Before you start bashing out the content on the keyboard, you should have a created a full brief for the project and worked out a heap of info to make sure what youre writing hits the mark.
Whether I am writing for myself or for clients heres the steps I take to ensure I have all the info I need to make red hot content that hits the mark and converts every time.
Firstly pull together the following info:
- Business or service name - including proper spelling
- Where and when it was produced
- Figure out exactly what you want the copy to do - ie. sell, get sign ups, tease or encourage viewers to click on more information
- Create a site map and user journey - where are they going, what tabs will make sense to them and how will the whole website function to ensure engagement and click through
- Write out all the key benefits and features of your product or service - the what, where, when, why and pain points it is going to solve for the user
- Read and review any current marketing and sales material to ensure you get a background on the voice and style of the brand, whether it is good or bad so you get what they are currently doing
- Gather a list of target market and demographics if available
- Find example of similar sites in the niche that really work and the style suits the product - if youre writing for a carpenter you wont want to be looking at medical professional sites, make sure you find a site that really functions and engages the way you want your site to
- Get a list of SEO keywords
- Find any videos or images you want to use in the website
- Create some slide statements / tag lines for the site
- Gather testimonials
As well as this I would probably also figure out whether it is in UK or US English, as this is important to ensure correct spelling and speech.
Around this time I am probably ready to start laying out content, but it takes a while before I even hit pen to paper.
What else do you do before you even start writing?
This process allows me to channel in my target market and write content that really hits the mark. Im interested how everyone else does it.