There are thousands of guides on content writing on the internet. Millions of publishers are pushing out content on website writing asking you to trust them. And how do you decide if this guide is any good? Well, to say that this website content writing guide is good would be an understatement. The writing secrets that I am going to reveal below are nothing less than “LEGENDARY”. Yes, because I have modelled them on the philosophy of the legendary Norse king ‘Ragnar Lothbrok’.
Who is Ragnar Lothbrok?
Although there are few who have not heard of the most famous Viking, I will give you a quick introduction. Okay, quit whining, I will also tell you what has he got to do with content writing for the web any which way? Ragnar was the 9th-century Scandinavian king who is known for his spectacular raids and extending the Norse kingdom to England. Recently, Netflix made a TV series called ‘Vikings‘ based on the exploits of the Norse legend.
Ragnar’s Guide to Content Writing
Content writing for the web or writing content for websites is ridiculously different from all other genres of writing. For e.g. writing for films includes an outline, a script, screenplay, dialogues and copywriting for ads includes writing a pitch, writing the copy (teaser, key message, CTA). Written content for websites, like the one you are reading now, follows a simple structure: Catchy headline, teaser introduction, index of contents, content details, CTA and visuals. To make it easy for you, I am going to let the great Scandinavian king guide us. Are you ready folks?
“We should not wash our dirty clothes in front of others.”
1. Content Writing Research
We should not wash our dirty clothes in front of others, said Ragnar Lothbrok. When you apply this principle to content writing for a website, it translates to epic research. The golden rule of writing web content is to never reveal your source of information. If you write for the web without research, your writing will be shallow and your readers will lose interest.
Not washing your dirty laundry in front of others is not leaving any stone unturned to let anyone make out your source of inspiration. There is nothing new to write, trust me here. All that you can think of has already been documented in one form or the other. I always say, don’t waste your time trying to write new things, invest your time trying to write better versions of the content for the web.
“In my world, I am constantly torn between killing myself or everyone around me.”
2. How to write content for your audience?
One of the biggest mistakes content writers make is not defining an audience persona. Without a persona, you are aiming in the wrong direction. As Ragnar says, ‘I am constantly torn between’, web content writers also face the same dilemma. And since they have not decided the persona, their dilemma is visible in the content for the website.
Before you write content for a website, define who you are writing for, who is going to read your content. Once you have this person right in front of you, start writing the content as if you are talking to them. Do they look interested, are they bored, are they even bothered? As you progress writing your audience persona will tell you whether this website writing is targeted to them or not.
“It is one thing to use a weapon, but another to kill.”
3. Best content writing tools
Okay, so far Ragnar Lothbrok has guided how to do proper research (hiding our sources), and how to define the audience. Now, let’s learn about warfare, the actual task of writing web content. It is one thing to use a weapon, but another to kill. It is one thing to know the tools of content writing, but another to use them for content writing for a website.
There are hundreds and thousands of content writing tools. From headline analyzer to plagiarism and grammar checker but the key is to know when and how to use them. When writing for web content, I recommend sticking to a few basics like Grammarly, Hemingway Editor and Grammarly Plagiarism Checker. Just using these 3 basic content writing tools is enough to write website content.
“I don’t know how I am going to win. I just know I’m not going to lose.”
4. Keep your readers engaged
Another challenge that content writers often face is reader engagement. This is especially true when the subject you are writing about is less interesting. Remember point number 2 where Ragnar says ‘I am constantly torn between’. You are writing for the customer and if your research is good, your writing is user-friendly, the customer will find value in it.
Here is the secret sauce on how to keep your customer hooked to your writing. Do not reveal all the value of your content in the opening paragraph. Sprinkle the key takeaways or the important information throughout the content of the page. Some writers will tell you that readers only skim through the pages instead of reading the content. Even if that is the case, it becomes all the more important to pepper the entire web content with nuggets of value-based information. This way, you will keep the readers hooked till the end.
Bonus Tip: Do not forget to reveal the first value right after the opening or else the readers will lose interest. Notice how I did this 😉
“I’m not satisfied with this.”
5. How to edit your content to perfection?
No, never settle with the first draft. As Ragnar says, ‘I’m not satisfied with this’. Never be satisfied with your first draft. The great content you want to deliver is hidden underneath the many bloats of the first draft. Write, re-write, check, edit, edit again.
The more you edit, the crisp you write and your readers will love it. Because your message is clear, your content is digestible and you are not yapping. The best tool I always recommend my readers and aspiring writers is ‘Grammarly’. With Grammarly, you can focus on writing while the app keeps an eye on all the spelling errors, grammatical mistakes, plagiarism, tone of content and so much more.
Now what do you think of Ragnar Lothbrok? Isn’t the legendary viking emperor as glorious in helping us with writing content as he was in winning kingdoms? I hope you liked the new way of approaching content I shared with you. Drop your questions in comments and I will be happy to answer them all. Let’s end with another gem from the Scandinavian king.
“Don’t waste your time looking back. You’re not going that way.”