Because it’s not the same as writing a book
Content is important, as are blogs – we know that now. The thing is, writing for the interwebs is very different to writing for magazines or books. But don’t fret, pet! We’ve compiled a list of our 6 top tips that’ll make you a web writing ninja in no time.
1. KISS: Keep It Simple, Stupid!
A favourite acronym from our childhood, this one says it all. When it comes to writing web copy, simplicity is key.
The average person’s attention span is dwindling with every new Facebook like and Instagram swipe, so keep your sentences short, simple and clear.
2. Know who you’re talking to
Do you know your audience? If you’ve made it this far, you really should!
Are they young, hip and rocking around in second-hand, tartan cuffed pants? Or are they older, wiser, sporting considerably less hair and considerably more money?
Whatever the case, it’s important that you write for the people doing the reading. Don’t write for yourself (unless your target audience is YOU). Use a tone of voice that your readers can relate to, that draws them in and makes them want to keep reading.
Basically, be a person. It’ll be much appreciated, we promise.
3. Jargon isn’t fun for anyone
People who are experts in their industry can often make the mistake of using jargon. For those of you who don’t know, “jargon” refers to the complex industry terms that only people within said industry will understand.
So unless you’re writing technical articles catered specifically to those in the know, lose the jargon! If the average Jane or Joe doesn’t know what you’re talking about, you can bet they’ll click out of your blog and out of your site quick smart.
Whenever you can, switch out complicated words for simple ones. Rework long-winded, academic sentences. Break down your explanations into layman’s terms and use them. The people will thank you for it!
4. Mix up the layout
If the content all looks the same, you’re going to lose your readers pretty quickly. You can mix up the layout by separating paragraphs out with relevant headings. Draw out and emphasise excerpts from the text using quotations.
Always include bullet points or numbered lists to help readers absorb information faster. Your audience will scan what you have to say and pull out what’s relevant to them, so make the content accessible!
Remember what we said about dwindling attention spans? Exactly.
5. Variety is vital
Like a good James Bond cocktail, you want your content to be shaken, not stirred. Change things up! Use different vocabulary, avoid repetition. If you’ve already harped on about a topic in one paragraph, harp on about another in the next.
Our best friend when we’re writing – and this probably goes for a lot of other copywriters out there, too – is the thesaurus. Need a different word? Look it up!
Just make sure that when you’re switching out words here, there and everywhere, your sentences are still making sense. If you don’t know what a word means, Google it! If it doesn’t fit, scrap it.
And keep in mind that if you don’t know what a word means? Your audience might not, either!
6. Finish up with a CTA (Call To Action)
A Call to Action is anything that calls for further audience engagement. In the blog world, a CTA usually goes at the end of the post.
Whether you’re asking a reader to subscribe, comment, share or click through to another page, your CTAs should always be short, snappy and to the point. Make the process as easy for your reader as possible.
Are you a web writing ninja yet?
After that crash course, we think you should be! And when all else fails, our advice is this: put yourself in your reader’s shoes. What would you want to see? What content would you want to read?
These days, it’s all about storytelling. If you can understand your audience’s perspective and deliver them content with that in mind, you’re much more likely to have them coming back for more.