Three stumbling blocks many first-time website owners face are:
- The discovery that a website, for it to be effective, requires writing.
- The Web is read differently than books, manuals or other print mediums, and therefore requires a different style.
- Umm, I’m not a good writer.
With that, lots of people struggle to write for their site. And as you know, if your website is content-lacking people won’t read it, they won’t get motivated by it, and they won’t take action towards buying your coaching wares. Also, search engines won’t be able to send you visitors.
Here are some tips to make writing website content easier, faster, and more natural.
- Shift into the mind of your target audience. As a warm-up exercise, take a minute and imagine one person who is in your target audience. For example, a great past client who got a lot of help from you. Imagine you are right there with that person, sitting over coffee – connected to and eager to help them. What are they thinking? What’s keeping them up at night? What do they struggle with? What do they really want in the end?
- Remember that it’s just a draft. I’ve heard that the art of writing is really the art of re-writing. So, forget trying to get it perfect the first time around. Just get it down. It’s just a draft. Don’t sweat it. Have fun. Keep a steady pace.
- Speak in your own tone of voice. Write in your normal, conversational voice. Write like you are emailing a friend or chatting on an instant messenger. Let it flow.
- How much to write? Shorter is better but at the same time, keep your points complete.
- On formatting. If you want to emphasize words, use italics. Bolding is great for the first sentence of paragraphs and not so great if used too much. Since underlining is used to denote links, avoid underlining for emphasizing. Use bullet points when listing things.
- The We/I Issue – Some coaches wonder if they should write from the perspective of “we” as a bigger operation, or “I” as an individual (fearing looking small). I suggest you write using “I” instead of hiding behind a “we” if you are a small operation. Think of yourself as the business spokesperson. It’s much easier for visitors to read. But, here’s the key: use a lot of “you” in your content.
- Use an active voice. Instead of saying “High levels of stress are often caused by poor life balance” Say, “Poor life balance causes high levels of stress.” You might, sort of, want to possibly avoid wishy-washy words like “may,” “might,” “sort of,” “could,” “can,” “can be,” “virtually,” “up to,” “as much as,” “help,” “like,” “believe,” “possibly.” I’ve kinda found that it could help.
- Don’t try to be smart – be helpful. Focus on caring and being real as opposed to trying to sound like you know everything. Also, you don’t need to say everything under the sun. You will have plenty of time in the future to write more great stuff. Write to connect with people. Write to care.
Go forth and may the words be with you.
Got another handy writing tip, tool, or trick? A fave? Please share.
Kenn Schroder helps coaches create
client-attracting websites. Get your free copy of 5 WEBSITE STRATEGIES
FOR ATTRACTING COACHING CLIENTS at http://www.coachingsitesthatwork.com