Writing for the Web – 10 Top Tips

content-writer-sheffieldWhen internet users browse the web, they want to find the information they are looking for quickly. Readers tend to scan copy rather than ponder every word. You don’t want them to get bored, press the back button and look for another page that gives them what they are looking for more succinctly or in a more digestible way.

There are some techniques that you can use to make sure this doesn’t happen, and I’m going to share them with you. Here are my top 10!

1. Titles Matter

Your title can make or break your article. Even a fantastic article can be lost behind a mediocre or dull title. Make sure your title is eye catching and descriptive. For example, ask a question that your reader is dying to know the answer to, and deliver the answer in the article. Make sure your reader knows what they’ll be getting out of the post. It’s also a good idea to use keywords and make them bold.

2. One Idea Per Paragraph

Only include one key idea in each paragraph, and keep them short.  This will help readers to absorb the information easily and maintain the structure of your article. Generally, if readers are not captured by the first sentence, they will tend to skip the rest of the paragraph and move on to the next one.

3.  Sub-headings

Sub-headings break up the text into bite size chunks. They make it easy for readers to scan over the page, and digest the information without being swamped or put off by text heavy web pages.

4. Highlight Keywords

Highlighting a keyword in bold or adding a hyperlink makes the information easier to scan and digest. Readers are naturally drawn to the highlighted words and phrases, which should be integral to the understanding of the article.

5. Word Count

Opinions differ on the correct length of an online article or blog post. My personal preference is around 400 words, and never more than 600. This might not sound like a lot, but if you consider the attention span of readers and their preference for bite sized chunks of information, you can actually fit a fair few ideas into an article of this length.

6. Bullet Points

Bulleted lists are easy to read and can deliver a great deal of information in just a few lines. They also force you to keep your writing brief and to the point.

7. Proofreading

Before you hit publish, take the time to read over your writing. Look for spelling, punctuation and grammar errors. Make sure you’ve done everything you can to make sure there are no typos or mistakes, they will only undermine your credibility and put readers off.

8. Keep Your Reader In Mind

Before you begin to write, put yourself in your readers’ shoes. Do they need to know about this particular subject? Would they be interested in it? Keep your reader in mind throughout the writing process.

9. Keep It Simple

This is a classic tip from none other than George Orwell. He may never have written for the web but this still applies – never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday equivalent. Long sentences and large technical words just won’t cut it, you have to keep your language plain and simple.

10. Keep Your Writing Conversational

When writing for the web, you should come across as if you’re talking to someone. Try not to be formal, get your point across in a conversational way.

If you’ve written a blog post or article, and need a hand editing or proofreading to make sure it’s perfect for the web, I can help. Whether you need a full blog or article writing service, or you would just like an expert to check through your grammar, punctuation and style, call Content Writer Extraordinaire on 0114 383 0711, or get in touch by email through my contact form.

5 Tips on Blogging for Your Business

Blogging is a fantastic way to get your business noticed. You can present yourself as an expert in your field, be a thought leader in your industry, and turn readers into customers. As a professional content writer in Sheffield, my job is to create this sort of content every day, so I thought i’d put together my top 5 tips on blogging for business.

copy-writing-for-blogsCheck Out Your Competition

Before you start, it’s a good idea to have a look at what your competitors are up to. Do they have blogs? If they do, what topics are they writing about?

If you have a look at the categories on their blog, you’ll be able to identify the key topics they are talking about and assess whether they would be relevant to you too. Take a look at which posts have had the most comments and try to figure out why this is. For example, does the post answer a question that you are faced with regularly in your line of work? Does it address a topic that has recently received media attention?

I’m not suggesting at all that you should be a copycat, just that it is important that you make yourself aware of what your competition are doing, what they are doing well, and what they are doing not so well. That way, you can strive to be better in the areas that they are falling short on, and also identify ways the ways in which you can be unique.

Make a Schedule and Stick to It!

Making an editorial calendar is a great way to keep focused. You’ll have a set schedule and know exactly when you are going to publish blog posts, and on what topic. You can plan as far ahead in advance as you like; often it’s nice to know that you have a few topics penciled in in advance.

Be realistic about your editorial calendar. Don’t schedule in that you’ll write 3 blog posts a week unless you are absolutely sure you can find the time and stick to it. Give yourself a target of one a week, for example. You’re much more likely to succeed if you have a realistic expectation of yourself.

It’s also a good idea to have a schedule if there is more than one person in your business contributing to the blog. A schedule of topics will make sure that your ideas aren’t duplicated in any way, and you can assign topics to the person most equipped to talk about a particular subject.

Keep an Idea Note Book

If you’re feeling daunted by the thought of coming up with a new idea for a blog post every week, don’t despair. Inspiration may come to you when you least expect it, which is why it’s a good idea to write down any ideas that come to you, wherever you are.

If you’ve got a relatively fancy phone you can always keep a record of your ideas in the note section, or even send yourself a reminder email. Don’t forget there’s nothing wrong with a good old fashioned notepad, or a sticky note stuck on your desk!

Research Your Key Words and Phrases

Good content is well researched and informative, that not only reads well for a page viewer, but also features selected keywords and phrases that will help a website rank highly in search engines.

By researching and identifying which words and phrases are being searched for, you can then include them in your blog posts. This means that people searching for those terms are more likely to come across your blog. By concentrating your efforts on key words that are likely to be used by potential customers, your business is more likely to be found in search engine results pages for those terms!

Publish to Your Social Networks

When you write a blog post for your business, you’re really only doing half a job if you don’t share it. By sharing your content on social networks, you are broadening its reach, and more people are likely to click, like and share.

So if you have a Facebook page for your business, why not post a little teaser sentence to your page, including a link to the blog post itself, for your fans to see?

If you would like a blog for your business, but don’t have the time to dedicate to writing articles and replying to comments, I can help. If you would like to find out more about my blog and article writing services, please contact me via my contact form, call me in the office on 0114 383 0711 or email me at ellie@sevencreative.co.uk