Writing an article for your website is a much more challenging task than knowing your website should include compelling articles (the topic of last week’s post). As a result, I’ve had several questions in the last few days from readers wondering just how to get started on developing their web content.
One client confided that, as she sits and stares at the blank page on her computer screen, she is overwhelmed with writer’s block. The longer she stares at the screen, the emptier her mind becomes, she said.
To overcome those types of situations, you need to start taking notes about appropriate topics for your web content as they occur to you. Do not assume you’ll remember that inspirational insight from this morning’s shower once you sit down at your desk. Jot that idea down as soon as you can grasp a pencil between your squeaky clean fingers.
Then, once you’re at your computer, review all of your idea nuggets. Choose whichever one nudges you strongest or seems the most timely. Then, here’s the hard part—just start writing an article.
Seriously, just write it.
Don’t worry about all those aspects that you’ve read are critical to your site’s content, such as:
- Search-engine algorithms
- Internet analytics.
For just this moment, forget all about:
Write whatever comes to your mind on your topic. Focus on getting it all on paper or into your computer document, typing as quickly as you can while the ideas flow. Don’t let stray thoughts on commas or capital letters interrupt and distract your thoughts.
When the flow of thoughts finally begin to trickle, stop and take a break. You may even want to give yourself a day or two. Then it’s time to begin editing your content.
This step isn’t as hard as it sounds. After all, you don’t want to edit your content so that you change your natural, conversational tone. Instead, by writing an article using this technique, you naturally develop content that allows the reader to feel like you are actually talking to him or her. And that’s due to the fact you’re using the same type of language you would use in a real-life conversation.
So, to maintain that tone, begin by reading your article out loud. Sure, you’ll feel funny about it. But doing so will help you hear the transitions that are missing in your text. When you hear those lulls, stop and add the words, phrases or sentences necessary to move the reader to the next section of your text.
You’ll likely need to repeat this process three, four, even five times before you work out all those problematic spots where your mind jumped ahead of itself during your initial brainstorm writing.
During the course of making those changes, you can begin correcting errors in spelling, punctuation and grammar. Then have a friend read through the text to make sure you didn’t miss anything. (And, truly, do ask someone else to read your text. It’s simply too easy to miss your own errors because your mind automatically “fills in” what’s missing.)
One of the main benefits of writing an article like this is that you’ll naturally write in a very conversational tone using the type of natural language that appeals to your everyday reader. And that type of tone is most likely to encourage the reader to keep reading.
Once you’ve finalized your article, you’re ready for the next step: Optimizing your web content. Look for details on that topic in next week’s post. I’ll give you tips on how to include keywords and phrases and where to place them in your content (among other advice) to achieve the optimal benefit for your website.
About the author: Gina Kellogg is founder/principal of The Success Story Pro and Hott Cornflakes Communications. Get more from Gina at Twitter (@Gina_Kellogg and @SuccessStoryPro), Google+, LinkedIn and Facebook.