Most people first design their websites and then think about what content to add. However, just because most people approach building an online business this way doesn’t mean it’s the best approach. It might seem counterintuitive, but you should plan your content before designing your website. By knowing what you’re going to say on your website, you will be able to determine the design and layout of your site.

When people start online businesses, or decide to create an online presence to balance their existing offline businesses, the first thing they think about is design. The experts behind Hilton Head website design suggest that one key to developing a perfect platform is to review your business goals and needs. This makes perfect sense because when you have clear goals, you get a sense of direction. Once you’ve identified your needs, you start to think of how you’re going to fulfill them. So, thinking about content first can provide insight on your brand and the message you have to share.

Here are 7 tips to help you create a content strategy:

1. Understanding your audience

The more you understand their wants, needs, and desires, the easier it is to speak to them about the things that engage them. Rapport is created when two or more people share a common language of interest. Similarly, since writing and reading is a type of conversation, you can build rapport with your readers by talking to them on topics that interest them. A powerful technique to create this level of rapport is to create a customer avatar. This is a detailed description of your ideal customer.Georgina El Morshdy, a brand communication strategist and copywriter, explains, “With a detailed customer avatar in your business toolbox, you’ll be in the minority. That’s because most business owners will not make the effort. And as a result, you get to work a brilliant competitive advantage.”

2. Addressing your audience

Written English, like clothing, can be expressed in a wide variety of styles. You can have a formal style, a casual style, or something that’s in between, called “dressy casual.” What you choose depends on your business and your audience. Just as you don’t want to go to a Warren Buffett annual shareholders’ convention dressed for the beach, you don’t want to go to a beach party dressed like an investment banker. So, adopt a writing style that matches your audience.

3. Informing your audience

Most readers prefer a buffet of ideas rather than one main course. Pack several informative ideas into one post as opposed to honing in on a single idea. The only time you want to whittle down to a single idea is if you’re writing a scientific paper and you need to explain it in great depth to be understood.

4. Bonding with your audience

One way of forming an emotional bond is by being entertaining. Tell stories. Share personal insights, or add a dash of humor if it’s appropriate for your audience.

5. Timing your content

Timing plays a huge role in the success of content. Writing about how to set personal or business goals for 2017 was relevant in December 2016 and January 2017, but to write about it now in March 2017 is not relevant. Three months into the year, people have moved on to thinking about other things. Similarly, recommending what products to buy for Christmas this year is not going to interest anyone because it’s far too early to think about it. 

6. Branding your content

Developing a content publishing schedule to build your brand on your company blog will help you stay consistent. It might seem easier to simply come up with a few good ideas and then write and research new ideas after those have been exhausted, but it’s only too easy to postpone blogging when you’re not sure about what to write next.  

7. Building trust with your audience

There are two ways to lose the interest of an audience by being inaccurate. The first is to fail to use language properly. While readers might be able to overlook a few typos now and then, consistent spelling, punctuation, and grammar mistakes will be a definite turn-off. Another way to lose your audience is to make statements that are inaccurate. For instance, if you attribute a quote to the wrong person or refer to dated statistics, your audience will lose their trust in your ability to keep things straight.

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