© John Kuraoka, a project of www.kuraoka.com
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Since youre reading a website called Tightwad Marketing, youre probably self-employed, running a small business. You wear a lot of hats, and youre thinking of adding a new one: chief website content writer. However, writing your business websites content is a daunting task. You dont know where to start. Or, you dont know where to stop.
Well, follow the simple directions here, and youll write the content for a fully functional, search engine indexable, six-page business website in 60 minutes. More important, youll have a sensible website organization that can expand logically as you add content.
Just to prove it to you, Im going to follow my own directions and create a sample website for myself. Yeah, yeah, but Im a professional writer and I write quickly. Ill tell you at the end how long the sample website took me to write. Also at the end, youll find my gift to you: downloadable, editable templates for the complete sample website. You may use the templates as your business website design, free.
But really, the time limit is part of the solution. It forces you to simplify. There will always be more details you want to add. If you try to get your website content completely written all at once, youll be overwhelmed with minutiae. By imposing limits on how much time and effort you spend on each section, you get your main points said and your website done. Remember, this website went from non-existent to the Top 10 in Google and Yahoo within six weeks - and it was 1/20th the size it is now.
So, grab a pen and paper (or, fire up the word processing software) and lets get started writing your website content!
First, prepare to write your website. Think about the words and search phrases a potential customer would use to find your website. Dont worry about keywords in the meta tag sense. Most search engines recognize meta keywords for what they are: planted words intended to attract hits. Instead, search engines look at the content in your website, and determine relevance from that. So, take two minutes to write down six to ten words or phrases that describe your business and the information people can expect to find on your website.
Use nouns and verbs (such as plumber, plumbing, and emergency). Avoid adjectives (such as fast) and superlatives (such as best). Put stars by the three or four most-important keywords.
Keep this list in front of you as you write, and make sure your keywords are on every page of your website.
Next, write your home page. This is where you tell who, what, where, when, why, and how. Who you are. What you do. Where your business is located. When youre open for business. Why someone should choose you over your competition. And, how to contact you.
Most of this is easy. You know your name, business, address, hours of operation, phone number, and email address, so five of the six items are a matter of moments to write. Your business name and description will automatically contain some of your selected keywords. Youll spend the most time on the why. Just think of what youd say to a customer if he or she asked why to pick you over someone else. Refer to your list of keywords as you write, because every keyword should be somewhere on this page, with the most-important ones in the first sentence or two. Conversely, if a keyword doesnt fit naturally on this page, you need to question whether that word is truly a representative keyword.
Remember the high-school composition exercise of beginning an essay with a topic sentence? Thats not a bad way to begin a website. This websites most-important keywords included tightwad marketing, free, cheap, advertising, marketing, and small business, with such words as independent and unaffiliated as support. A glance at the main entry page reveals this as a first sentence: Welcome to Tightwad Marketing, an independent, unaffiliated source for free and cheap marketing solutions for small business. Thats a keyword-rich sentence that immediately tells a reader what to expect from the rest of the website. Total time: about five minutes.
Open my sample website by clicking here. This will launch a new window. I recommend that you keep the new window open, and flip back and forth as you read this guide and look at each section of the sample website. The sample websites navigation is fully functional.
Next, write a products or services webpage. This is an extension of the what component on your home page. If it takes you more than two or three minutes to put a list together, then you probably need to narrow your focus. Ideally, youll be able to take a moment to say a little about each item on your list. Depending on your business, this may be the section in which to provide pricing information. Remember to try to weave your keywords into your copy. Take no more than ten minutes for this section. If after five minutes, all you have is a list, then so be it. Create category headings (which should reflect keyword choices), alphabetize it, and move on.
Later, you can expand this webpage with more products or services, more descriptions, or it may become a page of links to product or service categories on separate webpages. Either way, you have your essential information written.
If you closed down the sample website, you can open the services webpage by clicking here. Heres an interesting side note: Ive been giving this advice for years but it wasnt until I wrote this section for the sample website that I realized my own business website was missing this category! So, I had to cut-and-paste this section from the sample into my real website. Everybody needs a reality check, myself included.
Next, write a webpage called qualifications or résumé or about me/us or something like that. This is an extension of the who component on your home page. If you have a résumé handy, this webpage is done. This should take about five minutes, less if you have the information close at hand.
If you have other key personnel, you might want to put each persons résumé on a separate webpage, with this page becoming a page of links to the individual résumés. You might also add a paragraph about combined years of experience - but, dont worry about that right now.
If you closed down the sample website, you can open the résumé webpage by clicking here.
Next, write a webpage called experience or case studies or clients or applications. Heres where you list a few of the projects youve handled, or the types of clients youve served, or the ways your products can be used. Youll have time later to add more description, so dont obsess over it right now. If its a list, longer is better, but be satisfied if you just get category headings. This may become one of your largest sections, which is why right now you should spend no more than eight minutes writing this.
If this section later grows unwieldy, as it often does, you can break it up into multiple webpages based on the category headings. However, for the time being, youve at least got the basic information to build on and youve got a page with your keywords (you did remember to work those in, right?) in a relevant setting.
If you closed down the sample website, you can open the clients webpage by clicking here.
Next, write a webpage called FAQ or Q&A. Heres where you answer a few common questions about your product or service - if youve been in your field for any length of time, then you know the top three or four questions. Start with those. If one of those isnt about your prices or shipping policy, then add those. This is another opportunity to add keywords and search terms throughout your copy. Spend about ten minutes here.
If you closed down the sample website, you can open the FAQ webpage by clicking here.
Finally, write a webpage called why me/us or the ___ advantage or benefits to you. Heres where you tell what makes you different from your competition. Its an extension of the why component on your home page. Remember at the end to close the sale. This might take some thought, so spend five minutes thinking and five minutes writing, for a total of ten minutes.
If you closed down the sample website, you can open the why me webpage by clicking here.
Youre not done yet. Spell-check your document. Then, read it through one last time, checking for facts, grammar, and blatant omissions of essential information. Also, make sure that your keywords - especially the most-important ones - appear on every page. That should take less than ten minutes.
You now have the essential content for a basic but fully functional six-page website that can be indexed meaningfully by search engines. By the way, my total elapsed time writing the sample website: about 38 minutes. The total size of the sample website: a mere 15 KB, or about 1/10 the size of the average online photograph.
Now that you have your content written, cut-and-paste it into the website publishing software of your choice, get your website host, and your website can be online in the next few days or even in the few minutes.
Even after your website is online, youll continue to refine and expand what youve written. You may later add a section called advice or tips, or a section called testimonials or portfolio. You may add a page of links relevant to your product, service, or industry. The fact is, a live website is never really finished. Thats why its a fallacy to wait until its finished to get it online.
The website content you just wrote has other uses. You could turn it into a six-panel brochure. And, the copy for your why me/us webpage could be used as ads, postcards, or in-location posters.
For a 60-minute investment, youve just developed a business asset thatll pay dividends in many areas for years to come. Saving money. Saving time. And making the most of both. Thats Tightwad Marketing.
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Notes: youll need to edit the links from WEBTEM1.TXT, WEBTEM2.TXT, etc. to match your actual links on each page (remember to change .TXT to .HTM or .HTML). As a bonus, each page template uses a different background color, professionally selected to enhance readability, convey different personalities, and closely match existing paper stock colors (for your business cards, brochures, and stationery). Pick the page with the background color you want, then copy the BGCOLOR code on that page (near the top) to the other pages.
If you need help, check out Reviews of free and cheap website development resources for free tutorials and reference guides. Unfortunately, I cannot offer free technical support.
Home (grey) | Services (yellow) | Qualifications (pink) | Experience (blue) | FAQ (green) | Why us? (cream)
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