Website Design Basics: Part 4 of 5
What makes you return to a website or blog?
That’s a question you should keep foremost in your mind. Chances are the thing that brings you back to a site, any site, is the same that makes me or anyone else visit that site. Content.
The content of the site pulls visitors because (1) they’re looking for exactly that kind of information or (2) they’re looking for entertainment of the sort your brand offers or (3) a combination of both.
What I Offer
Here at Sling Words, I try to offer both with articles about the art, craft, and business of writing. I spend a lot of time and attention to detail in producing articles that will benefit those who are or want to be professional writers. I also pull in those who just want to write better for their personal blog or who want to understand complicated web dynamics. At least that’s what my emails tell me.
In creating well-written blog posts about issues targeted to what I see as my audience, I always try to make the writing in and of itself entertaining. There are probably a lot of ways one could present Website Design Basics for instance. I’ve tried to present the subject as if you and I are sitting together on my patio and kicking the subject around over a peach mojito. And without all the techno jargon.
When I get into web dynamics - these articles or the other recent series on Ping - I try to present the material in easily understood language because I’m not a computer programmer. I abhor tech manuals and have rarely learned anything from reading them since they’re all written as if everyone has a degree in computer programming. I learn by doing. Takes a long time, but the lesson stays with me. More importantly, I can tell others how to do it.
I’m not the sharpest crayon in the box by any means. It takes me a while to research these subjects, assimilate the knowledge, put it into practice, then figure out how I can impart that to someone else so they’ll not only understand but be able to use the information immediately.
Occasionally, I’ll write something about what’s going on in my life or some social issue about which I feel strongly. Sometimes I’ll write a piece of paid copywriting under the Literary License label. I’m very selective in the clients I take on, and even if it's copywriting, I write in an entertaining and informative manner in my usual blog “voice.” However, the majority of everything on my website and blogs is created for what I perceive as my target audience’s interest.
I also illustrate everything I write with photographs or digital illustrations. These are all images I create or legally obtain the rights to use. Illustrations give visual interest and break up blocks of prose.
Content: Emperor Of Blog Universe
All of this - the articles (and how those blocks of prose are constructed) and the illustrations - is content created or my target audience.
Who is your target audience? What will your content be for that audience? How will you attract visitors? What is your editorial focus? How will you provide your audience with content that makes them not only return but also tell others about your website and/or blog? You need to spend a lot of time thinking about these questions and writing down your answers.
Visit next week for Part 5 of Website Design Basics. (I think I initially said this would be a 4 part series. However, there’s so much to tell that I can’t do it in 4 posts. We’ll see if 5 will shut me up. I did another series on the subject of content from the standpoint of just starting a blog if you like to check them out, read the blog from July 8 - 11.)
Give the matter of content a lot of thought because the quality of content will determine the success of your web presence.
A pretty girl with a boring personality is like a beautifully-designed website with inane content. Neither get very many admirers.