3 Guiding Principles For Effective Website Content Creation

Knowing simply how to write is not enough when it comes to creating content for the digital media. Having the ability to write a 20-pager and score an A in fancy grad school (btw, no offense, I was one of those) does not mean you can create effective content for a website – where people mostly “scan” the content and consume information in “sound bytes”.

When I guide my clients through content creation for their websites, I teach them 3 basic principles to stick by:

#1 Succinctness and Relevance

  • You want your copy to be succinct – cut to the chase right away. Think about what I like to call “internet attention span” – people have to process tons of information a day, don’t lead them around in circles.
  • It’s NOT about you. It’s about in what specific ways you are relevant to the audience. It’s great to tell your story as a way to identify and connect with the audience… but only the parts that you can say “that’s why I am qualified to help you with xyz”.

#2 Readability

  • Assume people don’t like to read. Make your pages easy to skim and so that your readers can find the relevant information quickly and easier. Use short paragraphs, bullets, and white space. Discreetly use bold or italic types, color or graphic text to call out key words – but don’t overdo it! If everything screams out at the same “volume”, you page just becomes one big ball of noise.

#3 Navigation and Hierarchy

  • Don’t throw everything onto the primary navigation. Take stock of your content, layout the pages that you will be creating, and group similar pages under one primary navigation item.
  • Create hierarchy in your site, make the important stuffs stand out.
  • Create hierarchy on every page, so that people skimming through the page knows what’s important.

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