How to Write Content for a Website

Writing content for your website can be a challenging exercise - especially if you're not accustomed to doing a lot of writing. Content writing is the number one cause of delay for launching a new website, so use the following tips to help streamline your content writing process.

Write About Stuff That Matters

Before jumping into writing content for a page, you want to make sure you have a good idea what the main topic of the page should be and that the topic is relevant to your users. To ensure the content is relevant to users, ask yourself:

  • What information does a user need to know about a given topic?
  • What keywords would that user use if they were looking for this information?

You want to make sure you're using keywords that a search engine might pick up and that you're writing about something that users care about. If you have an existing website, you can look through your website analytics data to see what users are typing in and make sure you're addressing their needs.

Start With an Outline

Writing website content can quickly seem overwhelming, but if you break it down into smaller parts, it becomes more manageable. Before doing any serious writing, create an outline by following these steps:

  1. Start with your main idea
  2. Break down sub ideas
  3. For each sub idea, write out the pieces of information that you want to get across

Here's a screenshot of the outline used for this article as an example.

Write First, Then Edit

One of the hardest things about writing is just getting the words down on paper. Most people self-censor themselves as they write. They worry about using the perfect words or the perfect sentence structure, and the result is that writing takes a long time and is frustrating. The best thing you can do is to write as much as you can, as fast as you can. Once you have it all down, you can then go back and make corrections and updates.

Make the Tone Consistent

Ideally, you want the same person to write all of the website content. This ensures that the content reads well and stays consistent. However, you can also consider creating a "persona" for the website by asking yourself "If the website was a famous person, who would it be?" Keep that persona in mind as you're writing to keep the tone consistent, and share it with others who may be contributing content.

Tidying Up

When laying out the content on the page, follow these steps:

  1. Make sure the main idea is instantly apparent to users
  2. Keep it clear, concise, and to the point
  3. Don't get too wordy - users typically scan a page and don't read in depth
  4. Try and vary your sentence structure and length to keep it interesting.
  5. Use formatting to break up the page (headings, bulleted lists, images, etc...)

Now that you're armed with some basic tips on writing website content, it's time to get started!

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