6 Key Tips for Writing on the Internet
You have a lot of things to consider when crafting your website content. How does it fit with your brand? What is your main goal? How can you address SEO? What information is your audience looking for? It can almost feel overwhelming.
All of these questions are important, and you definitely need to consider them when deciding what information you want to put in your content and what word choices you're going to make. But you also have to think of something else: how you want to write. What stylistic choices should you make? Should what you write online be vastly different than what you'd write offline?
The short answer, of course, is that online writing is much different than books, magazines, text messages and many other formats. You absolutely need to know how to set your prose up to work online. Here are a few tips that can help:
1. Use more paragraph breaks than you think you need.
First of all, short paragraphs are best. Think three or four sentences. Instead of putting everything you have to say into one massive paragraph that looks like a wall of text online, break it into bite-size pieces.
2. Remember that people are going to skim.
You want people to read every word of your content, but most are not going to do so. They're going to skim and scan and jump around as they look for information that stands out or answers specific questions that they have. You can use things like headings, lists and the aforementioned short paragraphs to make it easier for them to read this way.
3. Understand your format and your audience.
Writing blog posts for SEO purposes or to connect with your audience can be done with a conversational and relaxed voice. Writing technical product descriptions or relating facts and figures, on the other hand, needs to be a lot more professional. Before writing anything, you need to understand exactly what your audience is looking for and what format, voice and style they're expecting.
4. Set up sub-headings for new topics.
Often, online readers are looking for one specific piece of information. You may be writing about a vacation resort, for instance, and one reader will want to know when it is open, another will want to know what amenities are offered and another will want to know the price. With sub-headings that break up the specific areas, you make it easier for people to quickly read what they want to read without having to comb through everything.
5. Write to your human readers first.
Part of online writing, of course, involves writing for algorithms and search engines. But you need to remember to write for your human readers first and then work in your SEO second. The writing still needs to be engaging and easy to understand. Don't get so caught up in the technical side of it that you forget that someone is on the other end, sitting there at their computer and reading your content.
6. Ensure that your content is original.
Both search engines and actual internet users want to see content that's original. If a piece of your content is already available elsewhere, then search engines may penalize you for republishing it. When writing about subjects that have already been covered extensively online, it can even be possible to accidentally write content that is too similar to content already online. You can avoid this by using tools such as plagiarismdetector.net, which scan the internet to ensure that your text doesn't match any previously published content.
Working with Us
These five tips show you what you need to focus on with online writing, but they're far from all that you should think about. The best way to get ideal content crafted specifically for your needs and your audience is to work with an experienced company like Content Customs. We work closely with you every step of the way to create content that gets results. Call today to get started.