Business Magazine

The Write Stuff – 8 Things to Consider When Creating Online Content

Posted on the 04 July 2013 by Onqmarketing @onqmarketing

You have started your own business. You’ve invested in a fancy new website and it looks amazing. You’ve spent all day monitoring traffic to, and most of it can be traced back to your mother. You Google “successful business” and find over a million posts devoted to the importance of creating content in order to enhance your online presence. You can create content; you kept a diary for most of your teenage years. Just start a blog and write! Right?


Writing copy that reflects your business and drives traffic to your site requires some thought. Here are 8 things to consider before creating your online content:


Who else is writing about your chosen topic? Can you offer a fresh perspective or more useful information? If you can’t; choose another topic.

Only write when you have something interesting to say. Posting copy for the sake of it is a complete waste of time, and your readers will know if you are simply regurgitating content.

Your target audience

Are you writing for existing clients, potential customers, colleagues, suppliers? Why would they read your post and what do you want them to do afterwards? Are you trying to drive traffic to your site and make a sale, or create a community around your business? These things will determine the kind of content you generate.
Once you decide who your target audience is, think about how you can gain and maintain their attention. These things will help:


This is arguably the most important part of your copy. A good headline will make it clear to the reader what your site is about, and if it is relevant to them. So while it is tempting to write something like 10 WAYS TO MAKE A MILLION DOLLARS IN 10 DAYS to grab their attention, you will not sustain their interest when they discover you are actually writing about ethically sourced yoghurt, and they will not revisit your site. Not even when they are in the market for some ethically sourced yoghurt.
The headline should let readers know that your post will give them the information they require, and that it will be easy to read. Humour is always effective, unless your business is funerals, but it is important to be specific. Consider these two headlines:

i) An informative article about creating easy to read copy for your website, blog or Facebook page
ii) 8 things to consider when creating online content
Which headline makes you want to read more? This brings me to my next point:

Keep it simple

People do not read web copy the same way they read a book; they go online to access information quickly and easily. So it is important to post something that is easy to scan. This means writing short paragraphs made up of short sentences. Bullet points will:
• make your post easy to navigate and
• help readers digest information quickly.
Posting links will help your readers find other relevant information. Avoid management speak at all costs; you will only alienate your target audience, or bore them to death.

Grammar and spelling

I will buy tomato’s from a greengrocer who misuses the apostrophe, but I am less likely to give my business to someone who has misspelt their entire homepage. If you can’t be bothered to proofread your copy, how much effort will you put into other aspects of your business? Incorrect spelling and grammar make you look like an amateur, and there is no excuse for it; we all have spellcheck. Where spelling and grammar are concerned, a little bit of effort will go a long way.


If the words search engine optimisation have you lying under your desk in foetal position breathing into a paper bag, you are not alone. It’s hard enough to write compelling copy without worrying that it appears in the right search engines. But it isn’t as overwhelming as it sounds; if your article is about vintage Tupperware, make sure these words appear in your heading, your first paragraph, and your Meta description. If you have just asked yourself “What the hell is a Meta description?” click here.
Remember; every time you blog/tweet/ update your Facebook status, you affect other people’s perception of your business. So you want to make sure your writing is consistent. Which brings me to my last point:

Outsource it

You are a business owner, not a professional writer. If you find that you are spending all of your time writing when you could be hiring/firing/buying/selling/building/tearing things down, you might want to consider outsourcing your marketing material to a professional.
Find a copywriter who is willing to take the time to understand your business, let them create compelling online content, and tell your mother she can stop visiting your website.

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