Four Tips For Successful Web Writing
If you want people to read your web content, you have to make it appeal to them. Here’s how to do it.
First, pick a great title – or a good one. A good title is one that tells the reader what your article or post is about. You can use humor or you can play it straight, as long as you inform the reader. Titles with number in them tend to do well. A good title, like a good article, answers the ‘what’s in it for me’ question for readers.
Next, talk to your readers as if they’re sitting in the same room. Use the word ‘you’ liberally, as you were if you were talking to someone. Good web writing is like having a conversation with the person who is reading it. Your writing voice will be a bit like your speaking voice – let your personality show.
Write short, clear sentences. Make it easy for people to understand what you’re talking about. The web audience is international, and not everyone speaks English as a first language. So when you write, avoid jargon and obscure language and provide examples to illustrate your points.
Summarize. Use bulleted lists to help people understand the essentials of your topic. It’s the old rule: tell them, then tell them what you’ve told them.
Here’s a recap. Four ways to write a good web article are to:
- Pick a good title.
- Address your readers directly.
- Keep sentences short and clear.
- Provide a summary.
Subscribe to Receive our Articles and Exercises via Email
- You will improve your English in only 5 minutes per day, guaranteed!
- Subscribers get access to our exercise archives, writing courses, writing jobs and much more!
- You'll also get three bonus ebooks completely free!
10 Responses to “Four Tips For Successful Web Writing”
I totally agree with all of these tips, especially this part “Next, talk to your readers as if they’re sitting in the same room. Use the word ‘you’ liberally, as you were if you were talking to someone.”
I run my blog in what you guys call it a “foreign language”.I blog in swahili for my swahili readers and speakers audience.I,however,particularly enjoy reading these daily tips from you.On this one I think the point of writing as if my audience was just in front of me is a great tip.I will make sure I do that more times than I have done in the past.Thanks a lot.
A title on the Web has two vital purposes. Like a headline in a newspaper, it helps people decide if they want to read the whole article. And, it helps search engines decide what the web page is about. For search engine optimization, the title is the most important part of a web page.
Sandra, there’s nothing wrong with starting a sentence with ‘But’.
If you use your ‘speaking voice’ it’ll sound much less like a robot wrote the blog and less like you’re churning out something that doesn’t represent you – it’ll be closer to how you communicate in real life and, consequently, more human.
You’re right, Sandra. I just try to find a balance I can live with. 🙂
Ok, I’m trying to use my speaking voice in my blog, but I’m having a problem avoiding the word “kids” that you put on the taboo list on a previous post.
I’ve tried using “children,” but that is too formal for most occasions. I’ve also used “youngsters,” but it makes me sound like an octogenarian.
Also, my speaking voice starts a lot of sentences with “but.”
It’s not easy writing in my speaking voice, while avoiding grammatical errors and taboo words!
Well, you will have one some day – and they will be reading your content, so just pretend they’re there anyway, Jim.
In regards to “Next, talk to your readers as if they’re sitting in the same room. Use the word ‘you’ liberally, as you were if you were talking to someone.”
What if you have no real readers yet? Does it seem stupid to talk as if you have an audience when you don’t really have one?
That’s true, Deron – and it would be a shame to miss it. I don’t always get it right, either. When you write a lot, it can be a real challenge to nail the title every time. I keep trying, though. 🙂
I agree. Picking a great (or good) title is something I’ve been working on. Sometimes it’s so hard to get creative and I end up using somewhat generic title that probably 3,000 other blogs use something close to.
The title is what brings most readers into the post. Without a good title, most won’t ever read the article and it may actually be a great article with a bad title.