How to create content for a website: 5 simple steps

Whether you have a website, a blog or a YouTube channel, you will need to create content, and sometimes that is a daunting task. You may have a great content strategy and be struggling with how to actually create the content, or you may be starting at the very beginning and needing some ideas of where to even get ideas for what to write or video – no worries! With these 5 simple steps on how to create content for a website, I’ll guide you through how I regularly create content with the maximum of efficiency.

How to create content for a website

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1. Plan – What are you going to talk about?

Planning is a key stage to your content creation, and because it’s often a combination of creative and research type activities it’s really something that lends itself to being done in batches. If you’re like me you’ll come out of the planning phase with ideas for at least half a dozen blogs or videos (or both!). According to my current content creation strategy, this is two or three weeks worth of posting all planned in one go.

Getting ideas – but where?

I find I come across content ideas two ways, either by actively looking for them, or my subconscious has been mulling away on things in the background and randomly spews forth an idea when it’s very inconvenient to write it down (like while just falling asleep, or in the middle of a run)! Because of the way the brain functions, the later will often happen after I’ve been working on the former – and it’s a very good idea to try to capture the random ideas – they are often some of the best! I keep a notepad by the bed and make sure I always run with my phone, that way I can quickly note these down as they occur.

Try using your favourite creative method to come up with a big selection of ideas, don’t judge them in the beginning, just get as many down as possible (remember, Adam Grant – the really creative ideas won’t come out until your get into 35+ ideas). Don’t be afraid to combine, scale-up, scale down or go looking for inspiration elsewhere within your niche.

Purpose – is this content or copy?

Now that you have your big collection of ideas, split them into two segments:

Content – designed to inform and/or entertain

Copy – designed to persuade and/or sell

As Content and Copy have different purposes, your approach to crafting your post, video or website will be different. We will get into this in a later post.

Who wants to know?

Now that you’ve got your big collection of ideas, and you know whether your purpose is to entertain or persuade you need to figure out how to make your content or copy relevant and valuable to your target audience and niche. Once you’ve figured out how to make the information important to your audience, you need to make sure that they can find it.

What does your plan look like?

Well mine is usually quite messy. It often looks like a mind-map with lots of extra scribbles on it noting whether the idea is copy or content, and how to target my audience (including how I’m going to promote this post).

You will have noted that some of my posts, like this one, have short associated videos – I started doing videos because the target market for my blog includes people who like information presented in a variety of mediums. My plan will include whether I think each idea is suitable for a sub 15-minute video. I also used Pinterest to drive traffic to my blog – therefore if I have any particular ideas for the pin images – I’ll note them on the plan too. That way I can generate a few week’s worth of ideas all at once, and still remember what I’d thought at the time when I pick the plan up again.

Now planning is key – so if you fancy more granularity, have a look at the full post on planning content in detail!

2. Outline – How you’re going to say it

For each individual post or video, it’s really worth creating a detailed outline of what you’re going to say. For posts you want it to include all your headings and subheadings as well as the important details that you want to make sure to include. When you’re outlining a video it’s really worth making sure that you’ve outlined the individual sections and important details.

As an example, I’ve included the outline of one of my recent posts. As you can see, I’ve created it all in a notebook – I find I can get the ideas down a lot more efficiently using pen and paper, despite then having to type it in when I’m creating the post.

outline of a recent blog post

3. Draft it – Do the images and diagrams too!

The next step is to draft it out! Take your outline and expand into all the details that you want to include in each section. It’s also a great time to create or tweak any graphics that you want to use and to create the summary statement for SEO description on your blog or your YouTube video description.

The Steps For the Bloggers:

  • Find your long-tail keywords and work them in
  • Do the draft copy fleshing out the outline and getting all the details down 
  • Create your graphics or images at this stage
  • Write your summary, note your tags and category

For you Vloggers:

  • Get all your prompts down and do a dry run
  • Create any graphics or transitions that you might want
  • Draft your YouTube Description and note down your tags and playlist (if you use playlists)

4. Fact Check – The details need to be correct

It is super-important that you get all the details correct, so this is the stage to double-check all the facts and references, as well as making sure your grammar, spelling and punctuation are correct. You should also edit your blog post for its flow while being read, check that you’ve correctly targeted your audience and that your keywords are in.

  • Double-check all details
    • Have you spelled their name right?
    • Is this the right source?
    • Plagiarism free and all copywrites checked?
    • Your audience is correctly targeted
  • Make sure that you have the correct links for any offers (and that all affiliate links are correctly declared as such)
  • Check your keywords
  • Edit for readability, spelling, grammar, punctuation and that your tone is suitable for the audience

5. Create your Ancillaries

Don’t forget about your social media marketing and how to reach out to your audience. Using ancillary methods to drive traffic to your primary medium (for instance, my primary content medium is blogging – but I use YouTube to complement it and Pinterest to increase my traffic because it is appropriate to my niche).

  • Create your social media marketing images
  • Post to Pinterest, LinkedIn, Twitter, or whatever social marketing you prefer
  • Consider enclosing your video in a blog for additional reach or for the bloggers consider adding video!

Final Top Tips

Consider batching steps to improve your efficiency even more. There are some that work better than others for this approach though – for instance, I find it easy to generate plans, outlines, and ancillaries for a number of different posts at the same time. I’m not particularly proficient at drafting and fact-checking in batches at this point, as I find these activities to be mentally exhausting – but it’s an area of improvement that I’m trying to focus on.

Try not to worry if this process doesn’t work particularly well for you the first few times though – it takes a bit of time to get into both the habit of working this way, and to practice the individual skills necessary to create valuable content.

I’d love to hear what you think, so do please let me know in the comments if you’ve tried this method of increasing your content creation efficiency and how you got on!

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12 thoughts on “How to create content for a website: 5 simple steps”

  1. These are great ideas that I will be using when trying to create some content.
    This has really helped me figure out how I am going create my page. Thanks a lot

  2. Thank you for these ideas

    I normally just write though when it comes to website content and the sentences just flow when I am in the zone. I think planning for me can be a bit time consuming because the research is already time consuming.
    However I love the fact that the video part must include the tags of which I haven’t been including I think it will help with SEO, What are your thoughts?

    1. Hi Thabo,

      Thanks for your comments! I applaud people who’ve found a way of creating content that works for them, and I always want to know more about it! Writing content was something that I really struggled with when I first started and it really hurt my productivity so I’m envious of natural writers like yourself and had to find a process to improve my skills!

      I’m learning YouTube SEO at the moment, but one of the first things I was told (and something that I’m guilty of not always doing), is to use the full 500 characters that you are allowed for tags. Also that you should make sure to use both exact match and broad match keyword tags for your YouTube content in addition to a well thought out and written description.

      Being conscious of how different people like to receive their information has lead me to the combined written and video approach. Personally I hate receiving information in exclusively video format, it’s an issue that I have with a lot of training in the affiliate marketing realm. However, I also know that a lot of people tune out if all they see is a big screen of text – so the challenge is in finding the balance, and optimising it all to rank in its various genres!

      Thanks,
      Lisa

  3. Hey Rat Race Escapee,

    This is an excellent article. I’m so pleased I came across it. Even though I am making pretty good content at the minute, it’s getting tougher and tough and I don’t have a real strategy for it. But, now that I came across this article, I’m going to try to put your steps in place when I eventually need them.

    They seem to be working great for you, so why wouldn’t they work for me or anyone else for that matter. It just takes a little bit more effort, and if you are willing to put in that effort then you will be fine.

    I’ll let you know how I get on with the steps and if I have any issues or questions that you could help with, I’ll let you know.

    Thank you for sharing, and keep up the amazing work on your site.

    All the best,

    Tom

    1. Hi Tom,

      Thanks for your comments, I’m really glad you found the post useful, there is a follow up on the nitty-gritty of the planning phase drafter (including tips for generating loads of new post ideas) that you might like – the video is scheduled to go live on YouTube at 12.00 on the 16th of April and the post with it!

      I’ve found since using this content creation process my posts have been getting longer and more detailed but I’ve been putting in the same amount of effort and time – so it really has been a bonus for me!

      Please do let me know if there is anything that I can do to assist!

      Thanks,
      Lisa

  4. Thank you so much for this post. I personally struggle sometimes when creating content. I just don’t know how to put the information that I have collected in a way that would be easy-to-understand for my readers. After reading your article I have a more clear idea of how to organize the process.

    1. Thank you! I’m glad you found the 5 Step content creation process helpful! It has certainly increased the speed at which I can put together a post and made the ideas flow together in a much more structured way. I hope it helps you in a similar way – please do get in touch if I can help or clarify in any way!

      Cheers,
      Lisa

  5. Thank you for this insightful article. You are right planning before writing content is key. After finding a keyword and/or theme upon which my content will be created then I do research to gather information and then come up with the headings for my content, the rest just follows. Days vary a bit though. Some days the energy just flows other days I do struggle. I then try different strategies. Thank you for your article. I’ve taken away some pointers.

    1. Hi Maggie,

      Thanks for your comment, I’m really glad that you have a process that works for you. I agree though, on the days when the inspiration doesn’t flow writing posts just seems like a really hard slog. I’m in the process of writing one that I’m battling with at the moment, so I’ve taken a break to try and regain some perspective.

      In addition to looking for other techniques, here are some of the things I find helpful when a post just won’t flow nicely from brain to screen:

      – take a break
      – have a snack, the hungry brain doesn’t write well!
      – consider a glass of water, Healthline.com says that: “According to the recent study from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, just a couple of hours of vigorous activity in the heat without drinking fluids or eating can greatly affect concentration.” https://www.healthline.com/health-news/2-hours-dehydration-can-affect-body-and-brain#1
      – Go for a walk or another form of exercise
      – Do something else for a bit, engage your conscious brain in something and let your subconscious keep figuring out how to get your ideas down on paper

      I hope these tips are helpful!

      Cheers,
      Lisa

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