How do I start writing for a web page and come up with engaging ideas for content? In my previous article, I laid out the foundational pieces. It boiled down to briefing yourself as you would do to a copywriter.
In this article, we focus on the blank sheet of a single webpages. I assume you already collected some notes and create keywords. And then the next step is to come up with a working title. This will give you a clear guideline in your writing, it will form the theme.
Lay out the page
In order to make the task less daunting, I divide the page into smaller chunks with headings to create paragraphs. I estimate how much text I will need and usually use 2 or 3 paragraphs per heading. As you can see, we have divided the page into several smaller areas. When writing, I consider the references I want to make.
By dividing the text in this way, you have not only created more bite-sized chunks, but you have also made the text easier to scan for the future reader. Because, visitors scan first before they read. What can I find here, how much time will it take me, can I find my answer in the text?
I make a first draft and when I'm more familiar with a subject. I write it in one go, but often I have to go back to research for more facts or look for some more inspiration to make something beautiful out of it. Then I put it away for a while. I repeat this recipe until I have a good text.
I write short, simple sentences and regularly check what I can leave out. Furthermore, I use an active tone of voice and try to avoid enumerations when telling my story. And I clarify it, use images: don't tell, but show.
I avoid jargon. That is even more difficult than it seems. Occasionally, you have no other words, but every so often you do want to show that you know what you need to do.
Re-editing title and headings
When the text is ready, I check the headings and the title. Do they still run smoothly, do they match the paragraphs, could they be more concise, do they contain keywords, are they focused on the desire for your product or service?
When I have something that I am happy with, I prepare it in a web builder. There I look at how it looks. Does it fit? Does it flow? Here I first refine and then add references, add images, name the URL, add meta-information, write alt-tags. Every so often, you want to accentuate important things by making them bold, for example.
If I have the time, I leave it for a while, and then I add to it later and do some editing. But now I have finished this phase and I have a content rich web page.