Web content creation is an integral part of business these days. From email messages to website content, someone has to write it. If you dislike the chore, and can’t get out of it, you might as well make it easy on yourself.
Start by forgetting about “writing.” I coach people in communication skills, and it amazes me how many excellent communicators tell me that they “can’t write.”
You can. Here are some tips to turn you into a Web content genius.
1. Forget writing: do you like talking?
Start by forgetting that you “can’t write.” Just talk. Dictation software will turn your chats with yourself into Web content; the software is easy to learn. These voice-to-text programs have a 98 per cent accuracy.
Once you get used to your dictation program, you’ll find that writing becomes a chore you enjoy.
Important: don’t try to censor yourself as you speak. You can edit and restructure the content later. Speak as if you were speaking to a friend.
I like to jot some notes before I dictate, but this is optional.
2. What do you wish customers knew about your business?
If you find it a challenge to come up with ideas for Web content, make a list of things you wish that customers knew about your business, and the products you sell. The first time you do this, you’ll be able to come up with several dozen ideas.
Keep adding to these ideas. Ask your colleagues what they wish customers knew.
3. Create a list of 20 questions customers have asked in the past month.
Want ideas for content you can create immediately? Talk to your customer service people. Ask them what questions they’re asked. In addition, ask them to keep a list of customers’ questions.
If you have a database program, create a Knowledge Base database, and have all your staff record the questions they’re asked into the database.
Choose 20 questions which are asked most often, then write Web content around those questions.
4. Pick others’ brains: have content brainstorming meetings.
For on-going content-creation ideas, ask for others’ input into your Web content. Set up monthly meetings to brainstorm content.
Alternatively, ask for suggestions. Give bonuses to people whose suggestions you use.
Remember that you can ask customers for what information they would like to see on your website. Create a form, and add links to the form to your website.
5. Get out of your office: talk to your customers, suppliers, and other business people.
You’ll be amazed at what you learn when you talk to people. Ask customers what they find challenging about your website.
One client, who sells shoes, discovered that customers wanted to know more about the shoes — how and where they were manufactured; the company’s policies on returns; better sizing information; and custom orders.
Ideas for Web content are everywhere. Forget about “writing”, just communicate. Your customers will appreciate it, and your sales will go up.