Now that you’ve got a great new website, and you have the power to control your own content with a CMS like SetSeed, you’ll be eager to start writing new content.
As a web designer I have setup countless CMS websites for customers of all computer abilities. Although SetSeed is really easy to use, it can’t write content for you. The following practical guide will help you keep all your great content consistent and well formatted. Please note this is as much a reminder for me as anyone else; I know I’m guilty of at least one of the following!
I often see novice typists neglect to add capital letters at the beginning of sentences. If your keyboard skills are a bit lacking, it's quit understandable that you might want to avoid using the Shift Key while typing a letter. However, if you're writing content for the web, you really need your content to look professional. Therefore it's essential to put in the extra bit of effort to format your sentences correctly. The same goes for adding ‘full stops’ (periods if you’re in the USA) at the end of course.
- “Their” is possessive, i.e “The cats sat on their mats”
- “They’re” is just short for “They are”, i.e “They’re a really great bunch over at Phototropic”.
- “There” means “over there”.
The first one is a correct apostrophe character, the second example is a backtick, and the third is a prime mark.
Firstly, it’s ok to use the first person when writing your web content. Avoid using ‘I’ when writing your main website content (but it’s ok for things like blog entries or articles which are directly credited to a single author, and a more personal tone is appropriate). You can use ‘we’ or ‘us’ to refer to your business, but avoid doing so too often. Your visitors are more interested in what your business can do for them, so try and turn a sentence around and use ‘you’ and ‘your’ instead. Most importantly of all, don't mix using ‘I’ with third person references to yourself in the same piece of writing.
If you’re a self-employed individual, and your website is just about you and your services, it can be hard to know how to write your content. If you choose to refer to yourself as ‘I’ throughout, it can read a little oddly as people don't expect that tone in the context of a normal website. If you do this you need to ensure the presentation of your website makes it very clear that it’s you who’s writing the content, so they expect it to be written in the singular first person. For example your website should look as though it represents a person rather than a business.
Often a better approach is to use third person for all the main website content. It can feel a bit strange writing about yourself like this so you might consider getting someone else to write about you instead. You can still use your blog to write naturally in the first person. Having your services described in the third person can also add credibility as it implies that it’s not just your own words used to promote yourself.
Ben Vallack is a web designer and filmmaker and provides high quality services which don't cost the earth. Get in touch with Ben: