Whether or not you have a background in writing or journalism, if you’re just beginning to write for the web there’s a few things to keep in mind.
Of course there are the common sense items to take care of like proper spelling, grammar and punctuation, but here are a few easy little tricks that will help keep your readership interested, informed and excited for more.
Sentence structure goes hand in hand with punctuation. If you’re trying to make a few different points all at once, break it out into short sentences instead of using a bajillion commas or constantly using the word ‘and’. Remember that readers on the web are used to skimming pages so dissecting larger pieces of information into smaller bite-sized morsels will be easier for them to digest.
Make Proper Use of Headlines
Your headline is essentially your selling point on the web so you’d better make it count. For example, I could have titled this article “Writing For the Web”. Lame. Every day there’s already a dump truck and a half full of articles about writing being published to the internet. By tailoring the headline to a specific audience you’ve got a much better chance of striking a chord with the reader.
You could be thinking “Well I AM a newbie at writing and I LIKE tips, but I also LOVE Cheetos. WOW! This guy knows 2 of the 3 best things about me! Wait a minute… Are you Criss Angel?”
In addition to pimping out your own headlines, when linking to another source in your work be sure to include the headline in the link and not just the words “click here.” By incorporating an already existing headline you’ll help your organic search ranking. All this talk about links leads me to the next point:
Links add extra interactivity to your article but as mentioned they also help with search engine optimization, especially when you’re linking to some of your other works. Perhaps you’re bringing up a point that you’ve talked about in detail previously on your blog. Linking back to that article will also allow your reader to gain more information on the subject if they wish.
Also try to keep in mind that if you’re using obscure references that your readership might not always get the reference. Hyperlinks are a good way to help paint a picture for your readers who may be on the outside looking in. For example:
“Did you hear the new Justin Bieber single? That track is hotter than Canis Majoris. AMIRITE?”
By simply adding a reference link you’ve instantly helped illustrate a point and brought your fellow Bieber fellowships’ IQ up a couple of points with an astronomy lesson.
As you keep developing content for the web you’ll begin to figure out what your audience responds to best and that will help develop the style of your work. These 3 quick tips hopefully gave you a little bit of insight about how users generally process information on the web and how you can learn to put those habits to work for you.
If you’re looking for some more ways to establish or improve your readership, contact Point Click Media.