It's not easy being consistent. I get it.
Throw in consistent blog posts, emails, and other content, and you're looking for trouble.
But anyone can do it. Anyone.
You can come up with unique content for your website and blog as often as you need it and want it.
There's just one catch...
You need to:
- be open-minded
- write things and ideas down regularly (brain dumping sessions)
- think like a copywriter who's writing copy for a sales page
Funny story (sort of).
I was chatting with a client a few days ago and he asked me something curious. Something I swore I'd answered over and over, but apparently in that moment, clarity struck and I was able to summarize it to suit him best.
He asked, "How do you come up with all the content on your website?"
My answer flowed like an overturned gallon of milk: "I list out all the features or important aspects of each page, then write the benefits of each. That way, I have no issue writing as much as necessary for blog posts, emails, sales pages, and other web pages."
Ding, ding, ding.
Why did I have such a hard time explaining this to other people..?
Basically, you tackle every page on your website like you would a sales page for one of your products.
No products yet? No worries. We'll get there.
So, tackle each web page like a copywriter would.
Whether they created the product or not, copywriters extract the emotion-soothing benefits of a product when writing the sales page.
First they nail down:
- what a product does
- how it does it
- and why it does what it does
So, if you tackle every page like a copywriter attacks a product before writing a sales page, you're golden.
Let's use my latest product, The Second Edition Content Strategy Planner (CSP), as an example.
Grab the Benefits [Extraction] Worksheet to follow through with this process with.
[ Includes the Start A Blog eCourse, also free ]
Start With The Features
When writing up the sales page on Amazon for the new CSP, I listed out all the features of the planner in a note on Simplenote (an app on my computer and phone).
I listed details like:
- 12 months of planning with goal, project, marketing, and weekly focuses on each [editorial] calendar double-page setup
- Offers step-by-step suggestions for developing and planning your entire content strategy
- Includes 53 weeks of schedule, tasks, events, and habits planning
- Each month prompts a balance review to record and consider your successes and what needs improvement
- Includes full metrics, web page performance assessments, and marketing reviews
- Includes detailed spaces to record opportunities to advance your blog or business
- Includes 270 content planning spaces to record content ideas and develop them into basic outlines
Once the features of each of your products, pages—whatever you use this exercise for—are listed, then...
Break Down How Each Feature Benefits The Buyer / Visitor / Reader / Follower
This is the tricky part. This requires you to know who you're trying to appeal to most.
Once you can connect with your target audience on a deeper level, "extracting benefits" from features becomes a lot easier.
To find the benefits, read or say aloud each of the features you list and ask yourself, "So what?"
Then explain why it's so important, so sensational, that person reading or visiting just has to have "it"—whatever it may be.
FEATURE: 12 months of planning with goal, project, marketing, and weekly focuses on each [editorial] calendar double-page setup
BENEFIT: Keep your life, editorial plan, projects, goals, marketing—everything—all in one, well-organized space. (Distraction- and notification-free.)
And here's another:
FEATURE: Includes full metrics, web page performance assessments, and marketing reviews
BENEFIT: You have to know where you've been to get to where you're going. Now you can have all that in one, strategy-focused guide that leads you to stronger content and marketing decisions to advance your blog and business.
And on a more emotionally appealing level...
BENEFIT: Stop guessing what's going to work. Know what doesn't and move your blog and business forward with all-in-one-place tracking, assessments, and reviews.
You'll find yourself listing more benefits than you have features. And that's okay.
The more the merrier.
That way you can read through what you come up with and go with what works best for what you need.
(It also gives you more to test with if you decide to try it one way for a few weeks, then see if you get better or worse with a different way over another course of a few weeks.)
It's all about testing. Trial and error.
...and learning from your mistakes so you don't keep effing up over and over again...
Always Lead With The Benefits
Analytical minds will prefer features and emotional minds prefer benefits.
Benefits take your visitor's situation or current position and puts your website, product, or whatever you're creating your content for and puts it right next to your visitor.
It gets cozy with them. Like a warm blanket on a chilly night. (Brrr.)
Benefits equal buyers. Features and facts equal trust.
You need both. But the benefits will bring them in and the features will lock them in.
EXAMPLE: Treat your blog content like a benefit to your visitors.
You share snippets of your expertise through your blog. It builds a rapport and initiates trust.
S/he subscribes to your email list because of a beneficial free offer of some sort. Then, you have the endless opportunity to wow him or her with your features—your "exclusive" emails and advantageous product or service or affiliate offerings.
See how that works?
BENEFITS bring them in. FEATURES lock them in. And YOU keep them coming back again and again.
(I feel all poetic right now.)
What benefits can you relay in your website content?
Right now, take your plan or ideas you've jotted down and organize them into features.
These features should be detailed and analytical.
Remove emotion from them. Think about it as "this is exactly what this is".
Then, think about what more it "can be" and let your emotional perceptiveness flow.
- How will your customer / reader / visitor feel if they buy / read this?
- How will it make their life / work / whatever better?
- What can your customer / reader / visitor do with it [that may be rather unconventional even]?
Think outside of the "feature box" and dig into the emotional benefits of each page of content on your website.
And always remember to keep in mind who it's benefitting.
Even better, use stories and examples (like cast studies if you have existing customers or readers) to unravel the benefits of your content.
(Just a little bonus tip there.)
P.S. Comments, emails, running a business and being a mom of 3 were just too much for me to handle. So, blog comments got the boot. But the lack of a comment box doesn't mean I don't want to hear what you think! Share your thoughts with me via @GoffCreative on Twitter or directly via email.
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