Your morning checklist: respond to client emails, create invoices for services rendered, monitor Google Analytics, queue social media posts for the day, answer more emails that just came in, work on that proposal, finalize details on a new project, more emails again, and, oh yeah, content for my website…
It’s easy to see how writing website content can fall to the wayside for many small business owners. You have a lot of demands on your time, and when you’re faced with the option of writing an invoice or writing a blog post, it’s obvious as to which one is going to win out.
Also, if you don’t know much about content writing, you’re probably going to feel like your efforts aren’t generating any conversions, and are a complete waste of time. You wouldn’t be alone in feeling this way, either. Many small business owners become frustrated with writing their own content. And, it is hard. Here are just a few reasons why so many small business owners struggle with content writing (and what can be done to fix these issues).
Forest for the Trees
This is a huge obstacle for many small business owners. You know your company better than anyone else. You were there in the startup days, brought it into being, and now, after seeing employees and partners come and go, you’re the only one who knows every aspect inside and out. When you sit down to write a blog post or an ‘About’ page, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. After all, how do you transmit all of those details and all of your passion into a two to three-hundred word post? It’s a challenge!
Tip: My favorite advice on this issue comes from marketing genius Marcus Sheridan. Think like a customer who knows nothing about the company. What 50 questions would they ask about you and your services? Turn those answers into your first 50 blog posts.
The 5 W’s
The point of Sheridan’s advice is to make blogging easy. If you are still at a loss on how to get the ball rolling with your content writing, make sure to answer the 5 W’s on your page: who/what/when/why/where. You can throw in a ‘how,’ for good measure, too.
Who: Your company and the people behind it. Make yourself interesting. Don’t be afraid to spice things up with a few non-business related pieces of info! Are you an architecture firm, but you also sponsor a model house building competition that uses toothpicks? Cool! Share it here.
What: What do you actually do? Be specific. Very specific. Know your “elevator pitch.” You would be surprised how clueless some people can be about your services. Though it seems like the most obvious thing in the world to you, some people will visit your website and simply not get it unless you sprinkle your site content with descriptions of your services. (Oh, by the way, Content Equals Money is a small content generation firm. That means we write your blog posts, articles, website pages, and a lot more!)
When: When did you open up shop? Let customers know why it’s significant that you opened up then. Also, what’s changed since then? Give your readers a good idea of your company’s timeline. Mention major expansions, developments, milestones, etc. Remember, your reader probably has no idea about any of this stuff.
Why: Why do you exist? Really. You. Chances are, someone else was providing the services you currently provide before you came along. Why are you on the market? Why should someone hire you/purchase from you?
Where: Where are you located and what areas are you targeting? Remember, you’re not advertising in the local paper. You could very well be writing for a global audience. If this is the case, act like it. Writing globally is a completely different ballgame. If you only want local business, it’s okay to make this clear in your writing. In fact, you should. The fewer questions your customers have about the nature of your business, the better.
If you implement the 5 W’s well, you might find yourself saying…
“I Sound Like I’m Boasting.”
Many small business owners make this remark. “Every time I write content for my website it just sounds like I’m boasting.” You’re modest; that’s nice. But, guess what? It’s time to do a little bragging. No, you don’t want to sound like a braggart, but it’s okay to talk about yourself. Writing about the 5 W’s in an effective and informative way might sound like bragging to you, but it won’t sound that way to others. Now is the time, and your website is the place for this kind of behavior.
Tip: Don’t be afraid to tell potential customers how awesome you are. If your content doesn’t have a little pep in between the lines, no customer is going to simply infer that it’s there!
Focus on CTA’s & Conversion
You can write about yourself all day long if you want. It can be interesting and informative. You could even have a rather large readership. However, it’s all worthless if you don’t have a strong call to action (CTA).
Every single page on your website, every single blog post, needs to encourage a potential customer to become your customer. Though you’re writing to be friendly and informative (which is key), your content writing has to have a greater agenda. Make sure your audience knows exactly what you want them to do at the end of every piece. This can be a challenge for many small business owners, and there’s definitely a learning curve with the process.
HubSpot has a great post about writing content with strong CTA’s. HubSpot advises you use plenty of verbs, numbers, and less than 150 characters (hardly any longer than a Tweet). The more clear and direct you can be, the better!
If you’re still thinking, “I don’t know that I’m up for writing content for my website,” then that’s okay. If you have a lot on your plate, insourcing your content to a content writing service can be a smart strategic move that doesn’t just save you time, but also generates results.
If you’re looking to hire a professional content writing service, you’ve come to the right place!
Do you have questions about getting started with your own content? If so, let those burning questions out in the comments section below, and we’ll help you out!