Content at First Write: Discover the Ideal Way for Producing Website Content You Need and Love

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Writing website content is now standard for every business. Seems like everyone needs to do it, right?

But it’s a task that can be overwhelming. And one that many of us procrastinate over.

So what do you do when it’s time to write content for that flash new business website? What’s the next step when you’re staring at blank white page and a flashing cursor? Suddenly you’re all out of ideas and thinking I really need to clean the car, visit Aunt Edna, tidy the spice rack.

I get it. If writing is not your thing, it’s a real challenge when your web developer says, Hey there, how’s that content coming along? We’d love to get going on the design.

Yeah, rockin’ it thanks you reply, when really, you’re not rockin’ it all. The truth is you feel you’re in more of a content jam than a project flow.

If that’s you, take a breath and some heart.

You are not alone. Most business owners face the same hurdle when it comes to producing their website content.

Thankfully, there are simple and effective things you can learn and implement to ease the content pain.

Get Honest

Before you even begin to think about your website content, you need to take a step back. Like way back.

The reason being: you have to get honest.

Really? Yes, really.

You have to get honest about:

  • Whether you can write your website content.
  • Whether you should write your website content.
  • If you’re prepared to learn how to write content for your website.
  • Whether your website content would be best written in collaboration with someone, rather than you going solo.

You also need to get honest about the harsh reality that’s bitten one or two business owners on the backside and that is: if you write your website content, will your website ever get done?

Here’s another reason why getting honest is so important.

Technical people – and I classify all business owners as technical people – know their stuff. Mostly, they know it so well, they can talk about it under water and in their sleep. And this is great. We always want to work with people who know their stuff. It gives us confidence they’ll look after us and do a good job.

But do we want those people writing the content for that new, good-looking, high performing business website?

The answer is simple. No. More on this in a moment.

Do You Hate Writing? If Yes, Don’t Write Your Website Content

So, ask yourself before you take the plunge and start typing.

Do I hate writing?

Answer Yes, I love it or No, I hate it. (The truth is, I’ve hated it ever since primary school when I was forced to write a story about my holiday…..after every single holiday).

Big tip. Unless you answer Yes, I love it!, the website content writing gig is not for you. It’s something you totally need to delegate.

Are You Suffering from One of the Three Big Content Writing Challenges?

What I’ve found is that most people face one of the Three Big Website Content Writing Challenges.

They hate writing and think everyone should communicate via mind reading or text messages (c u l8ter).

They’re okay at writing, but have no idea about where to start with their website content (think blank page flashing cursor nightmare). What they need is a process for producing the content for their website. They also need guidance and possibly some metaphorical hand holding.

And the final category they fall into is, they can write, but when they do it is way too technical.

Let’s address each one of these content writing dilemmas.

If you try to write your website content, knowing you hate it, the content you write will not do its job. It will lack substance, warmth, connection and coherence. Even if it’s punctuated with a whole lot of well-placed SEO keywords.

In the spirit of being honest, let’s open up about a couple more things.

Your website content is a seriously important asset. It is ground zero for your business marketing collateral. When it’s done right, you get to work it like a pro. If you don’t do it right, you’ll end up going around in circles, putting words out there like hot air, but not really making sense.

The message here is: don’t write your website content it if you hate writing.

Define Your Website Outcome

For those who fall into the category of having some writing ability, they should decide: Is writing my content the way to reach the most ideal outcome for my website?

Look at it this way.

Let’s go out on a limb and assume your ideal outcome is a working website you love. In terms of the content, getting there on your own may not be the most efficient way of doing the job.

It’s a bit like wanting to get from A to B, but taking a major diversion through C and D before heading on over to P, Q and R. Then you’re left asking, Where the hell did B go?

Writing your website content this way causes problems.

It slows down development of your site, it causes misunderstandings between the web developer and client, and it leaves people with the impression that doing website projects is just one big headache.

The super good news is this all-too-common scenario is totally avoidable. Woo hoo.

Really? Yes, really.

A content writer can work with your web developer too. They can help configure the design so the words match up and when it all comes together, it’s like peace, love, and website project happiness.

Many a website project disaster has been avoided by approaching the content this way.

Get the Right Support to Write

Even if you’re okay at writing, getting a content writer involved for your website is a wise move.

There are many reasons why you’d do this, but here are just a couple:

A good content writer will want to understand your business. They will literally draw it out of you by asking quality questions and listening. I mean, how can they write about you and what you do if they haven’t spent any time getting ‘under the bonnet’? You talk, they listen. Then they write.

Another worthwhile reason for getting a content writer involved is very few of us would write creatively and objectively if left to our own devices. We’d either go heavily technical, producing the content equivalent of eating cardboard, or generate robotic SEO copy. None of these is suitable for connection and engagement through a website. It’s just terrible, Muriel.

Take the Shortcut to Website Content You Love

Suggestion? Take the direct A-B route to great website content you need and love.

Decide if hate writing, if you’re going Hans Solo, or whether you’d prefer to be a Content King (or Queen) and fly out with Chewbacca (who didn’t love Chewie?).

Either way, it pays to get the right support to produce your website content. That way, you’ll be one step closer to a website you love.

Instead of looking at website content as a way to hook up with Google, see it as one of the most powerful ways to share your messages, present your ‘why’, and highlight the way you solve people’s problems. That’s what quality website content does.

If you do decide to DIY it, at the very least, have someone run their eye over it from a messaging and SEO viewpoint. If we only rely on our own perceptions with marketing assets like this, we risk failing to connect with the audience – our customers. Which kind of makes your fabulous new site redundant.

And a final tip. Recognise your content is a valuable business asset that warrants a commensurate investment. It will take time, creative thinking, and some conscious effort. It may even a need the investment of a few dollars. The costs for content writing can vary, however expect to pay between $2,000 and $4,000 for website copy for a medium sized site. This applies even if you already have an existing website.

Why? Because at the time you’re updating your website, it’s highly likely your business is different from when you first set up your website back in the day. That means your content – the key messages, language, and tone – should different too. Think of it as getting a whole new suit, not just taking in the seams of an old one that no longer fits. Without quality content to match the awesome design and user-friendly functionality, your new website will never be as good as it can be. And you’ll miss out on all those opportunities to reuse that content across multiple platforms and media. Worked this way, quality content is an investment that pays its own way.

If you approach writing content for your website like this, it becomes a straightforward process.

And your content?

Well, it’s just right at first write.

About the author
Jon Hollenberg
With over 20 years experience within the web industry, Jon is an expert in online marketing and online growth strategies. Over the last ten years he has worked with iconic brands such as Qantas, Jeep and the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary plus hundreds of other businesses Australia wide. Jon is a published author of "Love at first site - How to build the website of your dreams".
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