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The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Starting Your Website Content

How to write website content, even if you're a beginner

You have a brand-new website. Congratulations!

You may be wondering exactly how to write website content, though.

It’s a big job. Where do you start?

First, it’s important to understand the difference between static, unchanging website pages like your: 

  • Home page
  • About page
  • Contact page
  • Commerce-style pages like Store, Products, Services, or Work with Me

And website pages that update frequently like your:

  • Blog or podcast content

As we tackle this topic of how to write your website content, we’re going to focus on getting your static pages created first. We’ll get them done, published, and working for you, and then we’ll work on how to write a blog post and other frequently published content.

First, a reality check, my friend. If you’re feeling slightly terrified at the thought of writing all that website content, I get it.

There are few things more intimidating than looking at a big, blank website that you have fill with content. 

Never fear: This post will cover how to write a content for your website, even if it’s brand-spanking new.

How to write website content when your site is new (and blank!)

The way to tackle this job is to prioritize what you’ll focus on.

Here’s how to write website content, in order of priority:

  1. Create a Home page where people can land.
  2. Create an About page so visitors know who’s behind the website.
  3. Create a Contact page so people have a way to reach you.

Once these three pages are complete, you’ve covered the basics.

Now you can focus on adding pages that take longer to create.

The next website content you’ll focus on writing depends on where you are in your business growth.

If you already have products or services to sell, you could create what I call a Commerce page. This is a page that offers links to your products or services. It can take a variety of forms. It might be:

  • A Store page which displays all of your available products with links to purchase them
  • A Services page which explains the services you provide with links to find out more
  • A Work with Me page which details the kind of clients you help, how you work, and shares a way to take the first step toward working with you

If you don’t have anything ready to offer, no worries! You can skip directly to the next area of focus, your Content section.

By definition, this is the part of your website that will be updated frequently.

The most common content type (and the easiest kind to start with) is a blog.

If you’re wondering how to write a blog post, you have come to the right place! I’m going to cover that in detail in the next section.

What should be included in a blog post?

If you’ve never written a blog post before, the process can feel like a big mystery.

You may know a good blog post when you read one, but you may not be sure how to re-create it yourself.

I’ve written blog posts consistently since 2010. My work has appeared on some of the most high-traffic sites on the web, like Copyblogger, Duct Tape Marketing, Smart Blogger, and Problogger.

And I’ve written two much-loved books on content marketing, Master Content Marketing and Master Content Strategy.

I’ll let you in on a little secret that might surprise you …

For decades, I didn’t think I could write.

I was a graphic designer by trade.

I was naturally drawn to the visual side of marketing and became very good at creating logos, publications, brochures, annual reports, and newsletters.

But I was determined to build an online presence. To do that, I knew I had to figure out this “content marketing thing.”

That meant learning to write, even though I didn’t think I’d ever be good at it.

In order to learn from the masters, I started paying attention to the best blog content on the web. Over time, I began to see a pattern emerge.

I discovered that great blog posts — and effective content marketing — contained the same seven elements, over and over.

You can learn to master these seven essential elements of content marketing and use them in all the content you create for your website.

I’ll use a blog post as an example, but the same seven elements can be used to structure a podcast episode, a video (vlog) piece, and other frequently updated content.

Master these seven elements and you’ll know how to write website content that performs well and helps to grow your online business.

How to write a blog post: The 7 essential elements of effective content marketing

The best blog content contains all seven of the elements below.

Each section needs to be strong so it pulls its own weight and does the job it needs to do in your content.

How to write website content: Headline tips

1. Write a compelling headline

Want your blog to be clicked on and read?

Spend lots and lots of time (way more than you think) working on an engaging headline.

My favorite tools to use when I’m working on headlines are:

  • A plain text document where I can brainstorm 10-25 headline ideas
  • A site that allows me to “grade” and compare my best headline ideas. I like the Sharethrough headline analyzer.
  • Coffee! (Or tea). Seriously — writing headlines is hard work. Caffeinate as needed.

Headline resources:

How to write website content: First sentence tips

2. Craft an inviting first sentence

The very first sentence of your blog post is a make-or-break moment.

Keep it short, snappy, and casual. Write it like you’re writing to your best friend.

It needs to be inviting. It should be intriguing.

If it’s not, readers will click away and look elsewhere for their information.

First sentence resources:

How to write website content: Intro section tips

3. Add an intro section

You may not have noticed that most blog posts have an intro section.

The intro section serves as a transition between your first sentence and your main content.

This is the first place on the page where you’re asking the reader to settle in and commit to reading what you’ve written.

Use it to summarize what they’re about to learn. Give them a preview of why you’ll make it worth their while to consume your content.

Intro section resources:

How to write website content: Subhead tips

4. Write attention-getting subheads

Subheads are one of the most important ways you can make your online content easier to consume.

They serve as “signposts” that move the reader through your blog content.

(The podcast or video equivalent to subheads is the short introduction to a new section of the information being presented.)

In written content, subheads give people who are skimming through your written content a general idea of what it contains.

Subhead resources:

How to write website content: Main copy tips

5. Fill in your main copy

What do I mean by the “main copy?” It’s everything else.

It’s all the writing outside of the sections above and the sections below.

It’s the heart of your content, where you deliver the value you’ve promised.

Main copy resources:

How to write website content: Summary tips

6. Wrap it up with a summary

Here’s another content section you may not have noticed before, but the best content features it.

Toward the end of your content, it’s smart to summarize the topic you covered and move readers to the final content element — the call to action.

Your content summary is a way to look back and say, “Here’s what we covered.”

It’s a last opportunity to reinforce the information you shared so your reader retains it.

Summary resources:

How to write website content:Call to action tips

7. Add a call to action

Content marketing and blogging serve a business purpose.

Creating content helps your website get found on search engines. It attracts prospects to your business and it gives you a way to develop a trust-based relationship with them.

But if you don’t ask your readers to take action, you might as well skip the whole exercise!

Your call to action — placed at the very end of your content — will do this for you.

Call to action resources:

How to write website content like a pro

I hope that this simple breakdown was helpful. You don’t become a content pro overnight.

Take it day-by-day and build your website content in this order:

First, create the foundational pages that won’t change often

  • Build a Home page that explains who you help and how you help them
  • Create an About page so visitors can learn more about the person or people behind the website
  • Build a Contact page so people can reach out

Have something ready to sell?

Have something to offer? Build a Commerce page next.

Use this page to offer your products or services. You can add to it over time. And if you haven’t developed any offers yet, skip this step and get started with the next one.

Finally, begin publishing regular content

Once you have the basics in place, focus on creating and publishing content on a regular basis. The seven essential elements to include in each piece of content are:

  1. A compelling headline
  2. An inviting first sentence
  3. An intro section
  4. At least three subheads
  5. Your main copy
  6. A summary
  7. A call to action

Now that you know how to write website content, do me a favor? (And yes, this is a call to action!)

Click one of the colorful social sharing buttons here and share this content on your favorite social platform.

Remember, they’re only pixels

You may have always wondered how to write content for a website that’s brand new.

Staring at those blank web pages can feel incredibly daunting. But think of it like this — a blank page is an opportunity to carve out your own little corner of the web.

Remember, pixels are easy and fast to update. Don’t be afraid to create content and hit publish with the website content creation tips here.

NOTE: The illustrations in this post are taken directly from Master Content Marketing and were created by the brilliant D.J. Billings.

A complete website content checklist for beginners! Wondering about writing website content when your site is new? Pamela Wilson, author of Master Content Marketing, is here with a smart strategy for getting your website pages written and published in the right order. Click through for in-depth tips for planning and writing winning blog posts and content marketing. #onlinebusiness #contentmarketing

Pamela Wilson

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