There’s an awful lot of talk about things like content marketing and people telling business owners that “content is king” and that they need to engage with the customer with content on their website.
This is all well and good, but most SME owners are already drowning in a sea of things to do like BAS statements, HR issues and all the other day-to-day bits and bobs that go into running a business.
Getting content up on your website can take time, but it’s well worth it in terms of the traction you can get with visitors to the site as well as how attractive new and useful content is to Google bots, and consequently, your potential Google page ranking.
But you’re really not a writer and none of your staff are much better. And you’re not keen on shelling out money for a professional to do it for you as that’s just one more expense to wear.
Here are five basic things to keep in mind when creating content for your website, without worrying too much about winning a Nobel Prize for Literature or spending bucks on someone who thinks they should have won a Nobel Prize for Literature.
1. Write what you know
This should be a no-brainer. You’ve probably been in your industry for a while and have maybe been running your business for long enough to know a thing or two about what you do.
Think about your customers and the conversations you have with them. This should give you a pretty good idea about where to start when it comes to filling that dreaded blank page.
Every sector or industry has its own range of pet issues, areas of interest, funny stories even. Make a list of these things and this then becomes the basis of the research for your first few blogs. Do a bit of reading and then don’t be afraid to put your thoughts into words. Get a first draft done and finesse from there.
Example: Cynthia Dearin blogs for SmartCompany about exporting. The content on the website of her company, Dearin & Associates, includes in-depth blog posts about trade with Middle Eastern countries.
A lot of it is nitty-gritty stuff that might not mean much to the general reader, but if you want to do business in the Gulf States it’s an essential port of call. She writes about what she knows.
2. Write like you talk (but maybe leave out the profanities)
This comes down to getting comfortable with putting words on the page, but it is also a good guide to the tone you want to use with your readers. This might be where you have an edge on professional writers who might not always be able to get the style of conversation you have with clients or customers right.
Some industries are more relaxed and conversational in tone, while others can be more conservative and formal. Of course, even if you think the people you are writing for appreciate a conversational, informal tone, there will be times when a more serious approach is required. And this goes vice versa.
But remember, you know your customers better than anyone else, so use that as your guide to the tone you use in your writing.
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Example: Eve Ash writes blogs for SmartCompany on people, management and leadership issues. She manages to write on some very serious issues but maintains a conversational tone that brings readers into the topic. She is also not afraid to use humour to make her point.
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