A notebook and pen sitting on a desk next to a laptop and a cup of tea

How to create content for your new website

Creating content for your new website is a crucial step in this process of building a website.

Content is the most important part of any website. Not the design, not the flashy animations, not the cool colors.

Content is what is going to convince someone to buy your product or service. If you’re a freelancer, your website’s content is what will help someone make the decision to hire you.

And unfortunately this part of the process seems to get lost in the shuffle a lot, and it slows down the website build process. Don’t be that client.

So in this post let’s break down what you can do right now to start to create content for your new website so you’re prepared and can get your new site launched quicker.

Why content matters for your website

Content is the most important part of your website. It’s what people really want to see on your website.

You can have the absolute best website design in the world, but if your website doesn’t have any content or has bad content, it doesn’t matter. It’s a bad website.

The content on your website is what’s going to convince people to buy from you or work with you or hire you. It gives the reader a really good idea of what you do, how you do it and how what you do can help them with whatever problem they might be having.

And photos and videos can go the extra mile and really show what you do and how your services or products can help someone. Plus, creating a series of videos highlighting and showing your process and posting them to YouTube can also get you discovered there.

Content is the most important part of any website. Not the design. Not the fancy animations. Not the tech stack underneath.

As someone who wants to build a new website, your primary task is to make sure you have great content ready to go for the site. So take the time to actually think about the content for the new site. By reading this blog post, you’re already taking that first step.

Create a list of content you need for your website

So now that we know why content is so important for your new website, let’s make sure you’re ready with your content by thinking through what content you might need for your website and turning that into a list of content you’ll need to create.

Determine the pages that you want to have on your website

The first thing you need to do when it comes to content on your new website is to create a plan. If you’ve read my posts about creating a website, you’ll know that everything good starts with a plan.

You need to figure out what pages you’re going to have on your website. If you already have an existing website, you can start there.

If not, you know you’re going to need a homepage, an about page, a contact page and maybe a meet the team page at the very least. If you’re creating an online store, you’re going to need a store page, checkout page, account page and product pages. If you’re going to have a blog, you’ll also need a blog home page (but you don’t necessarily need to worry about the blog posts yet).

We’ll get to the part about creating a list, but start to think about all of the pages you’re going to need to have on your website.

Figure out the products/services you’ll have on the website

Also, if you have services, you need to have pages for each of those services to show and tell what you can do for your clients and customers. You’ll need to work to get the copy just right to convince people to fill out your lead generation form and take the next step.

Talk about a pain point they might have and how this service can fix that. That can create an emotional connection that can help them make the decision to purchase your service.

Also, make sure that you have photos of the service in progress, especially if there is a visual component of the service. That way people can have a better idea of what to expect when they choose you.

Another good thing is to create a good layout for the page. It doesn’t need to be fancy. In fact, simpler is better. But make sure to break up your text by using columns and photos. Walls of text can be really intimidating.

Finally, make sure you have some sort of action for the user to take — fill out a lead generation form, call you, purchase something. That is the goal of that page and it’s how people are going to go from interested readers to customers or clients.

If you’re selling products online, you’ll need to create content for each product that describes what the product is, what it does and how it can help your customers.

You’ll want to make sure you have high-quality photos of the product. Once again, first impressions matter, and showing a great photo of the product and having photos of the product in action can help someone make the decision to buy it.

Also, you’ll want to have well-written description text that says what it does and how it can help a customer. You’d be surprised how much this can make a difference, especially for people who might not be able to see the product.

But make sure your product page really shows off your product in the best way possible. This is your chance to get them to make the decision to buy the product. You can learn more about how to craft the perfect product page from a video I published a while ago.

Create a list of what you’re going to need

Once you’ve thought about all of the pages and other pieces of content that you’ll need for the website, it’s time to turn those thoughts into an actual list of content.

Write down all of the pages that you’re going to have on your website. If you’re going to be selling products online, make sure that you write those down too.

Also, it’s a good idea to note what the purpose of each page is going to be as well as tack on any photos, videos or other content that might be needed on those pages. Everything in your head should be written down on this list.

This list doesn’t need to be fancy. Simple pen and paper will work. I would suggest creating a spreadsheet to keep track of each page, what you need for each page and the status of each page. As long as you and whoever else is working on the website can understand your list, you’ll be good to go.

But make sure that you write down all of the pages you need content for so you keep track of everything.

Think about photos and videos

You also need to think about photos and videos for your website. Both of them, and especially photos, can be a great way to catch someone’s eye and keep them on your website. And unless you’re creating a simple blog or other really simple website, you’re going to have at least a couple of images on your website.

So figure out what pages will need to have photos and what types of specific shots you might need for those pages. From there, you can create a shot list and hire a professional photographer to take those high-quality photos for the website.

With video, it really depends on what you want for your business. If you decide to have a video or two on your website, you’ll need to hire a professional to create those videos for you. It is worth paying a bit extra to make sure your videos are professional quality.

But make sure you also think about photos and videos when it comes to your website content.

Creating content for your website

So now we’ve gotten to the point of actually creating the content for your website.

While there are a lot of different ways that you can go about that, here are some things you need to keep at the front of your mind while you’re building out that content.

First, make sure spelling and grammar are correct. No one likes to read content that has a lot of spelling and grammar mistakes. I will bounce quickly if I come across a website like that. So take the time to proofread your content before you add it to the website. And maybe even have someone else look over it as well.

Next, keep it simple. You don’t need to write the world’s next novel. You just need to create content that’s going to convince people to buy your products or services. Simpler is always better in this situation.

Another thing to do is to use active voice as much as possible. This page from the University of Wisconsin gives you a great breakdown of active versus passive voice. But make sure you have as much active voice as possible in your content.

Next, make sure you’re using paragraph breaks please. No one wants to read a single wall of text. Make sure you break your content into paragraphs. And to go back on what you might have learned in grade school, a paragraph doesn’t have to be five sentences. It can be three or two or one sentence or even one word. But it makes for a better reading experience.

Also, make sure that you stick to the point for that page. Don’t wander off to some other topic on your about page. Keep it to the point, and if you’re answering a question, make sure that you actually answer the question.

Finally, if you’re using WordPress, you can use the Yoast SEO plugin to make sure that you’re onpage SEO and readability are as high as you can get them. The plugin will tell you if you’re good or not and how to improve that page’s content.

But do make sure that you take the time to get this part of the process right.

Hire a professional if you need to

Also, you really might want to consider hiring a professional to create this content for you.

As we’ve mentioned, your content is the most important part of your website, so it’s critical that this is done correctly.

A professional copywriter can easily craft the perfect content for all of your pages that will be interesting and informative and convince someone to buy your products or become your client. And it will likely be better than what you can come up with, unless you really know how and love to write.

Also, writing content is going to take a decent amount of time. And the time you spend trying to create this content yourself — either with writing or shooting and editing photos and videos — is time that you’re not spending running and growing your business.

It’s not the end all be all if you can’t bring in a professional to create this content, especially if you don’t have the resources for it. But it’s just something that you’ll want to keep in mind.

A word of warning about AI writing

So at the time of writing this post, AI is the new “hot” thing in tech, particularly ChatGPT.

People are already using it to write blog posts, marketing copy and even books. It’s a bit crazy and all over the place. And to be honest, I have given it a shot as a test, but I’m not including it in any content I write.

But beware of the temptation to use ChatGPT and similar AI software when creating your content. As easy as it might seem from others using it, there are dangers when adding AI content to your website.

First, AI isn’t perfect. There have been numerous examples of ChatGPT being completely wrong with the answers that it gives a user. You can’t count on AI being correct all of the time, especially when facts matter.

Plus, it’s not able to have emotion. It can’t write copy (i.e. content) that’s going to appeal to someone’s emotion, which can be a key in converting someone into a customer or client. That’s still something only humans can do.

Finally, Google is updating its algorithm to catch AI written content and will dock you for any AI content. That’s too risky for me to try to use on my website, and it should be the same for you.

If you’re going to use ChatGPT or any AI to write your content, I would recommend that you only use it for small chunks and for quick summaries. In fact, it’s not the worst thing to try it out for creating excerpts for your blog post to use on social media.

But just be careful with AI.

Get started with your new website with the Small Business Website Starter Kit

Are you ready to start creating your business’ new website today? Do you have your content ready and are looking for help creating the new website? Are you looking to get the website up quickly and for a price that will fit your budget?

Then you’ll want to take a look at the Small Business Website Starter Kit.

This service will give you a WordPress website with a design that will match your plan for your business’ website. The website will also come with solid SEO under the hood, security, accessibility and more. Plus, there are add ons like an online store, forums, advanced forms integrations and so much more.

Your business will get a great digital foundation to help it grow in today’s online world. And your website will be up and running in less than two weeks for under $1,000. So check out the website starter kits and start making your new website a reality today!

Keep Learning with the Small Business Websites Newsletter

There’s a lot to learn when it comes to websites. How do you build a website that’s going to help your business grow? How do you manage a website to help your business grow? What’s the latest website news that you should know about? What are some websites you can look to for inspiration?

The Small Business Websites Newsletter helps you answer each of these questions. The biweekly newsletter will take a deep dive into some website-related topic, like SEO, WordPress, how to plan a website and more, to help you learn more about websites. I’ll also include some website news that you should know about as well as add inspiration I’ve found that might help you. And you’ll even get discounts for various products I offer. And all of this is for free.

So if you want to be better at building or managing your small business website (or any website for that matter), then you’ll want to sign up today!

"*" indicates required fields

GDPR Compliance*
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.