Writing Q&As and FAQs
After my mammoth post last week on copywriting tips, I have a bit of a shorter one for you this time!
I have been asked recently about using ‘question and answer’ style formats for offering information. I think including ‘frequently asked questions (FAQs)’ is a very useful way to convey lots of information in a reader-friendly way. FAQs can be included in blogs, websites and newsletters – and are great page fillers! And can often be reused in many ways.
How to write FAQs
The first thing is to make sure the topic you are trying to cover isn’t too big. Keep it simple and ‘strategic’. Which essential pieces of information are you trying to convey? If you have lots of areas to cover – such a FAQs page on your website where you want to answer questions about all of your products and services – then consider breaking this down in to sections so that a reader can locate a ‘topic’ and then read the relevant FAQs.
Secondly, try to be logical. Start with very basic questions and short answers, then get more technical. Also, try to be balanced. If you are including questions and answers about a range of products, for example, try to be consistent with the information given.
Thirdly, put yourself in your customer’s shoes! Remember you know the subject area inside out, but your reader does not…hence why they have probably sought out a FAQs section. Try to think about what questions customers and prospective clients ask – even the most basic! Perhaps make a note of the questions you get asked when you meet a new client for the first time.
Fourthly, ask clients for feedback. There is no harm in finishing a FAQs or Q&A style article with an invitation for further questions or information required. Ask your clients to read your FAQs and check their understanding too.
Finally (fifthly!!), don’t forget to use FAQs as a way to include links to your website; whether in a blog, from a newsletter or on the website itself, lots of internal linking is never a bad thing! It will encourage readers to discover more areas of your website and more about you, your products and services. So, for example, if in one of your answers you talk about ‘personal appointments’ then make sure you link to your ‘Contact us’ page or opening hours. Or if you mention a particular product, then link to its product page.
Take the time
Don’t try to rush this style of writing. It is very useful to take the time to draft the questions and their answers, leave it a while, and then come back to it. Remember to word the questions as if the customer is asking them! What language would they use?
This post has reminded me that I need to do a ‘FAQs for Good Practice for Blogging’…I often get asked similar questions, a lot of the time.
Are there any other topic areas that would be useful for me to cover? Just let me know. Comment below or email: firstname.lastname@example.org