Website Content Template

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Andy Crestodina
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We recently wrote a post that was a list of questions to stimulate writing ideas. Hopefully, they inspired a few topics. Now let’s get writing. But there’s no need to start with a blank page. You can use this…

>> Steal Orbit’s Content Template <<

Click File > Make a Copy. There. Now it’s yours! Or, you can download it here as a Word document.

Here are some basic instructions to help you get the most out of it.

Step 1: Plan

First, we need to decide what we’re writing and where it will be published. Different parts of the template are relevant to different types of content, so after we decide what we’re going to write and where it’ll go, lets remove the parts of the template that we don’t need.

Let’s get started…

Web Page

You would use this option if you’re writing content for your website. For example; your services pages, product pages, or landing page content for specific campaigns.

Tip: Delete the email newsletter, guest blog post, and social promotion sections of the content template.

Blog Post

The topics here could be anything relevant to your audience’s interest. It may tell them how to solve their own problems. Blog posts are usually helpful, but at times may simply express a viewpoint or opinion.

Tip: Delete the email newsletter and guest blog post sections of the content template..

Blog Post and Newsletter

Notice that there is no option to write a newsletter that isn’t also a blog post. Newsletters are just email invitations to read your blog post. Never put the full text of an article into an email. You won’t drive any traffic!

Tip: Delete the guest blog post section of the content template..

Guest Blog Post

Here, our focus is on the audience and requirements of the host blog. But for search engine optimization reasons, we also want to consider which blogs will give us the best search engine optimization benefits.

Tip: Delete the keyphrase research and email newsletter sections of the content template.

Now that you’ve removed the parts of the template that aren’t relevant, we’re ready to research.

Step 2: Research

Here’s the trick to writing for web: create content with your content promotion strategy in mind. A little research and planning up front can lead to lots more traffic in the long run.

This is the purpose of the content template – to remind you to do all the little things that will help your writing get traction.

Keyphrase Research

This is the key to ranking and search engine traffic. Find a phrase that balances search volume (how many people are searching for it?) with competition (do I have a realistic chance of ranking?). If you’re not sure how, read our post How to Research Keywords. Next, use the keyphrase in the title, meta description, and URL.

Email Marketing

Plan your subject line and teaser text up front. Remember, the subject isn’t necessarily the same as the title and header. It’s all about open rates.Be specific about the value of the post, but leave room for curiosity.

Examples: The 7 Secrets to Growing Tomatoes or What to Ask Your Financial Planner about Taxes: 3 Questions.The teaser text in the email isn’t necessarily the first paragraph of the post. It’s all about clickthrough rates. Give a taste that will make the subscriber want more.

Guest Blog Posts

Don’t keep all that content to yourself. Writing for other blogs is great for inbound links and for social media. It’s also a lot of fun. I’ve written dozens of guest posts already this year!To get the best SEO value from a guest post, use OpenSiteExplorer.org to check the domain authority of the host blog before you submit. As a general rule, you should guest blog on sites with a higher domain authority than your site.

Step 3: Write

Yes, it’s time to write. The template includes writing tips for keyphrase usage, social mentions, calls-to-action, images, and links. Above all, pay attention to formatting, length and tone.

Formatting

Designers know that white space is good, but most writers didn’t get the memo. Long, blocky paragraphs get skipped. Use sections with sub-headers. Use bullet lists. Use bolding, italics, and internal links.

Length

Although sentences and paragraphs should be short, the blog post doesn’t have to be. Longer posts show expertise and perform well in search engines. Every post should be long enough to convey the meaning and not a word longer.

Tone

An easy tone makes for engaged visitors. Write as if you’re talking to your mom: courteous but informal. Be direct, get to the point, and avoid jargon.

You’ll also find sample HTML for your author bio.

One Size…

…does not fit all. Everyone has a different approach for collecting ideas, writing, editing, and publishing. Some use paper; others write directly into the content management system. If you like this template, but want to change it or use these ideas in other ways, go for it!

Adapt it. Make it yours. Or if you have another approach you’d like to share with fellow readers, let us know with a comment below.

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Comments (14)
  • Perfect timing, I was just sharing the content template with my teammates yesterday. Nice to get this succinct run-down of the creation process.

  • Thanks so much for sharing this updated version of the content template, Andy. Great I had the chance to come across it and talk to you about it. Super useful!

  • Consider it stolen!

  • […] the podcasts, or shoot the videos, whichever format is best for your audience. Use a ghost writer, content template, content checklist, or a restaurant napkin, whichever method is best for you and your […]

  • I’m currently working with my client’s web content and this is an awesome resource. Glad I’ve found this 🙂

  • So simple, yet genius. I’m going to try this!

    • Let me know how it goes, Stephanie. And in the meantime, let’s get together sometime! Drop me a line when you can. There are a few (fun) topics I’d like to talk to you about…

  • This is a great blog post, Andy! Good and clear advice for creating a post…like it.

    • Thanks, Julie! I’ve shared that Google Doc with hundreds of people. Now when I visit it, I can see other people are there.

      Google shows them as little icons in the top right. Right now there’s an “anonymous frog” and an “anonymous kangaroo” Maybe one of those is you. 🙂

  • […] also use a web content template for writing. It makes all the […]

  • […] Media here in Chicago wrote the blog post template I’ve been using for years now. You candownload it here. You can thank him. And hire him to do your website […]

  • […] at Orbit Media here in Chicago wrote the blog post template I’ve been using for years now. You candownload it here. You can thank him. And hire him to do your website […]

  • […] Write down your list on paper, in a spreadsheet or directly into your writing template. […]

  • This content template is of big help for my website. This is a great find for me! Awesome!

 
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