Beginners Guide to Writing Great Content

January 2, 2017

Writing content can for a website can be intimidating. We hope this guide will help you write great content. Make your content work for you by following this writing blog content guide.

Content Structure

Organizing content structure is important. Cleaner readable content will keep visitors on your page and wanting more. People scan website pages to find “keywords” that are relevant to what they are look for. See How Users View Your Website for more on how visitors view your website.

Headings

Break up your content into sections using headings. Headings should only be a few words long. Avoid long sentence headings. Use Headings Tags (H1-H4 tags) for headings for SEO. Headings should be clear and precise.

Images

Images and videos are visual representations of your “product.” Use images that are relevant to your content. Yes, that cute kitten picture is adorable but it doesn’t belong on your 30 minute Paleo dinner recipe post. Never use images you don’t have the rights to use. I’ve seen someone get charged $1,500 for using a stockphoto from another website. Don’t do it, it’s not worth it. There are lots of free (and paid) stock photography websites to get premium photos. If possible, use a professional photographer or take a class or two in photography.

Article Summary

At the beginning of the article post, include a brief overview summary of the article. Just a sentence or two explaining what the article is about. This gives your visitors an idea what the article is about. The summary should be informative but not too detailed. Include just enough to get your target audience engaged.

Call to Action

What is the purpose of your article? Are you pitching a product? Are you wanting more subscribers? You need to include a Call to Action step on your page. Whether that be a button to download your eCourse, or a newsletter signup form. Each article should have the next step toward your visitor engagement goals.

Shorter sentences

Long and complex sentences will get lost on your visitors. Try to keep your sentences short and simple. As mentioned previously, visitors don’t read whole articles. They scan for information that is relevant to them, but we will go into this later.

Bullet Points

Use bullet points to break up content. When creating a steps list – use an Ordered List (OL). When listing ideas, use an Unordered List (UL). Ordered Lists are numbered and Unordered Lists use bullet points. Both are equally effective when used in the correct context.

How Users View a Website

Hate to be the barer of bad news, but MOST people don’t read your content. Yes, you read that right.  Most people scan we pages in an “F” pattern. They pick up “keywords” that are relevant to them and what they are looking for. We live in an impatient world and people want to move on to the next thing – including the next article. Consider this “F” pattern when laying out your next article.

How Users Scan Your Website Content

How Users Scan Your Website Content

What do you know about your visitors?

The people who visit your website matter. You should be tracking who is visiting your website if you haven’t been already. Google Analytics is a great tool to track your visitors demographics.  You can learn what country are they coming from, their age group, what language do they speak etc. From there you can learn to tailor your content based off what they need. Do your visitors have an accessibility issues or a disability that could prohibit them from viewing your website properly? If so, what can you add to your website to make it viewable? What are their goals on your site? Are they same as yours? Or are their needs different? What can you do to meet their needs?

Context of Use

Another important, often overlooked, step for creating great website content is the context of use.  Where, when, and how they are accessing your website content is important.

Where are they using your site?

Are your visitors using your site while out shopping? Are the using it at work (during their breaks of course)? Are they using it in a cab on the way to the airport? Or are they simply viewing your site while at home sipping on a cup of hot coffee? Where they use their site is important because it can help you structure important links, images etc that can be easily accessed from their location. For example, if you are running a fashion blog and you would want show locations of stores where they can purchase those cute red pumps you just blogged about. You want to have a quick link at the TOP of your content to mapped locations since they are hopping from store to store looking for those shoes.

When are they using your site?

Knowing when your visitor peaks are can help you know when you launch that new eCourse or publish your latest post. Again, Google Analytics will help you determine what time, day of the week etc.

How are they accessing your site?

In the world of 20 billion different devices (yes I am exaggerating), it is important to know how they your visitors are accessing your site. Are they mainly desktop users, ipad/tablet people on the go, or are they mobile surfers? Writing responsive content that looks great in ALL devices is important. Putting extra emphases on the devices that are most used. This goes the same for browsers used. If no one is using Opera to view your site, don’t worry about optimizing for it.  Look to your Google Analytics for your reports on browser and devices used.

Good Luck and Happy Writing!

I hope you were able to take away a few things from this article to help create great website content. Do you have something to add? Do you have a great writing tip? Leave it in the comments below.

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