Does a good challenge make your adrenaline flow? How to Do Content Writing for Websites – Tips and Challenges includes several exciting challenges. Try this one on. Most users judge website content in a fraction of a second. Wow! The typical toddler has a longer attention span!
If that one isn’t tough enough for you, how about this. I hope you weren’t expecting someone to actually read that post you sweated and slaved over. By all indications, almost no one reads webpages! They scan pages in search of appealing nuggets. So, how do you entice visitors to at least browse the “stuff” encountered on your website?
Make Your Most Important Points First
It might be as simple as clearly stating exactly what you do. If your webpage contains a product review, cut to the chase and tell them your conclusion right up front. Your readers are not looking for prose; they’re looking for answers. If they don’t immediately spot answers on your site, they will move on and search elsewhere. Even visitors who love a good mystery novel generally hate “mystery websites” 🙂 .
The Inverted Pyramid
This practice of presenting your conclusions and most important points first, followed by some details and background information, has come to be called “the inverted pyramid”. It can take some getting used to. I know I’m still struggling with it.
Let’s face it, those of us who are at or near retirement age tend to be somewhat stuck in our ways. Most of us learned to write differently, but you’re not in Mrs. Miller’s high school English class anymore. The upshot is, your first draft may require some ruthless editing! Hopefully, it gets easier with practice.
11 Additional Tips to Make Your Content More Appealing
1. Use keyword phrases people are searching for. Then ensure that all of your content including text, photos, images and videos contributes to addressing and answering the queries in a thorough fashion. Keywords will draw traffic to your site. Answers will keep visitors on your site and encourage return visits
2. Develop your own voice, writing style and unique perspective. Is your niche of choice intenselycompetitive? If so, what distinguishes your content from that of a myriad of other similar websites? Search engines do not look kindly on thin or duplicate content with good reason. Thus, it becomes imperative to differentiate your site in some fashion. I think personalizing your information-rich site may be particularly essential.
3. Use “chunking” to create short, distinct pieces of content. Paragraphs should not typically be longer than four sentences with lots of white space in between. Most sentences, maybe not all, should be relatively short. Some variability is good to prevent your text from appearing too choppy and dull. Users are more likely to remember information that’s packed into short, meaningful chunks.
4. Each page or post should focus narrowly on one key topic. As a general rule, somewhere between 500and 1,500 words is a good length for a webpage or blog article. You can then include links to other pages on your site where related but broader information is available. Links may encourage further exploration of your site which is a very positive outcome. Links are also desirable from a Search Engine Optimization perspective because they indicate a more substantial website overall.
5. Pages should be easily scannable and achieve a clean, uncluttered look. Elements like headings and subheadings that employ larger font sizes, highlighted keywords, and bulleted, or numbered lists work well. Formatting features such as bolding, underlining and colors can be incorporated to draw the reader’s eye to critical points you don’t want them to miss.
6. Users like photos and images that seem relevant to the rest of the content. Most studies show that readers ignore the “decorative” images that are unrelated to their question. Visual appeal is important but you might want to ask yourself if there’s a more topically relevant image you could use instead of your current image.
7. Include an author photo to encourage readers to relate to you. A photo makes you seem real and more trustworthy. You want to be viewed as a credible source of information and a photo is known to help with this objective.
8. Highlight user benefits for all products and services you promote. Sometimes we get caught up in a list of features. Ask yourself why each feature is important to the user. How will it help the user? Then talk about the benefit rather than just the feature. A discussion of benefits can also include gentle pushes that encourage conversion.
9. Take steps to engage your readers. Posing questions can be beneficial. If readers are thinking about your questions, they’re not hitting the back button to exit your site. They may continue reading to see if their answer agrees with yours. Adding a call to action may persuade readers to post a comment to provide their answer to a question. Google loves to see comments as evidence of user engagement.
10. Proofread your post before you publish. It’s good practice to create your document in a program like Wordfirst to use the spelling and grammar checking features. You can then copy the document into your CMS software. Using a thesaurus to find synonyms can also help to create more enticing content. Obviously, you don’t want anyone to have to pull out a dictionary to read your webpage. But using the same words over and over can also get pretty bland and boring.
11. Continually review and improve your existing content. Regularly going back and revisiting yourpreviously published website content can often be a great source of fresh ideas. If some time has elapsed, you may very well have learned or read something new on the topic. Or perhaps another aspect has occurred to you with benefit of hindsight. Google rewards frequently updated websites with higher rankings. Expanding on a previous post is often easier than finding a brand new topic.
I hope you found these content writing tips helpful. You might keep it handy for evaluating both new and existing blog pages. Over time, they should become second nature. If this is an area where you feel you could use more help, you might also contemplate joining the same online training community, called Wealthy Affiliate, of which I am a member.
Tutorials are available that focus on the topic of how to do content writing for websites. Constructive feedback is also available from thousands of other participants which can be invaluable in developing skills and confidence in this area. Please see my Getting Started Online page for information about a free Starter Membership.
If you have additional content writing tips to share, or any questions on this blog, please post a comment below. Thanks for sharing!
18 thoughts on “How to Do Content Writing for Websites – Tips and Challenges”
You are giving great tips for content writing. As an online marketer I know how important the content is for search engine optimization, so I really appreciate your tips. I am also a member of Wealthy Affiliate, so you know that as most of the members I write a lot. Do you have any tips what to do when someone feels like burn out after writing too many articles? Should I simply wait till it passes?
My strategy for burn out is to walk away and do something completely different for a while. My favorite choice is a round of golf. There’s nothing like being outdoors and active to give me a completely new perspective. I’m very grateful that my home-based business gives me that flexibility to walk away when I need it. Now, if it would just help my golf game 🙂
Thanks for the kind words and for visiting my site!
This is great stuff, Linda, thank you!
I have a blog myself and am always looking for ways to improve the content and style of my writing to make it more engaging. Your tips here will go a long way to helping me in that quest. Just need to keep the ideas flowing!
Thanks for your kind words. You are so right! We need to keep the fresh ideas flowing and then find ways to share them with our audience in an appealing way. Not always an easy task 🙂
These were some great tips for writing content! And it is so true. I know that when I visit a website, if it doesn’t grab my attention right away, I move on to one that does. All of your suggestions were great and I plan to incorporate some of them in my articles. I didn’t think to start out with the facts, but you are spot on!
Hi Matt’s Mom,
I’m thrilled to hear my blog met that first key test and you stayed long enough to garner tips you can implement 🙂 I hope you’ll visit my site again!
Some great tips here Linda. I must say though, it is really depressing to think that the content you spend hours creating and perfecting is only read by the smallest number of people. The rest are just scanning (I catch myself doing it all the time.)
It makes me wonder how quality content online is actually judged. Is it the quality of the ideas presented? Or the design and how it looks on the page?
You ask some very interesting questions regarding how quality content is judged. Everything I’ve read suggests it’s a combination of factors. Naturally, there are many studies that have been conducted. If your page design is unappealing, users may not give the actual content a chance. If users like the design, we still have to grab their attention quickly with an enticing gem of information they feel they can use.
It can be a tad discouraging 🙂 but I prefer to focus on the challenge of finding a better approach. Thanks very much for your questions and input.
Hi Kristoff and thanks for a great article on content writing. Another thing you can do while you are editing your own posts is look for new post ideas from your existing posts. For example if you have a post that outlines the top 10 ways to make money from home, you could then explore each of these 10 ways in more depth in 10 new posts.
You’re so right! You’ve shared an excellent strategy for giving us a wealth of new ideas for blogging posts.
Thanks for the tip!
I find that your list is pretty much what I would do to make my content more appealing. If I may add, I would also recommend to use a slightly bigger font for the body text to avoid readers from having to squint their eyes.
I know if I need to put my face near the PC monitor to read something, I am usually not interested to read more than 2 to 3 lines. So I certainly don’t want that to happen to my blog.
Thanks for pointing out a very essential addition to the list. I too find a small type font to be an unpleasant experience. The somewhat larger body text font was one of the elements of my website Theme that really appealed to me. Great comment!
Wow, Linda. You take a subject which is really intimidating to many content writers and peel it all down to some basics, which, once read, seem like plain old common sense.
Gone are the days of writing War and Peace. It’s just “tell me what I want to know…..quick!” It’s almost as if we have to write like we talk.
I really like your inverted pyramid. If a visitor is looking for specific information, get it out there fast and that might lead to spending more time on the page and maybe moving to another page.
Yes, a successful website is all about connecting people with the information they’re searching for. Studies show people have an attention span of about 8 seconds. So, we have to do it quickly!
Thanks for your kind words and for joining the conversation!
Thank you so much for your tips on content writing. Having launched a e-commerce shop over two months ago. I am now faced with writing engaging content for my visitors. But you have given me great tips and techniques on how to go about perfecting that. It was also thanks to your recommendation that I have now found my way back to Wealthy Affiliate. Thank you so much for your input on content writing and affiliate marketing. I look forward to reading more content from you here and in WA.
May you continue to be blessed in so many ways.
Your kind wishes and compliments are greatly appreciated. I’m glad to hear you’ve made your way back to WA and I hope you’ll get in touch within the platform. Content is everything and most of us struggle with writing consistent and engaging articles. That’s where the Wealthy Affiliate community can really lend a ton of support. Members share their successes and failures. Ideas are constantly percolating and you can always ask for feedback.
I wish you great success with your new site. Blog on 🙂
Hey man, first of all thanks so much for this great, interesting and informative article on content writing.
Content creation is the most important part of a succesful blog. Many people, especially newcomers have a lot of trouble with writing a lot. I am sure that this article will help many many people (including me).
I couldn’t agree more that blogging is all about creating quality, helpful content that appeals to your niche audience. I’m glad you found my article useful. Thanks for stopping by!