It’s one of the unavoidable realities of being an entrepreneur & running a website – writing web content.
You probably procrastinate when first attempting it or psych yourself out thinking ‘I’m not a writer.’ When you finally do sit down and actually write it you, you’re not happy with the results. It’s dry & overly salesy sounding like someone is yelling ‘look at me, look at me!’
You know you need to change your approach to writing web content so your audience gets the most out of your website. The secret is to look at things from a new perspective. Start looking at writing your content as less about trying to make a sale & more about welcoming someone into your home.
When you’re welcoming someone into your home you’re not overly pushy or obnoxious rather you ‘re, well,yourself. You go out of your way to make sure your guest feels at home, treat them with respect & are gracious at every moment. It’s about making them feel comfortable and at every step of the way you work to make sure that happens.
Greet Them With a Smile
The headline is the first impression your visitors see on you website & you already know what they say about first impressions. A headline should be the most welcoming piece of content you have on your web pages or post. It should evoke an emotional response that turns the viewer on to read more. Sure, there more that goes into a headline like SEO keyword considerations & making the viewer curious enough to keep reading. However, the first step should be focusing on the emotion you want your prospect to feel.
When you first open the door to your home to someone you’ll usually greet them with a ‘hello’ & a smile. Your headline(s) should work in the same way. An overall welcome to the page with an underlying thanks for stopping by. You can do this by choosing more emotional words to inject into your headline(s).
Once you’ve welcomed your audience in the next step is to make them feel comfortable. If your headline is like holding a door for someone then body copy should show them the respect they deserve.
At this point in the process you should know the purpose of the piece of content you’re writing. You’ve injected the proper emotions into the headline & now you want to build on it without insulting your user.
The Animal Kingdom (Psychology)
There are theories out there about how you should treat your website visitors like animals hunting their prey. The whole point being they have an intended target (the question they want answered) & they’ll stalk their prey until they capture it (get the solution solved.) While this is a valid simplistic theory, I always thought human’s were at the top of the food chain?
The first rule of writing persuasive website copy is to understand on the other side of that screen is a living, breathing human being. When you start off writing the beginning of your copy think of it as offering your guest a comfortable seat & maybe even a drink. You want them to enjoy their experience & feel good a bout visiting your site.
It may seem foreign at the beginning staring at a screen thinking you’re writing to an actual person & not just typing word into nowhere. But, if you keep in mind that you’re writing to someone that has emotions you can play off of & psychology you can use to better position your copy you’ll be set up for success.
One of the greatest indirect benefits of thinking like this is that you keep in mind that your prospect, like you, do have real human problems including no time on their hands.
There’s only 1440 minutes in a 24 hour period and your website visitor, just like you, only has so much time on their hand. Keep this in mind at every step of the content creation process. In fact, research has shown that in our smartphone addicted world our attention spans is only about 8 seconds which is less than a goldfish. If you add that in with the demanding time contraints of your audience you’ll soon realize that you should just get to the point and quickly.
To combat these time issues here are 3 actions you can employ in your content:
1. Write for Scanners
- Use headlines, subheads, bullet & numbered lists.
2. Put the Most Important Information First:
- Make sure your reader knows what your content is about & why it matters within the first sentence
3. Don’t Be a Magician:
- When everything is stripped down to its essence the user only asks two questions: Is it what I’m looking for? & What’s in it for me? Make sure they can find the important information easily.
Keep it Simple
At the beginning of everyone’s writing journey there’s some sort of psychological need to write using fancy big words we’d never say in a conversation. We want to be seen as the intellectual writer we are. Fight this innate need to do this and work to sound like everyone else. Write like your having a conversation, this is not the time to be a wordsmith.
It’s okay to use short sentences & paragraphs. And, you’ll want to use simple words we all use in everyday life. Try to stay away from industry jargon & remember you’re speaking with someone who is not in your industry. The point really is to be blatantly obvious in your writing. Again, it’s like you’re in the middle of a conversation. Your audience has asked you a question and your content is you just answering it.
Writing web content is all about getting out of your head & writing for another human. If you treat your website like your house and remember you’re inviting your prospect in it should be much easier to write something valuable. When you do it right it will boost your business’s online presence resulting in more website traffic.
It doesn’t have to be a scary or hard task as long as you put in a little work & some thoughtful thinking you’ll be on your way to getting those all important clicks.
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