If you run a blog or website you understand the need for writing regular content. While this may sound easy, it is not always easy to come up with ideas of what to write about. Even then you need to know how to write a compelling blog post that will attract attention.
When it comes to writing online there are a few differences which you must be aware of. Writing this type of content is different than writing a novel or non-fiction book. Just implement one writing tip per week to improve your style, writing techniques, creativity and the amount of content you create. I hope that you will enjoy using these tips and will have fun putting them into practice.
Start Writing on a Daily Basis
The more you write the better you will become at writing. So, it just makes sense that you want to get into the habit of writing every day. You don’t have to start writing pages upon pages each day. Your goal is to form the habit where you sit down at your computer and start typing words into a document or notepad.
You can write about anything. For example, you may want to write about your activities the day before. Start mapping out a business plan or outline blog posts. Write about anything that gets you into the habit of actually writing. You may even want to practice writing short posts which you could then use as content for your social sites. It may be difficult at first to write every day. Just remember, as with any habit, if you commit to doing this daily you will be writing regularly in less than one month.
Write in a Comfortable Place
If you are seriously trying to write a long article or even start a book you need to have a comfortable place to work in. This will vary depending upon your personality. Some writers enjoy writing in a quiet room at home, others prefer to write outdoors when possible. Yet other writers find they get inspired and can write more when sitting at a local coffee shop or restaurant.
No matter where you choose to write, find a place that works for you. If you have small children or a busy schedule you may prefer to get up earlier and use that time for writing.
By placing yourself in a comfortable setting you will find that your words flow easily. If your body is not in a comfortable place then neither is your mind.
Write for Your Audience
When it comes to writing online content for the internet your biggest concern is that you will want to cut out all the fluff and padding of your work. While it is still important to pay attention to your use of grammar, spelling and punctuation your main concern is to keep your writing concise.
It is still important to develop a style so that your audience can identify with you. You will want to aim your writing at a general level. This means not using overly long or difficult words and talking to your reader as though you were writing to a friend.
With the emergence of the internet writing styles are definitely more relaxed than ever before. It is still important to maintain a professional quality of your work so that you can brand yourself as an expert in your niche.
Research Your Topic
Before you sit down and write you want to take the time to research your topic. This is extremely important with web based content. Always keep in mind that internet users are looking for current information and facts.
By researching first, you will have timely facts and information that you automatically include in your blog posts and articles. By taking the time to research, your content is more likely to be shown as relevant content in the search engines. What this means is that your posts, pages and articles are more likely to show up in the top results in any search engine.
Once you have compiled your research you will be able to easily create a good outline for your topic. You may even find that the direction you first had in mind has changed. Researching can help you discover new and unique angles that you had not thought of.
Create an Outline
If you find that you often get stuck writing a complete blog post or article have you considered using an outline? This technique allows you to simply fill in the outline, once created, in a step by step process. Once filled in your basic article is completed. Using an outline simplifies the writing process and makes it easy for you to create quick and informative posts.
A good outline includes:
- 1. Introduction
- 2. Body
- 3. Conclusion
In the introduction you will basically tell the reader what they are going to learn by reading your article or post. In the body of your article make a list of the points or sub topics that you want to discuss. These points will become the sub headings of your article. After you have outlined your points you go back and write a couple of sentences on each one. This becomes the body of your article.
Once you get to the conclusion you simply wrap up and summarize the main points again. Then add a call to action for your reader and your new post is ready for publication.
Write in Short Spurts
Use a kitchen timer or download an online timer to your desktop and then use it. Most writers will agree that it is better to write in short spurts, rather than sit down for hours at one time.
There are several benefits of writing in short spurts including not cramping up your fingers and wrists from over typing, and not feeling overwhelmed or frustrated when your words do not flow.
Quite often taking a break frees up your mind and relaxes your body. When you sit down again to resume writing you will feel refreshed and ready to take action. You should notice that your writing flows easily and that you actually feel more creative.
Experiment with how often to take breaks and see what works for you. Most people tend to find that taking a 10-minute break once every hour is extremely effective.
Develop Compelling Headlines & Titles
With any type of writing which is going to be published online you want to take the time to come up with compelling headlines. A good headline will attract your website visitor’s attention immediately, and this will entice them to read the entire article.
When writing your headline or title do not use all capital letters in it and avoid using punctuation. If you place a full stop or period at the end of your headline it will make the reader want to stop reading. By eliminating this punctuation your reader is more likely to continue reading your full article.
Examples of great titles are:
- Titles that ask questions or provoke opinions
- How to titles
- Step by Step titles
- Titles which stir feelings in your reader
When writing content, for online purposes, you want to try and include keywords in your titles. This will help boost your content within the search engines. Place yourself in your reader’s shoes and think of how you would search for this particular information. Then try to include these terms into your titles, headlines and sub titles.
Short Sentences Work Best for Online Content
When writing online content, you want to avoid long sentences. It is much better to write your content in short and concise sentences. This way you can offer your readers easy to understand information which is well thought out.
In addition, keep your paragraphs fairly short. It is important to understand that when someone is reading an article, post or website content online, they often scan the content first. This is why it is important to make use of sub titles and formatting techniques such as lists and bullet points. These things will catch the readers eye, pulling them in, and making them want to read more.
Practice writing short sentences with no added fluff. If you find that your sentences are extremely long, work on adding commas into the sentence structure. Then read your sentence aloud. If your sentence still sounds and feels long winded then try splitting into two shorter sentences.
Use a Friendly Tone of Voice When Writing on Your Blog
Conversational and friendly tones work best when writing online content. Use a passive voice in your writing. An example of this is:
The graphic designer was hired by our company.
- We hired the graphic designer.
- When writing for your blog write as though you are chatting with your best friend or family member, someone that you know well. When you write in this manner your content becomes friendlier and adds that human touch.
A common problem with the internet is that a website often blocks the human element. Sometimes a reader doesn’t really know who has written the content and this adds distance.
By writing in a friendly manner you are forming a relationship with your reader and they in turn will learn to know, like and trust you more. This is extremely important for connecting long term readership for your blog.
Write to Attract Attention
This follows on from our last writing tip which covered writing in a friendly manner. With online content it is important to understand that your website visitor is looking for something. This could be the answer to a particular question or information on a particular subject. In essence they are looking for a solution to a problem.
You need to provide them with the solution and this solution must be evident quickly. Most website visitors will scan your page and if they don’t find what they are looking for, will leave in under 10 seconds.
This is why it is important to attract their attention immediately. This can be done by creating compelling headlines, using sub heading and lists. If the visitor thinks you may have the answer they are more likely to stick around and read the rest of your content.
Include Lists and Step by Step Tutorials
When creating content, you can make your content easier to read and more attractive by making use of lists and step by step tutorials. This offers several benefits including making your content more appealing to visitors. Instead of being faced with a long article they immediately see that your content is short and easy to read.
You can list main points and use bullet points or numbers to make them stand out on your page. As we mentioned earlier readers on the internet are in the habit of scanning content rather than reading every word in detail. So, using short points can help them identify if your content is what they are looking for.
Creating how to and step by step tutorials you are offering your readers a different type of content. If your article is dealing with how to learn something new then consider writing out in point or step form.