Date Published: 23-Sept-2014 | By: Nancy R Jones
Informational content is very important for any business website, regardless of its size and industry. Good content motivates people to visit your website for information or to buy your products or services. It also builds goodwill with potential customers as you will be considered as subject matter expert.
Even search engines reward websites with quality content on a given subject. Google says small websites can beat large websites in search results. “It’s not the case that the smaller sites with superior content can’t outdo the larger sites. That’s how the smaller sites often become the larger sites.” said Matt Cutts, head of Webspam team at Google.
Now that you know the importance of quality content on your business website, you may be wondering how to create ‘superior content’. The first and the most important thing you should not do here is give up saying “I am busy with my regular business activities. I can’t devote time for content writing / I can’t write”.
Small business owners have subject matter expertise
Unlike big businesses where marketing managers and some content writers provide content, small business owners have to write for their website. As far as I know, small business owners have better pulse of their customers’ needs – they delve deeper into the issues, they can empathize with the customer’s situation and can offer more insightful tips or advice to their customers. They do a better job of addressing the customer queries.
Small business owners need to translate their knowledge into writing
Many small business owners though having subject knowledge, don’t know how to translate their knowledge into writing. If you are one among them, here are some tips for you.
Tips for small business owners on how to write
- First, list the topics you want to write on: Before you start writing, you need to know what you will write. List all the questions/queries your clients may have regarding your products/services or your industry. Pick each topic and write specifically on that topic. You can also write on FAQs and specific queries from your clients. You can analyze your industry and give your thoughts on the industry trends.
- Create an outline: Once you list out all the topics, pick the ones that are easy to execute and the ones in which you have good knowledge. Take a topic, give a good introduction and conclusion (write whatever comes to your mind – don’t worry about writing style, spelling and grammar errors). Put the article body in bullets (all major logical items) you are planning to write. See to it that logic flows properly.
- Start drafting the article: If you have time, start drafting based on the points you have written down. If not, sit on it for one day and pick it up next day. As per my experience, picking it next day is a good idea because you will get time to embellish the outline. Many times you will see yourself including points that you missed out earlier. Don’t forcibly sit to write content, write only when you feel like writing.
- Don’t focus much on grammar and writing style: Write whatever comes to your mind on the topic, don’t worry about grammar or writing style – write in your own words, don’t exaggerate, don’t try to over promote your products or services or your expertise. Once you finish drafting show it to one of your colleagues at office.
- Edit and proofread the article thoroughly: Next part involves editing and proofreading. It’s better to give it to someone else. A professional writer or editor is a good choice. This is where a lot of attention to detail is required – spelling, grammar and other things need to be corrected. Take help of editors, to do this job. Your job is to give your inputs/opinions as subject matter expert. Rest is to be done by a professional writer.
In this way you can create articles quickly that are valuable to your customers. As you keep on writing, you will notice you are able to improve and write more and better articles. In fact, your customers may not ask as many questions if they read up the article on your website. Or your staff can read and learn from the article and serve the client with the same way as you would have.