In its essence, the task of writing for the web is rather simple. You just need to provide useful content, write in a captivating style and pick topics that someone would like to read. However, when you consider the fact that nearly every topic is covered with high-quality online content, you can realize how complex this challenge really is.
When you are writing content that’s supposed to face the online audience, you have to think about maximizing its impact. The following 8 tips will help you achieve more successful results with less effort.
Reveal the most important information first. Then, you can get into details
When you’re writing an essay or another type of academic content, you start with a more general introduction and you slowly guide your reader towards the arguments. You clarify the topic you’re going to discuss, and then you present a thesis, three arguments, and a conclusion, where you bring the most important points to light.
If you’re writing content for the web, you need to forget about all those rules you learned at college. People don't bother to read a huge text before finding out what exactly you are trying to say. An online text has to contain the most important points in the beginning.
There is no reason to think too much about the way you’ll start the text. Just offer a simple statement that contains your main point. Then, tell the readers that you have more background information, tips, or details to offer. When they realize that you have something important to say, they will be interested to read the whole thing.
This is a known strategy in journalistic style; it’s called an inverted pyramid. The most newsworthy information is provided at the beginning before the details and background information is exposed. This is a very useful approach, since even the readers with short attention span understand what you’re talking about.
Use headings and subheadings
Web readers do not like endless chunks of text. If you break up the same content with headings and subheadings, it immediately looks appealing to the eye. When it comes to the headline, the classic listicles, and how-to formulations always work brilliantly.
Now, what about the subheadings? Try to take out the subheadings in this article you’re reading right now. It would be a connected piece of text that would still contain the same information. However, you wouldn’t bother reading it, would you? Subheadings keep the focus of the reader and allow him to take a break whenever he wants. He can read few paragraphs, then scroll through his Facebook timeline and get back to your text without any problem to continue where he paused.
Use many subheadings and make them captivating! They keep the reader focused, but they also enable you to stay away from digressions.
Know your readers and talk to them
Web content is all about the readers. Even when you’re trying to promote a website, product or service, you should still have the needs, preferences, and problems of your audience in mind. If you provide the right solutions, you will gain an advantage through the benefits you provide.
Answer these questions:
- Whom are you writing for?
- What problems and interests does your target reader has`?
- What solutions and knowledge can you provide?
- Is your level of expertise suitable for the content you’re planning to write?
You can reveal information about your audience in different ways, but the social media networks work perfectly for this purpose. Monitor their activity, comments, and likes, and you’ll know what type of content they expect to see.
Once you get such insights, you should adjust your style and tone in a way that would look attractive for your target audience. Imagine that you’re explaining the matter to a friend or an audience. Talk to them and ask about their problems and solutions. When they start talking back, you’ll know you’ve become a successful online writer.
Stick to simplicity
Present your arguments in a clear language that everyone will be able to understand. If you’re planning to use any kind of slang, make sure your target audience understands it.
This is really important: don’t try to impress anyone with fancy, big words you just located in the dictionary. Even if you’re super smart without trying to sound that way, you’ll still look unnatural if you’re using a language your audience doesn’t hear every day. Your text should be easy to read. Avoid too long, complex sentences and express your arguments with the simplest words you can think of.
Write high-quality, creative and unique content
Don’t offer the same things your audience can already read at other websites. If you’re writing on a familiar topic, you need to approach it from a different angle that will intrigue the audience. That’s probably the most challenging aspect of web writing. It’s hard to be creative when you can find several other websites from the same niche.
If you find writing unique content difficult, you can make use of the sources for unique content. Collecting unique information and presenting them in a unique way matters a lot in web writing.
While writing content for the web, make sure that the content is relevant to the topic you are writing. Do not let your pen go off the track. Irrelevant content quickly annoys the online readers.
Make it interesting
Do you have a catchy topic? Is your idea intriguing? Then, all you need to do is write catchy content that will get the attention of many readers. The first thing to consider is the headline. If it’s not intriguing enough, no one will want to spend time reading the text. Ask a question, offer a top list, and give hints that you have the solutions your audience needs.
The headline will attract the reader’s interest, but you’ll need to hold it. You need to shine in the introduction. Expose your main point and explain why it would be useful for the reader to spend time with your text. The introductory paragraph should make the reader curious. One sentence is supposed to lead to another, and the paragraphs should flow in logical order. That’s the only way to keep the reader’s attention through the entire piece.
Don’t write long sentences and paragraphs. The readers like them short
Sometimes long sentences are inevitable, but try to stay away from complexity. Maybe your teacher at high school was impressed by your ability to write long, healthy sentences. Online readers won’t be that impressed, simply because they lose their attention somewhere in the middle.
The paragraphs should also be short. Present one idea per paragraph, just as you did when you were writing academic essays. Do not leave a giant block of text with several arguments within it.
Pay attention to the visual aspect
Your web content goes together with web design. If your page is not visually appealing, the text itself will be unreadable. Try replacing some of the text with photographs, videos, or an infographic. Visually-appealing content captures the attention of the reader and leaves a long-term impression.
Clear the clutter and break up the text with great images. When the visitors have less text to read, they will stick on the page for longer.
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Are You Ready to Start Writing Captivating Web Content?
The handy tips provided above will enable you to attract more readers with your web writing techniques.
Remember: People aren’t simply going to read whatever you serve. You need to discover their preferences and offer content that will grab and hold their attention.