Content is King: 4 tips for preparing the meat of your website

Friday, December 7, 2007

A Regal Crown
Most people recognize that a website is rarely just graphics and text. It really has to say something. It has to reflect the principals of a business, the mission of an organization, and sometimes it even has to convince someone to become a customer. So naturally most business owners cringe at the thought of preparing information for a new website.

Relax! Putting together content for your website is easier than you think. We share a few tips to help you over this hurdle, so you can get your “meat” well-done.

1: Interview Yourself

An interview is an ideal format to start with.

Even better than thinking of your own questions, have a friend or family member interview you. Chances are, you have friends who are actually interested in learning more about what you do. You may be surprised how many great questions they can ask when given the opportunity.

Or, try asking a local college student studying journalism to prepare a 1-hour interview about you and your business. Maybe they can incorporate their efforts into a school project or use it as a highlight on their resume.

Have someone record the interview on paper, with a voice recorder, or – best of all – have someone type out all the questions and answers into a laptop computer during the interview, so you have it readily awaiting you in a document that you can email straight to your website developer.

2: Define Your Nemisis

Can’t think of a good way to describe your business? Having trouble defining your business’s values and the ways that it stands out from others?

Think of the exact opposite of what you want your business to be. Think of your worst competitors, and the companies that give your industry a bad name. Then, start describing them.

List out several bullet points that convey why those “bad apples” are the wrong choice. Bad customer service? Dishonest tactics? Inexperienced in their field?

Once you have the general points listed out, think of more detailed experiences that you have heard about from customers of those awful providers. What were their complaints? How would your company avoid that situation?

3: Just Do It

Stop thinking about how difficult it is to write about your business. Stop procrastinating and putting this at the bottom of your list. As the weeks go by, you are entering the overplanning stage.

Writing for your website is certainly easier than running a marathon, right? Unlike a marathon, there is no profuse sweating involved, and no torn ham strings.

So buckle down, and just start writing. Set aside 1 or 2 hours in one day to sit down and make notes. Chances are, your initial brainstorming will lead to additional thoughts and pretty soon you will have several pages of notes. Remember, no one is grading you. And after you have the first draft completed, you can likely enlist the help of others (including perhaps your website designer) to fine tune the format.

4: When All Else Fails, Hire Help

Did you know that there is an entire race of human beings who actually write stuff for a living? Yes, that’s right, a professional copywriter, marketing consultant, or website content firm can take all of the worry away in one fell swoop.

Concerned about cost? It doesn’t hurt to ask. And in comparison, you have to wonder, is all the time that your website goes unlaunched or stays stuck with a placeholder page losing you more money than it will cost to get good content done in a matter of days?

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Posted in: Web Design

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