If you've ever tried, and possibly failed to build a website, you know that creating web content can be very challenging. It isn't a process that's immediately familiar to a lot of people. Oftentimes people simply don't know where to start.
If you're having difficulty, it's frequently because you've missed a step. Before you start writing, you need to have material to pull from. If you want to write a web page about growing tomatoes you should first become an expert on tomato cultivation. You can't effectively write about what you don't know.
As a result, many businesses think crafting content for their website should be easy. They're experts in their field, after all.
But therein lies the rub. They know what they do, but they often don't know who they are, and that is what their website is about. In order to create persuasive content businesses first need to become experts on themselves.
Creating Web Content Through Self-Exploration
Becoming an expert on yourself and documenting it is the best way to collect material that can later be spun into compelling web content. And it isn't difficult. It's simply a question and answer process.
As an example. You know that your customers buy your products. But do you know WHY they buy your products? Do you know what's most important to them about the services you offer? Have you asked why they chose you over your competition?
When you answer these questions it becomes significantly easier to sell yourself to new customers. And that's the goal of your website — to inform prospects about why you are the best choice. If you're having a difficult time creating web content, it's likely that you need to go back to basics. So how do you do it?
Ask Yourself the Right Questions and Answer as Honestly as You Can
There a few general features about your business that you want to focus on when you start your exploration. These include your:
- Products and services
- Mission and motivation
You should expand on each of these to create a list of questions that's specific to your business. To get you started, here are some general ones you should ask. (Some of the questions businesses need to ask themselves when they're rebranding can also be helpful here.)
How did the company start? Who were the founders and what motivated them to open up shop? Who were some of your early customers? What did you learn from those early days that helped inform the company you are today?
What were some of the events that changed you, for better or worse? How has your business shifted over the years? Are you the same company you were when you started?
Products and Services
Describe in detail what you do. What are your most important products or services? How are they special? What are their notable features and benefits? How do they improve people's lives? How do they stack up to the competition?
Be verbose. It's not enough to say they're better. Describe in detail how and why they beat the competition. And if they fail in some departments, be honest about it. Creating web content benefits from examining your strengths as well as your weaknesses.
Mission and Motivation
Why does your business do what it does? Making money may be the goal, but try looking for deeper motivations. What sort of change are you hoping to create in the world through your efforts? If you don't have a mission statement, now is a good time to create one.
Who buys your products and services, and why? What's most important to them? What needs do they have that your offerings meet? Why did they decide to go with you instead of someone else? What would they say you do better?
Don't be shy. Ask your customers. It's far better to hear their answers than to imagine what they might be.
What does your competition do better than you and where do you consistently beat them? How do they sell themselves to their customers? What makes the unique in your industry? How do you stand out from them? What do they talk about on their website?
As you answer these questions you'll likely find even more areas to explore. Make sure to write everything down, and format it so that it's easy to read.
In a future article, we'll discuss strategies for writing effective web copy using this seed material. We'll also feature tips and tricks for choosing great imagery to boost the authenticity of your webpage.
For now, if you'd like to discuss what we've talked about here in more detail, give us a call at Puget Tech today. We can help you create a powerful story that will make prospects into customers, and customers into raving fans.