Quick Guide: How to Craft Web Content for Your Small Business

It’s not hard to write web content and there’s so much information on the internet these days to help you along. Here are some quick and easy tips to help you understand the easiest process. And it’s a process that’s across the board, no matter what your business is.

Speak to your target audience

Web users are looking for something specific, e.g. solutions to their problems or things to fulfil their desires. It’s obvious right? However, I still see a plethora of sites that only advertise or promote their ‘fabulous’ services or products, without speaking to the web reader. So, always speak to your target reader as if that person is sitting next to you. Have a conversation. Understand your reader’s problems and desires.

Keep your web content relevant

If people land on your site and find information of interest and relevance to their problem or need, then they’re much more likely to scroll down through your content – and actually read what’s there! Bloggers harp on about having as much text as possible in their blogs, but the truth is that it’s not about length or how many words there are on a page – it’s the relevance of those words. That’s what will keep your readers scrolling down for more.

Be as clear as you can

Have a good look at your website. Is it easy to navigate? Does your web user know where to go to find information? If you want your reader to take action, is it clear what sort of action? Your content might be fabulous, but if your reader can’t navigate easily, all is lost. So, aim for clarity in your writing and aim for clarity in your website structure. Both are vital. Clarity also reflects your own clear business thinking. I’ve seen many sites that are so cluttered and complex that I click away immediately – who wants to do business with a company that’s so muddled?

Each web page is a doorway

Remember that web users can turn up at any of your site’s pages depending on how they find you. So, clarity of content and navigation is vital. And make sure that your visitors know exactly where they are – use your logo and head your page content clearly. Never allow a reader to be lost.

The rest is relaxed mental play

The more I write copy for websites, the easier it gets – and that’s because I enjoy researching and using simple processes. Advice: Don’t mix left and right hemispheres of the brain when you’re writing content. And do your writing work in sessions:

Left brain mode

  • Session 1: Research your reader, write points to solve your reader’s problems or desires.
  • Session 2: Research your competitors (just to get an idea, but don’t pinch their material!).
  • Session 3: Create a structure for your web content (simply create some simple subheads that are easily scannable and that carry benefits for your reader.

Right brain mode

  • Session 1: Play with your research by crafting it into intelligible, simple sentences. Break up the length of sentences so there’s movement and music (to whatever degree you can). You don’t need loads of training to do this. Read what other copywriters write in reputable websites. Hear the sound of their words and sentences and note how they create benefit-driven text to help or serve their readers.
  • Session 2: Go back and tweak the text, add links and a summary – add a clear way for your reader to take action. Remember, most readers only scan, so just keep them moving in the right direction.
  • Session 3: Add some graphics. Have fun! And make sure you take a break in between sessions. Go for a walk, play with the dog or cat. Keep yourself light and allow your natural creativity to flow.

Action
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What is the Real Secret of Great Copywriting?

More than 90 percent of copywriting work is actually done before you write a single word!
Great copywriting is not mysterious or magical. And while formulas can be useful to get a structure in place, great copywriting certainly doesn’t hinge on templates or formulas.

The truth behind great copywriting is a tad on the prosaic side: Research. Yep, it sounds dull, but it’s actually great fun and very absorbing – a bit like putting together a jigsaw (only easier).

What does effective research involve?
Start finding the answers to the following and you’ll be streets ahead:

  • Understand the product or service from a beneficial viewpoint. How will it help the client?
  • Make a list of features and benefits. Understand the difference (clients are interested in benefits – they only look at features after they’ve made an emotional decision about the product or service).
  • Ask: Why is the product unique? If it seems like lots of other products or services then try to find a unique angle or offer within it.
  • Ask: Who is your ideal or potential customer? Make a list of characteristics. What are their emotions and desires? How can you solve their problems with your product?
  • Tone: how would you speak to that person if you sat down with a cup of coffee and chatted about your product? Aim to keep the tone conversational.

Rewards of research
Your efforts to collect this background information will be greatly rewarded. Even if you’re not a professional writer and running your own small business with limited services or products, just an hour of research will completely and radically change the way you present your business to a client. It sounds obvious to do this background work, however surprisingly few business owners actually sit down and research their products or services properly. They might simply pump out a few bland paragraphs that sound contrived (not a good idea). They might rely on a professional copywriter to do the writing for them – and that’s great – but it’s also vital to supply a copywriter with the best information available, to get the best results.

Benefits of research for you (the copywriter)
If you’re a copywriter there’s nothing more unproductive than plonking yourself down in front of the computer and trying to figure out what to write. This goes for any kind of writer, from technical to creative. You just need to get greedy for research material – and tons of it if possible. That saves mental energy just by knowing that you’ve got heaps of fabulous data or information to draw from. Empty wells do nothing.

Dig for the gold within that research
Aim to find the hidden gold within your research – extract the nuggets. Develop this gold to add depth and emotion to your writing. Enrich your copywriting in this way and your readers will be inspired and intrigued. During this process you’ll be using the creative side of your brain (even if you’re writing techy stuff).

Then all you need to do is tweak and play with the text
Yes, you can enjoy the process when it gets creative. I hereby give you permission! Tweaking the final draft is where you check that your subheads tell a story in themselves, where you can draw your reader closer into your copywriting world. This is where you adapt your writing for the right media: whether it’s web writing, print or something else.

How to Write About Your Wellness Business (and Grow Personally)

Promoting and marketing a wellness business can be challenging, if not daunting! As a copywriter focusing on the wellness industry, I meet a lot of business owners who struggle in the following areas:

  • Writing promotional material
  • Writing blogs and articles
  • Writing pages for their website

Professionals running health and wellness services have a specific set of skills. They’re usually highly trained, dedicated, and care deeply about their clients. Providing treatment is their strength. Offering professional help with health is their strength. The last thing they want is to get stressed about marketing their business – it detracts from their services.

Unfortunately, from what I’ve discovered (speaking with wellness biz owners), writing about health or wellness services can be a major obstacle in business growth.

Do you fall into any of the following?

  • You don’t feel competent to write
  • You don’t enjoy writing
  • You can’t afford a professional writer
  • You don’t feel confident to hire a professional writer

You’re not alone if you’ve agreed to any of the above.

Writing about your business (or service) is a therapy in itself

The truth is that writing is a therapy in itself – not a burden or a chore – and you can grow as a therapist or teacher from just a few minutes of writing daily. And as an added bonus, you can turn your writing into a promotion tool! An authentic promotional tool – not some scaled up version of the truth.

The thing is – it’s not that hard to write about your services. Training as a health professional, you must have written something of value at some point – just to pass your exams! You don’t have to be hugely literate. You don’t have to be a novelist. In fact, promotional writing is very simple. The language and grammar just need to be kept simple, but styled in a certain way.
Writing solution 1: Keep a mini-journal

Keep a journal of your working day – even just minimal bullet points from your class, treatment, challenges, victories, joys and sorrows. Use a small notepad that you can carry around with you, or use your phone/device.
Benefits of keeping a journal:

  • Makes you a better therapist/teacher
  • Makes you a more aware business owner
  • Helps you tune into your clients’ needs
  • Helps you to open layers inside yourself (i.e. the subconscious)

Writing solution 2: Write about your clients’ needs, desires and pain-points

What happens when you put yourself into your client’s shoes? What’s their specific need or suffering? Write your impressions down as you interview your client (or after your meeting). Make random notes. Try things. Sometimes it helps to be humorous, or light, in your writing and communication. Sometimes it’s better to identify with their suffering and provide solutions.

Writing solution 3: Write your own honest story

This is where you can start writing for your own website (blogs, content, ‘about’ page etc).

What’s your story? As a therapist/teacher you have a story. You are a human being! Clients and students will love to read about ‘your story’. This includes your struggles, victories, and how you turned your own personal failures into successes (or maybe didn’t!). You might not want to appear less than perfect to your clients but being honest is the best marketing tool. Be discreet of course! Don’t spill your darkest truths all over the page. But remember that transparency is the best policy. People can see straight through hype and pretension.

Writing solution 4: Write a case study or testimonial (pure promotional gold)

Clients are just like everyone else – they love to read positive uplifting stories. And to read about some unlucky soul who has been helped or transformed by your teaching or treatment – well, that’s pure gold for your business. The promotion does its own job. You only need to ask your client to fill in a few words about how you’ve helped them (e.g. a feedback form). For a full case study, you might need to interview your client.

Case studies can give extra special layers to your story (nuggets of gold). And you’re not faking the benefits because your client has written them down – in fact, your client has actually done the promotional work for you! All you might need to do is edit (or get someone to edit for you). Then put these amazing case studies or testimonials on your website.

Writing solution 5: Read other blogs and content from your competitors

You can learn so much from reading other blogs and related material. Google your competitors and see what they have on their websites. Sometimes you might be surprised at how poorly written some of it is! Try to look at both good and bad to see what’s working and what’s not.

Also look at successful competitors’ Facebook and Twitter posts. Learn from them. Get inspired.

Writing solution 6: Trade skills
For those who don’t want to write more than a few jots, think about trading skills. Do any of your students/clients have advertising/writing/website/marketing skills? Could you test out someone and see if it works for you both?

What next? What to do with your written notes and random jottings?

If you want to create a blog, article or page for your website, once you’ve got your jottings down it’s a wise idea to get a qualified writer to prepare the material for your website, so that it’s written for search engines to find (this is called SEO writing, which means Search Engine Optimisation writing). You don’t have to spend a fortune getting someone to do this for you. It’s easy to find an inexpensive freelance writer on fiverr.com or freelancer.com.

Or you can contact me here! I specialise in writing for the wellness markets.

In summary

Writing for your wellness business can be a powerful therapy in itself, helping you to grow as a professional therapist/teacher. Regularly jotting down observations, thoughts and insights into working with a client can positively change the way you relate to people. Your personal development is as important as your business growth. Through the suggestions outlined above, you can go a long way (even without being a trained writer) towards easier, and often free, promotion.

Writing will also help you to start expressing yourself on a more personal level. This leads to you becoming a better provider, in whatever business you’re in.

Get proactive. Break the bubble. Write – and grow.

And promote your services at the same time!

Please do share this blog if you have found it valuable. And feel free to send any comments. I love to hear feedback!

How to Write Simple, Effective Articles for the Wellness Market

The benefits of writing your own material

You may or may not have writing skills. Even if you don’t, it’s still a worthwhile exercise to write down what you want in an article (and then possibly hire a writer to put it together for you).

Some benefits of writing for your own wellness business

While you may need the help and perspective of a professional writer, there are several benefits to consider before passing all your writing work on.

  • You know your biz and only you really know your vision for it
  • If you’re struggling with direction, writing will help to clarify your vision
  • You know your customers and their problems
  • Putting your thoughts into words can help you grow as a person and a wellness provider

Your target reader is important

Before starting, have a clear picture of your reader.  Who are you writing for? People who are interested in yoga – right? People who want to be healthy, positive and happy. People who want to look good and feel amazing. You might be targeting a certain age group or perhaps groups with specific health issues.

Stop, think and visualise. You’ve got your reader’s face (use one of your existing customers if need be). How would you speak to him or her? Now use that language style in your writing.

Create effective paragraph headings

Create effective paragraph subheadings (you can change these later if need be) and ensure that  these headings are easy to scan and that your reader will get the gist of what’s actually happening in the paragraph.

If you’re struggling with getting ideas for these subheads, then do a google search on your topic to get a dropdown of google suggestions (this dropdown list suggested is by google as they are phrases that people are typing in to find specific information).

Click on the phrase that is closest to your chosen topic and view the organic search results (i.e. the first page of results that google brings up).

For example, if I type in ‘yoga content writer’ I get an organic search results page of various sites and posts that I can scroll through, as shown in this screenshot:

Picture

What the above actually shows is not just the page heading, but the meta descriptions (i.e. the text underneath the headings). From this, you can easily see what words or phrases are being searched for.

You can then make a short list of some of these keywords and key phrases, and use them in your paragraph headings.

You can also use them in the main text, but take care not to cram your article with keywords. Use them in ways that makes sense within the context of your article.

List benefits near the beginning of your article

Bulleted (or numbered) points are advisable for any article you’re working on. This is because most readers skim and will be attracted quickly to benefits, without having to sift through long, arduous paragraphs of text.

Don’t make your reader work hard. Your text should flow like silk. Your reader will most likely only read a fraction of your article. You need to highlight benefits clearly and simply. Learn more about this here.

Do inspire and educate your reader

The articles that stay with me are the ones that inspire me most. If I walk away from reading an article or blog that has actually changed my life in some way (for the better!), then I will remember it, share it with others, and possibly bookmark it for future reference. This is great for your rankings and credibility. It’s also great for your karma! In the wellness market, people should be uplifted, transformed or healed.

Do add links to quality online articles or blogs

If possible, include links to useful websites that are in sync with your article, that will further help and inspire others. If you’re writing a print article, you can add references to websites at the end.

Do include a summary at the end

Wrap up your article with a brief, but good quality summary. You may be surprised how many readers will firstly scroll to the end of your article to see if it sums up anything that they might be interested in. If your summary is relevant to them, they’ll most likely return to the full article and read it thoroughly.

Read more about how people read online here (it’s an eye-opener).

To summarise

Writing articles for your own business gets easier with practice. Writing effective articles can be made much easier if you follow tried and true guidelines, as outlined above.

Even if you just throw all your ideas down and then hire a writer to make sense of it it – that’s fine. But try to DIY and see how the writing process helps you to define your vision, and develops your own direction. You may be surprised at your own talent! Give it a go.

How to write a quality yoga blog (in 50 minutes without sweating)

You don’t have much time to research or craft prize-winning blogs. And your reader doesn’t have time to linger on each sentence.

But you do need a quality yoga blog (or article) for your website which is also optimised for search engines – right?

And by the way, the more blogs you write, the quicker you will become. Some people can create quality blogs in 20 minutes! (I’m working on that myself.)

You can also take advantage of my free yoga blog template to speed up your output time.

Ready? Get the timer out, straighten your spine, take a deep breath and let’s stretch those ‘writing’ muscles . . .

Step 1: Keywords (5 mins)

Type out a short list of keywords or phrases that you anticipate people will be typing into the google search bar (if you need help with this, then click here to learn more about keywords.)

Step 2: Add loose headings (5 mins)

Don’t try to think too much at this stage, just throw down some headings to give your blog structure (you can change them later if need be). Aim to add a keyword and benefit into some of your headings.

Step 3: Create content (20 mins)

Put down text, even if it’s just in bullets points at this stage. You can also paste text from other quality sites to give your blog structure and get your inspiration flowing, but know that you must change this later to avoid plagiarism. Aim for at least 500 words if possible.

Step 4: Tweak (20 mins)

  • Check that you’ve sprinkled keywords and phrases into your content (not over-stuffing though, just making sure that you’ve got keywords in the title and the first paragraph in particular).
  • Check that you’ve got some benefits towards the beginning. Bullet points are a great for listing benefits, as they’re easier for you and more scannable for the rapid reader.
  • Remember to proofread (or get someone else to help you if your spelling/grammar is dodgy).
  • Add a nice image to your blog if possible. There are heaps of free yoga images on the internet. I often use Pixabay.


Do you need a set of fresh eyes on your yoga blog (for free)?

I remember the first blog writing assignment I had to submit (as part of my Diploma). It took me ages to fiddle and tweak it.

If you want to email me your first yoga blog, please feel free. No charge. No strings attached. I’ll give it a thorough read and send back to you with comments. Just remember to include your keywords and phrases at the top of the page, so that I can check them.

I’ve got tons of experience writing about yoga, so I feel confident that I can offer useful advice.

And without going overboard or getting into anything scary, I can also offer my blog writing or content creation services for your yoga business.

What is SEO writing (in a nutshell)?

Take a deep breath: SEO writing is not as hard as it sounds. It belongs to the field of copywriting, and is an excellent way for freelancers to earn some extra dollars.

Website owners need SEO copywriters (they just don’t know it yet)

Take a look at some of the articles out there in cyberspace, and they’ll make your hair stand on end. Business owners often write their own material, and even if the content is good, 90% of the time they have no idea how to write for the web or search engines.

People untrained in SEO writing will often either stuff their content with keywords, or not know how to use keywords at all. They end up with text that no one can find, and Google may lower their site ranking through over-usage of keywords.

If you have good writing skills (which can by learned by the way), then all you need to do is angle your articles or blogs so that they comply with SEO rules. Simple as that.

What are keywords?

When you are searching for something on the internet, the words or phrase fragments that you type into the search box are keywords. You’ll also notice that Google will usually offer suggestions as you type. These are all commonly used keywords.

How to write for SEO

  • Brief the client about what articles or blogs they want on their website.
  • Get relevant keywords and keyword phrases (your client should give you these, or you may need to research keywords).
  • Aim for a minimum of 500 words.
  • Research useful and accurate information and add your own unique angle/spin. Do not plagiarise!
  • Add keywords: Weave and sprinkle keywords (especially the title, subheadings and first paragraph) – but don’t overstuff the copy with keywords. Keep it subtle and intelligible. Use keyword synonyms as well.
  • Go back over your draft and ensure that your paragraphs are small (3-4 lines max) and that your sentences are shortish and easy to read. Check that you’ve added scannable subheads and created a captivating title for your article (which includes an important keyword or phrase)

You’re done! 

Proofread your SEO content

I know this sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised how many typos and punctuation errors I see on articles EVERY DAY. It’s scary and it will lose you clients fast. If you have software like Grammarly installed, then it will definitely help. (Being a cheapskate, I use the free version of Grammarly.)

Avoid plagiarism through a checker (there are many programs available online).

Advanced SEO writing (read this if you want to take a step further)

“One of the biggest challenges that bloggers and content marketers face is writing content that’s optimized for search engines, yet will also appeal to people.” – Neil Patel

Basically, you need to write for human beings before you write for search engines. This might again sound embarrassingly obvious, but is too often overlooked.

How to write SEO for human beings

  • Visualise your target readers face/age/occupation/needs/desires (at least a couple of these points).
  • With your keywords and phrases in the back (or front) of your mind, just put your first draft together fast.
  • Then go back and sprinkle your keywords into the text, including the title and headings.
  • Aim to extend the word count while maintaining high quality (no waffle or padding).
  • Add useful external links to give your readers more scope.

And never stop learning. Read high quality blogs on this subject to keep up-to-date with the latest SEO copywriting news.

Disclaimer: I do not endorse any of the affiliated links in the above article – they are merely suggestions from my own experience.