How to Write for Online Readers
A lot of work goes into creating a top-notch corporate blog post or page of website content. You know your target market, you understand what their pressing needs are and your business is poised to meet those needs.
So why doesn’t anyone read your content? Are you hearing a giant sucking sound when you open your analytics?
The problem might be much simpler to solve than you think.
Writing for online readers is quite different than creating traditional print content. Here are a few tips to help you shift gears in your content writing so that your readers can get the most out of your post.
1. Write less.
Think about how overwhelmed you sometimes feel by the flood of information cascading out of your computer every time you open your internet browser window. We are an information-loving society, but there’s just so much of it! Most online readers scan rather than read, so consider this when you construct your content.
2. Begin at the end.
If a reader can get the gist from a quick glance at your initial headlines or sentences, they know immediately whether or not they’ve found what they are looking for. Make sure your introduction clearly states what information you have to offer, and keep your post in an easily-scannable format.
3. Employ line breaks.
Your English teacher probably hated itty-bitty paragraphs, but your online readers demand them. Make use of white space in order to allow your content to show up on the page as easily digestible bites; this is one of the easiest ways to make your content more readable.
And don’t be afraid to have an entire paragraph of a single sentence!
4. Use lists.
There’s just something about a numbered list that makes readers feel like everything is under control. Numbers and bullets not only make for good SEO, they also help organize new or complex information and are a great way to present multiple points in a scannable format.
5. Take the time to write good subheads.
Allow a set of subheads to be your outline or rough draft as you are planning your post or page. Make sure they are relevant, punchy, and concise. You can even attract interest by using unexpected statements or outrageous claims (which you then must back up) in your subheaders.
6. Emphasize important ideas.
Use bold formatting to draw attention to the key points in any given section or paragraph. Think of it like a textbook that’s already been highlighted by the teacher. You’re the expert and you know precisely what information or concept is critical to your reader. Help them find it!
7. Include (only) useful links.
Sometimes you come across a page of content where every fourth word is linked to a Wikipedia article or definition. The links are entirely unrelated to the thrust of the post, but the author thinks “Oh, links are good,” so they serve you up some generic links.
Make your links relevant to your content, and useful to your reader. Everyone knows how to Google words they don’t already know.
Calvert Creative can help you generate excellent content for a corporate blog. We can also get your article marketing campaign underway and producing solid results. Contact us today to see how easy and affordable great content writing can be.