create. This can be a scary and potentially overwhelming concept for those who don’t identify themselves as writers. Many people fear writing or put it off because they don’t consider themselves to be good at that skill.
Never fear — I have good news! You don’t have to be a “writer” per se to write good content for your website. There’s a difference between content published in newspapers and some magazines and content published on most websites. The content on your website doesn’t need to appeal to a broad audience. It also doesn’t need to be on a broad topic. Quite the opposite, actually. Your content needs to be quite specific.
For example, you could write a blog post called “Ten tips to bake better chocolate chip cookies.” It provides value to a very specific target audience. And if you have a website about chocolate chip cookies or baking, then you can write this article without thinking much about it. You know it. The information is already inside of you.
Web Content Is Conversational
Web content is also more conversational than other types of writing. Content is written to feel personal – as if you’re speaking to your audience. (Do you feel like I’m speaking to you? I sure hope so!)
One technique for making your writing more personal is using words like:
And sometimes you’ll even use the words “I,” “Me” and “We.”
These are not words you’ll commonly find in any piece of journalism unless they’re in quotes. Newspapers and magazines are generally more formal. They use third person perspective.
Additionally, web content is formatted for easy reading. You’ll use bullet points (like I did above), numbers and headings and subheadings to break up your content into bite-sized pieces and create white space that is more easy on the eyes. So what does all this mean if you’re not a “writer”?
Web Writing Is Not Necesarily “Writerly”
It means that writing content for your website is pretty straightforward. You:
- Write what you know and what your audience will benefit from
- Write conversationally
- Write so it’s easy to read online
It’s almost like writing like you talk — only slightly more polished. (No ums, ahs or other filler words, for one thing.) The simplest method to use when you’re writing your online content is to spend a few minutes creating the structure for your article. (Remember outlining in elementary school? Something like that, but less formal.) Write a rough headline and subheadings. Then fill in the content. Write it as if you’re writing a letter to a friend. Don’t worry about grammar and spelling on the first draft. You can go back and edit for clarity later. (You might even install some software like Grammarly to help you with that.)
Once you have your thoughts down on paper (or virtual paper, as the case may be), polish it. Add your keywords in to optimize for the search engines (if you’re using WordPress, I recommend the Yoast SEO plugin to help you with that) and publish it. Test and track your articles and content to evaluate which content your readers respond the best to. Then write more of that.
With a little confidence and a plan, you can write content to build and grow your business.