Getting Your Website Content Together for Launch; Website Content Growth

Welcome back everybody to episode 003, which is part two of a five-part series on building a website for your small business, kicking off Web and BeyondCast. I’m Ray Sidney-Smith and if you haven’t yet listened to episode 002, which is part one in this series, with Ryan Cleland of W Street Design, I highly recommend that you hop back an episode and check it out. I’m pleased to bring the voices and intellect of this expert panel of content writing specialists on the show today, to discuss getting your website content together for launch and planning your website’s content growth.

(If you’re reading this in a podcast directory/app, please visit for clickable links and the full show notes and transcript of this cast.)

On this episode, we discussed and answered the following questions:

  • When approaching a new website, what are some good suggestions for getting organized to write your website content?
  • What other collateral needs to be written alongside the website content?
  • What should you plan for when it comes to your website growing? Blog? Resources? Podcast? Etc.?
  • What are the pitfalls you see website publishers make when launching a small business website? And what solutions can you suggest?
  • What are the most common errors you see people make before and just after their website launches?
  • Should you write your website content yourself? Should you hire a writer?
  • If you hire a writer or an agency to produce the website content, what information should you be prepared to provide to them? What do writers need to know to create your web copy?

If you’d like to discuss this episode, please click here to leave a comment down below (this jumps you to the bottom of the post). If you have a question about today’s episode, please contact us here!

In this Cast

Ray Sidney-Smith, Host

Beth Lawton, Canoe Media Services

Beth Lawton is a recovering digital journalist who has worked in the Midwest, Caribbean and the Washington, DC area, where she now resides. She is now founder and owner of Canoe Media Services, a content marketing firm that focuses on helping small and growing businesses become better known, more liked and more trusted by their current and potential customers. Her team handles social media, blogging, email marketing and website redevelopment for businesses in the DC area and beyond. She graduated from Washington University in St. Louis and Northwestern University.

Stacey Morris, Focus Copywriter

Stacey Morris , of Focus Copywriter, has been in sales and marketing since she was 16 years old, when she started traveling around the country demonstrating kitchen gadgets at state fairs.

She’s settled down since then, preferring to write copy and content from a comfortable office. But a few of lessons stuck from those years:

  • It doesn’t start with what you sell – it starts with you.
  • You’ve got about 7 seconds to get someone’s attention before they disappear…forever.
  • And educating your prospect is about the best investment you can make in building your base. That’s where content marketing comes in.

But, she hasn’t fully left behind her roots in direct sales. She still travel to a few fairs, coaching salespeople and marketing new products.

So she really means it when she says helping small businesses grow has been a lifelong passion for her.

Tara M. Clapper, Express Writers

Tara M. Clapper, Content Development Specialist, Express Writers

Tara is a prolific content creator and an accomplished editor, having written and edited thousands of blog posts, small business websites, and other inbound marketing content. Tara enjoys blogging about quality copywriting, content management, corporate culture, personal branding, and networking. She runs an online community about women in geek culture and keeps her storytelling skills sharp through LARP (live action role play). Tara also holds a Bachelor’s degree in English and enjoys mentoring new writers. Bringing a decade of experience in publishing digital content to the Express Writers team, Tara focuses on providing quality content to clients as a content development specialist.

Show Notes

Resources we mention, including links to them will be provided here. Please listen to the episode for context.

Raw Text Transcript

Raw, unedited and machine-produced text transcript so there may be errors, but you can search for specific points in the episode to jump to, or to reference back to at a later date and time, by keywords or key phrases.

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Voiceover Artist 0:00
Welcome to web and beyond cast where small business comes to learn about marketing and managing on the web and beyond with your host re Sydney Smith. Welcome back

Ray Sidney-Smith 0:11
small business owners, entrepreneurs and community to Episode 003, which is part two of a five part series on building a website for your small business kicking off web. And beyond cast. I’m Sydney Smith. And if you haven’t yet, listen to Episode 002, which is part one in the series with Ryan Cleveland of W street design, I highly recommend that you hop back an episode and check it out. I’m pleased to bring the voices and intellect of this expert panel of content writing specialists on the show today to discuss getting your content together for launch and planning for your website’s content growth. And so I want to bring onto the show with me three content writing specialist three content marketing specialists who can help us understand and really uncover the secrets of launching a website with really great content and doing so affordably and effectively for your business. So I have Beth Lawton, Stacey Morris and Tara and clapper here with me on the line. Beth Lawton is a recovering digital journalist who has worked in the Midwest, Caribbean and Washington, DC area where she now resides. She is now founder and owner of New Media Services, a content marketing firm that focuses on helping small and growing businesses better known, more liked and more trusted by their current and potential customers. Her team handle social media, blogging, email marketing, and website redevelopment for businesses in the DC area and beyond. She graduated from Washington University in St. Louis and Northwestern University. Welcome to the show, Beth. Thank you for having me. Absolutely. Absolutely. Stacey Morris has been in sales and marketing since she was 16 years old when she started traveling around the country demonstrating kitchen gadgets at state fairs. She’s settled down since then preferring to write copy and content from a comfortable office. But she hasn’t fully left behind her roots in direct sales. She’s still travels to a few fairs, coaching sales people and marketing new products. So she really means it when she says helping small businesses grow has been a lifelong passion for her. Welcome to the show, Stacey.

Stacey Morris 2:19
Great to be here, Ray. Thank you.

Ray Sidney-Smith 2:21
And last but not least, Tara clapper was a content development specialist at Express writers. Tara is a prolific content creator and an accomplished editor. She runs an online component community about women in geek culture, and keeps her storytelling skills sharp through Lark live action role play, Tara also holds a bachelor’s degree in English and enjoys mentoring new writers bringing a decade of experience in publishing digital content to the Express writers team. Tara focuses on providing quality content to clients as a content development specialist. Welcome to the show. Tara,

Tara Clapper 2:57
Thank you so much for having me here.

Ray Sidney-Smith 2:59
Great to have you. Great to have you all on the on the show. And so I want to just get right into the conversation we have a lot to talk about. And I’m really, really curious as our audience is about what advice you have for them about content marketing and getting content ready for their websites. So I wanted to start off and kick off the conversation with approaching a new website project. That is, there’s we, you know, day days zero, there’s no website, we are thinking about starting a website of, you know, for our business, and we have no idea what to do, how do we how do we go from that point to sort of organizing the content for a website.

Unknown 3:39
So when you go to create content for a new website, before you even start writing anything, you should really be thinking about your business itself, the type of people you want to reach your goals and how you’re going to accomplish those goals. So the first, the first step, I think, is to really have a conversation with your team and to look at your business plan and to think about the goal of your website, is the goal of your website to convert customers? Is the goal of your website to get them on your email list to send them resources to engage current customers? Or is it all of the above? You know, is it a very specific audience? And if so, who is that audience? Who is your Who is your buyer? What is your buyer persona look like. And that should drive the purpose of the content for your website that should kind of determine what you put on there. You know, I’ve worked with like, auto industry specialists. And it’s really different creating content for somebody who’s writing a car repair shop website, they want to be friendly to customers, and they don’t want to be overly technical. They just want to make sure people know, like, hey, you’re frustrated, your car needs to be fixed, let us help you out, versus somebody who’s manufacturing specific auto parts to sell a car dealerships because those people just want to read the technical specifications, how long until I get apart for the car, they’re not interested in, like, you know, super engaging blog copy about how these parts are going to make a car run better. So it really depends on your audience, even within the scope of the same industry,

Beth Lawton 5:18
it’s great to have the goal of the entire website in mind, then when you’re a little bit further in the process, it’s a really good idea to ask, what do I want people to do when they get to this page on my website? Do you want them to contact you? Do you want them to buy something? Do you want them to share the website contact with her friends, having a goal on every page in mind, when you’re writing will really help make your website content more effective in terms of getting people to do what you want them to do. Ultimately,

Unknown 5:49
the key when you know when, when approaching a new website is definitely to know your prospect and to know your message and the action you want your prospect to take. And then I would ask people, I sometimes ask people to just give me like a basic architecture or outline of the pages they want, you know, just list five pages you think would help you and I can, you know, I can, I can help you with that. And then bullet point though, the one or two messages you want to get on each page. So it’s like an outline for each page, as well as the whole website,

Unknown 6:21
how do you all think about the idea of the website copy and other collateral copy that needs to be written alongside the website, I tend to talk to my clients about the the reality that while you’re getting copy written, you might as well think about how that copy is going to be used in multiple places. Because from at least from my perspective, as a, you know, talking about web marketing, I’m more concerned about search engine optimization, and making sure that we don’t have duplicate content on the web. But that web content can be used in printed material without concern. So I’m curious about how you have that conversation with clients about writing content for the web and other places, as opposed to just for the website, it’s a really great opportunity to use a website relaunch or initial launch as almost excuse to look again, that you’re offline marketing materials, because you really want the tone and the flow to match the website, you’re delivering the same message across platforms, to whoever your target audiences. So it’s a really great idea to give your offline marketing materials of refresh at the same time is the website I’ve also talked to a lot of clients about launching a new website is a really great excuse to get into video that does require some writing as well in terms of having a video scripts storyboard having your target audience and the goals in mind. And a lot of experts have said that people like doing business with people they know like, and trust and video is a really great way to make that connection with people for your website. So we have a lot of those conversations about the role is print material, video, photography, TV, blogs, articles online, offline, talking about having everything reach the same goal with the same tone and the same message, I’d

Unknown 8:16
say it is a very good time to assess all of your different marketing platforms. You know, I mean, a website design or redesign is huge. And the way that we’ve looked at that, actually, within expression writers for our own website is we’ve really kind of narrowed down our industry specific marketing, because we serve clients in a variety of industries. And we took a good look at our writers and what we produce, and we decided, Okay, we have some really strong, you know, finance industry writers, let’s target that market and go to those types of events and really engage with people within an industry. So, through redesigning the site, and putting different categories on there for different industries, we learned, like it actually changed our whole event marketing strategy. So definitely, you know, be open to expanding, you know, your reach there. And, and by the way, for small businesses looking to save money, there are a lot of low cost and free events, if you’re looking on the industry specific level or just locally, like your local Chamber of Commerce events. And so, you know, since we have a limited event marketing budget, I found a lot of opportunities when we redesign the site for industry specific content and the marketing materials followed from there, you know, we took some of the copy that we use for for those individual industries. And then we went ahead and wrote those for industry specific marketing flyers, like for agencies for for banks, that kind of thing, and kept the branding consistent, printed them out. And I take those two events all the time, and they’re really useful. Yeah, absolutely,

Stacey Morris 9:59
totally agree with Beth and Tara, everything we were repurposed when it comes to writing. And it really when it comes to collateral, it depends on, you know, the website owners budget and their goals as well. One of the easiest things, you know, we always recommend us to have all their material, downloadable reports, or you I love the idea of video video gets, it can get a little expensive, I also produce video, you know, depending on where they’re going, they are so much that can be used and just repurposed very inexpensively. So I encourage my clients to, you know, to cut a shoot for the moon, when it comes to this stuff. So

Ray Sidney-Smith 10:38
naturally brings up this, you know, this concept for me about having a resources page or a blog podcast, a YouTube channel, some other mechanism for being able to create regular content that’s being put onto your website. Because for those you of you who are listening, putting more content on your website, on a regular basis equates to Google the other search engines sending you more web traffic, presumably, if it’s valuable content, that’s the driving force behind putting content on your website and having a content marketing strategy. For those of you who are on the line with me, I’m curious how you approach that conversation with customers when they know or don’t know that they need to get their website content marketing strategy in place, what what’s sort of the first step for them in thinking about and planning out the content marketing strategy for ongoing marketing.

Unknown 11:35
So once they get website, copy and place or a plan to have that created, then I advise looking at the long term strategy for a blog or a podcast or whatever they’re producing. But I would I always advise clients to think about how frequently they can produce because I’d rather see them purchase a blog plan where they’re only posting to, you know, a blog every other week versus trying to get something out that’s lower quality every week, you know, I want to see that consistency. And I want to see them really invest in in content that displays their expertise rather than fluff. So I’ve seen the trend go towards updating less often, but updating still very consistently and having longer forum blog content. So 750 words minimum, you know, ideally over 1200 words. And this is, again, it can vary depending on the industry and your goals. But I’ve seen the trend towards longer form content, even if that means publishing less frequently, as long as it’s consistent quality over quantity is the name of the game. Now, one of the things that I do to kind of draw out those those posts and that content marketing plan is to ask business owners, what are the 10 questions that you get from customers the most often? What are those questions that you feel like you answer for somebody every single week, because those can be really great jumping off point for web pages or blog entries, podcasts video whenever you want to do that. And it ultimately can make their life easier, because then they can say to a customer, oh, I have great information about that on my website. Here’s the link and it’s a good way to time spread that information and continually use your website as a resource for your customers is to answer those questions that you get all the time that come up really commonly, and use your website as an explanatory tool for them. I’ve done so far as to tell clients to create short URLs to those main pages so that they have the ability to say, go to my website at www dot my business name dot com forward slash keyword. And it takes them to those pages. And they, you know, sort of have a cheat sheet that they have to each of those pages so that they can say, Oh, yeah, that’s the question we get all the time, go check out this blog post I wrote on it, or this FAQ has this particular you know, answer to it. So, really great suggestion. Beth. The key

Unknown 14:04
in my mind is to stay in touch with your with your clients. And I think blog posts are really the most effective and efficient way of doing that. But of course, it depends on it depends on what you’re selling. You know, if you’re doing exercise, then video, maybe the best way to stay in touch. So we really the content, the format depends on the business of the client. But the key is staying in touch. And I and I agree quality over quantity as long as there’s consistency. Yeah, it’s

Ray Sidney-Smith 14:37
something that I’m frequently when I do workshops and seminars for the SBC or other organizations. I’m always harping on this fact that I want business owners to think of something in terms of either a blog or some other kind of regular process for getting content on their websites. And, you know, I inevitably get that question of, I’m a colonoscopy just how do I launch a video

are those kinds of things you’re you really you really do bring up a great point though, Stacy which is that you know, the the medium that you use the media that is going to present your business really does have to have a natural sort of affinity to the content that you’re providing, just because I’m picking on colonoscopies here. But if you if you do do if you are a doctor, medical doctor that deals with sensitive medical issues, or, you know, if you’re in a legal field where you might be dealing with some sensitive legal issues and those kinds of things,

Unknown 15:34
you don’t have to talk specifically about what you do, per se, think from a more broad perspective of how you’re answering general questions. And you might have to supplant that with, you know, maybe B roll or stock photography is not of you doing what you do, but representing more what you do, you know, it’s sort of like when, when I see those health and wellness blogs, and they show those pictures of like a lotus. And this thing is sort of a representative of the health and wellness concept. And those those economic those icons and iconography really create that sense of what you’re talking about, as opposed to being the actual thing, do you all have any suggestions in terms of how to deal with some of those sensitive topics, like when people are talking about health and medical issues, or other kinds of areas that might be too sensitive or too taboo to show I have worked with both health and wellness and financial professionals in the past year or two. And they do have a lot of concerns and health and wellness as HIPAA and privacy in financial services is all the regulations that they’re dealing with, in terms of what they can and cannot produce for content. So we really take a success stories approach to what they’re writing on, we make it completely anonymous, one time, this doctor had a patient who came to them with this issue. And here is what they did to help solve it. And making it very research that we’ve done the same thing with financial services, that, again, anonymously, talking about a life insurance consultants, client who came with this issue and how they felt it. So you think examples is a really good way to go, their storytelling is very effective in terms of showing how you can solve a problem and making content relatable. And there are ways to do it while working around the privacy and the regulations in certain fields focus on

Unknown 17:29
empathy, not just addressing the customers pain point, but letting them know that you really kind of have a handle on their concern, you know, you don’t have to disclose any kind of personal information to get across the fact that you’re sympathetic as a lawyer to somebody who is faced with a DUI or you as a doctor, understand what it’s like to go through the diagnosis process and see 20 doctors before you even start to get an answer are a doctor that understands what you’re going through, or your frustrations, you know, what the healthcare system so I think empathy is a really important tool to use when you’re trying to communicate that kind of information and expertise, without disclosing any private information, or without getting into the specifics. Because when people go to doctors, or even like Home Repair Services, lawyers, dentists, they’re frustrated, they’re worried about money topics like foreclosure to, you know, there’s a lot of emotions of all involved there. And you really want to make sure that you come across as understanding and empathetic because that can really separate you from the competition because the other people are going to be blogging about interest rate, or all the horrible things that can happen to your body if you have an undiagnosed illness. And you can just, you know, really reach out and say, Hey, I get how you feel, let me help you out.

Unknown 18:56
I’m a big proponent of case studies and testimonials in testimonials, you really have to be careful these days, especially in the health and wellness market. But honest testimonials can convey some of that empathy and can convey some of that I get, I get your story, I understand where you’re coming from. and case studies or success stories, whatever you want to call them are, are fantastic because their stories and they engage readers. So both of those go a long way toward educating your consumer

Ray Sidney-Smith 19:25
I have been on my own little soapbox when it comes to the high professions, lawyers and doctors and so on so forth. What we know from lots of research is that the attorney in private practice, probably after five years of being in business, they mostly get their referrals from other practitioners from other legal practitioners who refer them that business. And so in some of those environments, healthcare and other things, those business owners might think not about having a consumer based blog audience or podcast audience or video audience but it colleague based audience talking directly to other colleagues as being their target audience, something to think about, just because I think everyone tends to think about it from the perspective that Oh, yeah, I’m going to talk to the people who are going to hire me. But you might also think about in your in your content marketing planning, who is going to refer me the most customers and potentially speaking directly to them. So I think that all of these things are really great. But also recognize that you might have multiple audiences that you might want to talk to, and that sometimes the direct client audience is not the audience that you should create content for.

Unknown 20:37
Absolutely. And that’s, that’s where, you know, it Express writers we have what we call authority content, which are these like, you know, really high level, well researched pieces that are the best pieces of content we can produce. And that’s really to show that you’re an influencer or and or an expert in your field of study. And so if I had a class come to me and say, hey, look, you know, I want to reach these consumers. But you know, I’m a doctor, and I also want to address my colleagues or impress, you know, a medical board or something like that, what do I do, then I would steer them towards authority content, where they can really showcase their expertise. And of course, that’s that kind of increase in reputation isn’t going to hurt when it comes to the consumers either, you know, obviously, you want to go to a doctor who knows what they’re talking about, you would hope you would hope

Ray Sidney-Smith 21:32
so. So I want to shift gears here in the little bit of time that we have left in talking about some of the potential problems and pitfalls that small business owners see or experience when they are producing their content, or even planning for their content, what are the what are the big ticket problems that you see happen in the process of creating content, and how can entrepreneurs and small business owners and so forth, mitigate those risks mitigate those problems on the backend clutter is

Unknown 22:05
number one clutter is, and that means clutter, in terms of the look and feel of the site and also clutter. In terms of the messaging. A lot of times, web owners want to put it there, just throw everything on their homepage, figuring something should resonate. And to me, that’s a big mistake. It makes your site look like $1 store. It’s cluttered. It’s too many elements on one page. And it’s overwhelming to your visitor.

Unknown 22:31
So I would agree that writing too much or trying to fit too much on the homepage is definitely a big issue. When when you’re writing for the web, you really have to remember all those eye tracking studies that show that people really skim when pages and when they find something that catches their eye, then they start reading. So it means that when you’re when you’re writing, you really have to think visually, in a way using visual cues to draw people to the important parts whether it’s bullet points, Petters, certain words and bold, something like that to really kind of guide the readers I as they are skinning. The other thing that I’ve seen is tone, we worked on a website redesign for a financial company, and their old website was really about themselves, and how great they were. And with the new website, we really tried to flip that and change the tone of the website from bragging about themselves to bragging about how they help their client. So it’s switch from saying, we do this the same, we help you target audience accomplish your goal. So keeping in mind your audience, and whether you want to help them or tell them how great you are kind of what the goal is keeping the audience in mind, there can be a really big issue as well. Yeah,

Unknown 23:51
the other thing I would add is just in addition to cluttering the homepage, they list all of their services on a general services page, really, you should pick your top services and kind of list those each on their own page. And that just call it something general like services, which is part of a larger problem that a lot of small business owners don’t invest time or money into, like, figuring out what search engine optimization is, or how SEO is kind of crucial to building a website. And SEO isn’t everything. But if you have you make a critical mistake. Like if your website is not mobile friendly, it’s like you’re throwing money out the window, because your site needs to be mobile friendly to be found. So you know, just making sure you work with the right developer or the right content creator, to ensure that you have, you know, keyword research done that your site’s going to pass all of Google’s tests and big requirements, that your content creator is not throwing, like shady links into your site, you know, you you need to make sure you trust who you’re working with. And you need to do a little bit of research on on search engine optimization, before you really invest money into into that content, or just, you know, hopefully, you could work with with one of us on this call to create reputable content and high quality well written content that also ranks well in Google. Because just ignoring that, and throwing money into creating blog posts for the sake of creating blog posts is not a good inbound marketing strategy at all, you know, definitely have like a rhyme and reason to everything, you do a purpose, every piece of content, and it doesn’t always have to be backed by, you know, this whole long list of keywords or something like that. But it’s something to keep in mind. You know, I I like to use a good combination of a keyword research list which, you know, we turn into a content plan and I also try and grab things like, what do customers ask what are their pain points, I use a site called it’s a free site called to answer the public COMM And you can type in any subject matter and it’ll tell you what people are actually googling and asking about that topic. So you know, you always want to be be in line with what your customers need. And not just kind of throwing throwing content on your site without doing any sort of research as to what people actually want to need to see nifty an avalanche media did a an infographic some time ago, where they put a bunch of research up and 77% of website traffic lands on the homepage of a local small business on a local business. And, you know, I think there are reasons for that, I think, you know, if you’re a top ranking local business,

Ray Sidney-Smith 26:39
you’ve probably done a lot more advertising that drives traffic to people typing in your domain directly, or googling the name of your business directly and finding you. But the other side to that is that even if you are not, you know, one of these top local business websites, in the in the country, you’re still driving a lot of people to your homepage, and the the wall, it’s not the end all be all, your homepage does really need to focus on the fewest and the best customers, your your navigation is going to be fine in terms of things. And I fully agree, Tara on the idea that you need to really have separate services pages. So people know that you your tailoring tailoring a service or product directly to them as opposed to this panoply of things that they will just get, you know, sort of the Paradox of Choice, they, they have too much choice and therefore less likely to buy that homepage really doesn’t need to be focused on the largest customers, the best ones I see are, you know, those websites that have like three big sort of images, and they’re targeting those three audiences, you know, your teacher, your parent, your student, right, and click on one of those three, and it takes you into that area of the website that answers that that speaks to your issue, as you said earlier, target speaks to their pain, it deals what their issue and now you can, you can entree them into their own experience. But as much as you can slice and dice the content you’re creating on the website, and giving the target audience a view that means something to them specifically, the better you are at being able to convert them in terms of sales, or whatever your call to action is. So I really appreciate all of your thoughts there. And I wanted to I wanted to close us out with with a with a discussion about when the right time is to write the content yourself and or hire one of you three ladies to go ahead and produce the content outside of you. What what what ends up being the decision factors for business owners that decide that they are going to hire someone to create content versus doing it themselves, it depends on so many factors. I have clients to write all the time and they’re okay at it. I have clients who haven’t written anything since college. So it really depends on whether you get writer’s block, whether you like writing a lot of factors like that. But regardless, when he was working in journalism, and editing other people’s work, I always reminded them that even Pulitzer Prize winners had editors. So it’s really important,

Unknown 29:19
even if you do write a content yourself, to get someone else to read it to make sure it’s understandable to make sure that for your target audience that they know what you’re talking about, and you haven’t fallen into jargon that they might not know. It’s also important for grammatical errors, it’s very difficult to edit yourself, even when you are good at it. And even when you do it professionally, I have people read things that I write even. So it’s, it’s critical to have a second term eyes, regardless of whether you’re doing the writing yourself or not.

Unknown 29:51
And objectively, I think to like, the objectivity of having somebody else create the content can really help. I mean, I noticed some amazing writers who have reached out to me, and like heavily published writers, very successful people, as well as content marketers who are really good at what they do. And they reach out to me and say, Tara, can you write my bio, because it’s really hard to be objective about yourself, or your own brand, or your own business. And my response is, usually, I’d be happy to do it, don’t even pay me just write mine. Because we all have, you know, that, that same issue with, with writing about what we’re involved in every single day. So, you know, having that that, like, removed perspective can really help tell your story. And, you know, we were talking about that before that storytelling is central to your success, and getting your message out there. And sometimes, you know, you need a little help doing that, even if you’re good at telling your own story, you’ve got to bounce it off other people. I mean, I talked about, you know, what we do at our business all the time. But, you know, I have conversations with other people on our organization before I just go off and like, talk about our message and storytelling and what we can do for brands, at conferences and stuff. Because, you know, you kind of have to get that message together within your organization and practice it before you present it. It’s something to, to really work at. And it’s definitely worth considering working with a professional writer or an agency to get that done, you know, cuz, cuz storytelling is what they do. I’ve had the most success with clients, when when clients come in and say, Okay, well, I’m a really good writer. Um, you know, but I don’t know if I’m doing this, right. And if I find that to be the case, and that they are already really good at telling their brand story, I usually ask them, you know, what, give us an outline of what you want on this page, give us some facts to us, or like a story about, you know, how you have the customer send me like, the raw data, because raw data isn’t just numbers, it’s these experiences, and you want to make customers, you know, feel that you’re really invested. And they want to see that example. So send us that that’s something that I can’t produce for you. Unless I know about it, it’s your business, not mine. So when they send us just like an outline, or a bullet point list, our writers can produce some amazing content for them, because they’ve supplied us with the raw data, and we are telling the story for them. And that really seems to be the best way to collaborate between a writer or an agency and a client, if they already know what they’re doing. We’re just here to make the story shine, you know, it’s, I can’t really make up a story for you, it’s your business story. So, you know, there’s that and if the client doesn’t understand what their story is, or, um, you know, or anything like that, and that that can, that’s not just for beginners. It’s not just for people of small businesses. But even big corporations sometimes don’t even know what the brand messages you know, it’s the writers job to really do the interview and pull that information out of the business because you’re not just telling their story, you kind of need to help them develop their brand a little bit in order to get that good web copy for them. Yeah, you know,

Unknown 33:08
the truth is, most of the people we meet with can write just fine. But they tend to get paralyzed when they’re writing for their for their own sites. And the truth is, few people know, you know, the basic storytelling skills and copywriting skills or what the key most important message they need to get out there is, you know, when you’re right in the middle of it, you may not know what is most engaging for your audience. And an outside voice can come in and tell you, you know, this is this is really what resonates with your clients that stick with this. So it’s not so much the writing, it’s the it’s the beyond the writing, it’s the getting the clients engaged. It’s the growing the website, it’s growing the tribe, if you will. And that’s where a professional writer can be very handy.

Ray Sidney-Smith 33:58
I think it’s really important for people to think about the issues that come into play, whether or not they can create writing. I really love the idea of Beth about at least having someone who’s going to edit your material. And certainly taking sort of a bird’s eye view of what it is that needs to be done in terms of the content that you’re producing, you know, really, it ends up being so many times your first impression with a potential customer or potential audience, the target audience member of some kind, and you don’t want it to be your last impression. So if it’s poor, and so I just wanted to thank you all Beth Lawton, from New Media Services, Stacey Morris, and Tara clapper from Express writers thank you all for being here on web and beyond cast with me today.

Unknown 34:44
Thank you is great.

Ray Sidney-Smith 34:46
There you have it. Small business owners, entrepreneurs and community regarding what to consider regarding content creation for your website launch will have many more discussions in the future about content marketing, but this is so important to think about where the you have a website already or if you need to refresh your website content. Now after listening to this episode, I hope you gained something of value from our website content expert panelists. In our next episode, I’ll be bringing you a discussion with in quality of website sugar to think about the website builder platforms available to you when launching a business website. It’s going to be a great conversation. I’m looking forward to you joining me on that show. If you have any questions or comments, please leave those on the episode page at web and beyond cast dot com forward slash 003 this episode number or by going to web and beyond cast dot com forward slash contact and filling out the form there. Also, please subscribe and review us in iTunes to help us grow the podcast audience. Thanks for listening to web and beyond cast where small business comes to learn about marketing and managing on the web and beyond. I’m your host Ray Sidney-Smith. Until next time, here’s to your small business success on the web and beyond.


003 How to Build a Website, Part 3 – Website Content Is King
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Web・Social・Mobile Strategist. Webinar Archives. Productivity Technology Consultant and Trainer. Author, SoLoMo Success and Podcasting for Small Business (on Amazon). Hootsuite Global Brand Ambassador. Evernote Certified Consultant. Google Small Business Advisor, Productivity (Free trial of G Suite).

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