Some of our web design projects have been delayed at the last hurdle by content, which is usually provided by our clients. It's important not to let the idea of content intimidate you to the point where your website isn't updated at all. Much better to aim to be 80% happy with what you write than wait days, weeks or months to get to 100% perfection.
This is not just about launching a new website or a new design for your website, but adding content over time too. It's important to keep your website up to date and changing even if you're not going through a launch process. Websites that are updated more often get better rankings on Google because the content is more fresh and relevant. And it keeps repeat customers or other interested visitors coming back to your website.
How to start writing content for your website
Writers' block isn't just for novelists, and their solution will work just as well for you: Just start something. It doesn't matter if it's a bit rough or the spelling is imperfect - you can always edit it later. Just get your ideas down in the briefest form so you can explain your business to yourself, and create a draft set of pages for your new website. All you want is raw materials at this stage.
What content to include in your web design project
In terms of what to write for your web design project, there are a few basic requirements that most customers expect to see. Something about your company, your passion and values, why you do what you do, and your history if it's relevant. It's important for people to feel a connection to your business but at the same time remember this isn't the main thing they're interested in.
Obviously you need to talk about your services, but try to write from the point of view of your customer, both in terms of what you talk about, and in the literal language - "your services", "your experience" instead of "our company", "our services". Put them in the frame of mind of being one of your customers. Talk about the benefits of your services, and how they actually help the customer, rather than how things seem from your perspective.
Testimonials and case studies go a long way, especially if you can use a third party like Google Business to demonstrate they are independent and not published by you. Talk about how it feels to be your customer, how they really benefited, and try to use their direct quote and images if you can.
Getting the right tone for your website content
Tone of voice can be tricky. You don't want to sound uninformed, and you don't want to be too cold or formal in your tone. Think about your tone before you start so you can be consistent. Don't fall into the trap of using long words and formal language because you feel insecure in your writing ability. Write in the way that you talk to your customers and colleagues. It helps to read it out loud, or even have someone else read out loud while you listen and take notes.
Edit then edit again
The first stage above is just about getting down some content to create momentum and get past the first hurdle. Now be prepared to check your content again. As well as correcting typos, look for ways to structure the content better with headings and images, and be prepared to delete or rewrite whole sections. Ask people inside and outside your business to review the new pages. Check your spelling and grammar.
Don't think of this as the last draft
Don't get too hung up on this next iteration of your website being the perfect new place for content or it will hold you back. Better to launch next week with 5 pages than next year with 50. And you can always write the other 45 pages later anyway. It's fine if you change whole pages or sections in a couple of months time, in fact it's good for your website to stay fresh and changing.
Your new website is just the start, and by getting it launched quickly even if there are gaps in the content, you will help make it an ongoing project instead of another website that isn't updated for 5 years.