Website content writing is an invaluable skill in today’s digital economy. If you don’t learn how to write great content, you won’t be able to rank your websites, and you’ll make less money.
In one sense, it’s that simple!
Of course, content writing is a bit more complex than that, which is why we’re going to go through everything you need to know about it right here.
What is website content writing?
If you’re new to website content writing, the best way to think about it is as an online magazine marketed towards your website’s demographic.
Your aim is to do everything traditional magazines did: to inform, to entertain and to add value to the lives of your readers through your writing.
So what’s the POINT of website content writing?
In the end, the point of website content writing is still to raise awareness of your brand or organisation and to make money.
However, unlike magazines – which relied solely on advertising revenue – content writing can make money in a number of different ways:
- Good content will improve your search engine rankings, and increase your web traffic. More customers mean more money.
- Good content can act as a form of lead generation: customers visit your site to find content, and then click through and buy something. (Or enquire about your services.)
- Good content will increase your traffic, and as a result, give you the opportunity to make additional money through affiliate marketing or via selling ad space.
Which approach you choose to go down will largely depend on the nature of your business, but the beauty of marketing online is you don’t have to be limited to just one.
There’s no reason an online store can’t also do some affiliate marketing on the side, assuming there’s no direct competition on products.
There’s also no reason a consultancy service can’t also sell web space if their traffic is appealing enough.
The keys to great website content writing
There are several things you’ll need to bear in mind if you’re new to the world of online content marketing:
Keep your language simple
The vast majority of people that read your content won’t be scholars. As a result, you want to use the simplest language possible.
Never use a long word where a short one will do! Don’t try to sound clever, or write like you’re putting together an academic essay.
Could the average eleven-year-old read your work easily? If so, you’re on the right path.
Make sure your writing can be scanned
A general rule to abide by is that people online don’t read, they scan. They skip the bits they find boring and hone in on the bits they want.
- Write short sentences (Don’t fear a one-line paragraph)
- Use bullet points
- Use a lot of sub-headers
- Use images on your page
And so on. Again, you should keep in mind that you’re writing for someone with a lower than average attention span. (Which is more or less all of us, when we’re online!)
Draw attention to the most important parts
When people are scanning through your content, make sure you draw attention to the bits that really matter.
Though readers might think they’re deciding which bits catch their eye – and they are, in a sense – you actually have a lot more control than you think.
How can you ensure readers stop at the bits that really matter to you? There are a few options:
- Headings and sub-headings
Whether it’s a particular word or a particular sentence, the above techniques will always make the reader stop and read the key bits more carefully.
Shorten your paragraphs, and then shorten them again
When you’re writing a book, it’s acceptable to have long, drawn-out paragraphs.
Online, anyone confronted with large blocks of text will leave. It’s that simple. Even if you naturally write in longer paragraphs, go back through them and separate them afterwards.
How long is too long? When it comes to writing for the web, you don’t want paragraphs going much over three lines.
How do I choose what to write about?
Fortunately, there’s a wonderful way of finding out exactly what your readers what to see on your blog: it’s called keyword research.
By going through a particular process, you can find out exactly which topics will get people coming back to your website again and again. This is integral if you want to know how to write SEO content.
Fortunately, research isn’t too difficult, and Brian Dean at Backlinko – who’s a genius when it comes to content writing – has written a brilliant guide to keyword research.
How often should I write website content?
Opinion is a bit divided on this. Some people try to write every day, others once a week, some websites once a month.
However, in our opinion, the best thing to do is focus on quality, rather than quantity.
Once you’ve got into the swing of writing for the web, you’ll start to get a better idea of how long it’s going to take you to write something really good: something that makes the lives of your readers better.
(You probably can’t create something brilliant every day, unless it’s a full-time job for you!)
How can you tell what’s good? Well, by our reckoning you need to put together at least 750 words, at the minimum.
If you can’t talk for 750 words about something, the chances are it’s probably not in-depth enough to warrant writing about!
(There are exceptions for this. Step-by-step ‘How to’ guides, which are usually a set of short instructions, can be very valuable without being very long, especially if they also use a lot of images.)
Where can I learn more about website content writing?
There are a few brilliant resources out there dedicated to website content writing. We’d definitely recommend checking some of them out: