The Mueller Writing Blog

Blog posts, eBooks and other content marketing resources written by Heather Mueller

Questions to Ask Before You Write

Great web content starts with research. Why? Well, we all know a decision to hit the back button is made within seconds. So how do you know what language will get your visitors to stay, explore, follow and buy?

It’s simple: You ask questions. A lot of questions. Before putting the figurative pen to paper. Here are ten of the most critical ones to ask yourself or your client before writing a single line of website copy:

1. Who is my ideal customer?

2. What are their fears and challenges as they relate to my business?

3. What do I provide that will help them overcome them?

4. What objections are they likely to have?

5. What tone is most likely to resonate with them? Fun and personable? Or corporate and buttoned up?

6. What words and phrases are they most likely to use when searching for my services and products?

7. Who are my top competitors?

8. What does my company do that they can’t (or don’t)?

9. Who is not a good fit for my products and services?

10. What action do I most want people to take when they come to my website?

This is just a sampling of the many inquiries I make when developing web content strategies for my clients. The more thorough you are in your research, the more likely you’ll end up with web copy that sells.

What about you? What questions would add to this list?

2 comments… add one
  • Anna

    May 6, 2014, 11:20 am

    Great questions. My problem is though, what if your client doesnt know the answer which happens alot when dealing with small business owners.

    • Heather Mueller

      May 6, 2014, 11:56 am

      Hi Anna,

      Good point. That’s where your own research will come in. After getting as much as possible from the client, I’ll then dig into their web analytics, see what people are saying on social media and forums, interview sales teams and customers (when possible), and so on. Then you use all that research to make solid recommendations for copy, calls to action, key messages and more. Small business owners usually welcome insights and suggestions, since they rarely have the time and resources to do it themselves.


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