With digital print media taking over the publishing industry, more and more readers are flocking to the Internet to find the content they once would have found at the bookstore or library. Whether you are a business or an individual running a website or a blog, having good content is key to having success.
Writing content for the Internet is much different than all of the things you would typically learn in a college English course. One of the most important things in understanding how to write for the typical Internet reader is to recognize that the typical Internet reader wants to know the basic facts.
Internet readers typically do one of two things
- Skim an article for the information they are looking for
- Skip over articles that give them too much information
Following these guidelines will help you write better content for the typical Internet reader. When you think “typical,” think of the Joe Schmo at the corner convenience store and ask yourself if your content is accessible to even him. Writing content that people can relate to is key.
Format the content you post on your blog in a way that is easy to skim through. For example, feel free to use bullet points, headers, and lists. By using these tools, readers will find your websites content to be more accessible.
Mediocre work is not appealing to an Internet reader. If they can find something better elsewhere they will. Try having weekly themes on your website/blog, such as “Plumber Joke Friday.” This type of creativity will invite people back on a weekly, if not daily, basis.
If you don’t need to use a thousand words to get your point across, don’t. That’s what pictures are for. After all, an image is worth a thousand words. By simply adding a picture that correlates directly with your article, you can draw a reader’s attention in. Humans are naturally visual learners. Including good quality pictures with your web content will help engage readers further. By using either an iPhone or an SLR camera, you can capture an image that is worth a thousand words.
Short and Concise
People think that, in order to write good content, you have to use elaborate diction and long sentence structures. However, when writing for the typical Internet reader, it is important to understand that the more concise and to the point you are, the more you are going to captivate your audience. Don’t add filler or fluff, just get straight to the point. A typical blog post can be anywhere from 100 to 600 words, but try not to go over 600 words.
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is what boosts your place on search engines like Google and Bing. Writing good content can only help enhance your chances of optimizing your website. In order to optimize your website content, you should incorporate keywords that attract and invite readers back to your website. Insert keywords in to paragraphs and headlines for better search engine optimization. Having guest bloggers write about different facets of your website can also boost your website’s productivity.
Stay on Topic
All of your content should be pertinent to your website’s overall theme. For example, if you’re website is about computers, plumbing content would not pertain to your blog.
Do Your Research
Much like a college or high school paper, doing your research on your topics before you post content all across the internet is a priority. Nothing is more embarrassing or humiliating than posting inaccurate content. Plus, it can result in your website losing credibility. If Google marks your content as “too spammy,” it can get your site removed from search engines and essentially shut down your site. Also, using multiple sources when doing your research is the best way to conduct a non-biased approach.
Theo Schmidt graduated from UCLA with a degree in computer science and worked for a Calgary SEO company for a number of years as a software engineer. He enjoys spending time in the outdoors and is an environmental activist.