Where Do I Start When Writing Content for My Website?
Month after month we share our online secrets with you… well, they’re not really secrets, because we want you to know them, but I’ll stick with the "Former Wannabe Singer Reveals How to Create a Massive Fan Base and Increase Profits" story because it sounds better (and yes, that title is about me)!
One of the questions I get asked is where do I start? Where do I start when writing my blog… my article… my ebook? If you aren’t a natural writer (or the though of writing makes your skin crawl) it may be hard to sit in front of a computer and stare at a blank page that says "Document 1" up at the top.
To get started with any type of writing, I encourage people to write what they are thinking- don’t worry about putting your thoughts into formulated sentences or even full thoughts- that’s what editing is for! Just write what you are thinking… many times our brain moves much faster then our fingers can type (or write) so your greatest challenge, at the start, is to make sure you don’t forget any of those wonderful ideas you’re thinking about!
Writing content for the online world is very much the same- you tell a story and tie it in to a benefit for the reader. If you can’t give the reader some sort of actionable content somewhere in the article, meaning some kind of content they can go take action on right after they’ve finished reading your article, then you probably won’t get much traffic to the article. Also, with every story you have a headline (or title) and then the second most important element- the opening paragraph.
Since "where to start" is usually the most difficult thing when writing your online blogs or articles here are 3 tips for how to start your opening paragraph.
1. Ask a Question
Asking a question might be the easiest way to get your reader involved in your writing. By asking a question you engage the reader- even if it is a rhetorical question.
REMEMBER- FEAR AND PAIN ARE POWERFUL MOTIVATORS.
Although a little flippant, we have toyed ourselves with using the phrase "Does Your Website Suck?"
… well, does it?? If it does… you know where to find us…
If you can start your writing off with some sort of question it will not only involve your reader but immediately connect them to a pain they are having (and your services may just so happen ease that pain!) then you’re on your way!
This strategy doesn’t have to evoke fear or pain- it can also just be a simple rhetorical question to get your story flowing.
2. Share a Story (be brief you only have a few seconds to grab their attention!)
You have heard us say over and over again that "people buy people" well, it is no different on the web… in fact, you have to work even harder to give people that same warm, welcoming feeling that you would if they stepped into your office to meet with you. Your writing is no different and stories allow you to share a bit of you, so that your visitor can get to know you. These stories will also help to hold your reader’s attention.
3. Share a Shocking Statistic
By nature, we are curious creatures. So peaking someone’s interest with an interesting/shocking statistic is always a good way to start off. Of course, you do always need to relate that interesting/shocking piece of information to the rest of your blog/ article, otherwise you will lose your reader (and very quickly, I might add) when they discover it was only a ploy and the rest of the piece has nothing to do with that statistic- bait and switch is NOT something I suggest!
In general, the writing on your website is there to provide content and education for not only your visitors but also the search engines, so keep it interesting and always remember to add your keywords into everything that you write!