Writing web content is one of (if not the) best ways to:
- Boost your website traffic.
- Raise brand awareness.
- Improve your reputation.
- Establish your brand as an authority.
- Create great relationships with customers
- Gain new subscribers.
- Grow your audience.
- Increase your conversion rate.
…and more! If people start to follow your blog, it won’t be long before you’ll see the results in your ROI.
Yes, it is an effort to consistently write great web copy, but it honestly is worth it. While your multi line phone systems small business plan may be a quick and direct way to reach your customers, nobody likes a cold caller.
If you want to build a good, long-lasting reputation, you need to be writing website content on a consistent basis.
However, writing on the internet can be daunting. How can you make sure that your writing is good enough? How do you become a good web content writer?
Here are ten tips to help you out:
1. Have A Good Brief
The brief is everything when it comes to content. If you have a vision but don’t properly convey that vision to your writer, don’t be surprised when their work falls short of your expectations. Don’t miss to read out our blog Content Marketing Strategies and Marketing Tips To Watch Out in 2022.
Even if you are the writer (and so are briefing yourself), it’s vital to understand what you’re doing before you start. ere the content will be published
- The aim of the content (for example, are you trying to educate? To promote? To build your audience? To boost conversions?).
- The tone.
- Your brand tone/voice guidelines.
- Keywords to include.
- Keywords to avoid.
- Points you want to emphasize.
- Points you want to avoid.
- The word count.
For example, if you’d like an article on testing metrics in agile, but want to make it quirky and interesting for tech newbies, state this in the brief. You could even outline potential narratives or structures to follow. More is almost always better when it comes to a brief, so go nuts!
2. Research Your Audience
If you look up ‘how to write content’ online, you will find a lot of really specific tips.Things like ‘Write in simple language’ and ‘Show, don’t tell’.
In fact, what works when it comes to content depends a lot on your audience. For example, if you are writing a blog about CCaaS cloud, the knowledge level of the audience is very important.
If your audience are industry members who already know their stuff, you can skip the basics and use technical language. If you use simple language with this audience, they will feel like your article is beneath their level.
However, if your audience is total newbies, you will need to take things slower. You will need to explain each concept as it comes up, in terms that a lay audience can follow.
All in all, it’s important to know exactly who you’re writing for. If you’re not sure where to start, tools like empathy maps can lend insight.
3. Check Out The Inverted Pyramid Model
Reader attention is a precious commodity online. It’s hard to get and it’s easy to lose.
In order to get your points across in the short time you have, try following the Inverted Pyramid Model.
The IPM works by prioritizing the key points and drilling down into the detail as the piece progresses.
Let’s say that you’re writing about how to run a Q&A software test plan. When following the IPM, you would put the vital takeaways, what it is, what it does, how it’s done, etc. at the very top of the page.
You’d then progress down to the less vital (but still important stuff) like why it’s useful, who it can benefit, that kind of thing.
Finally, you’d get down into the finer details – program configurations, general discussion etc.
This ensures that even if your reader’s attention span dies before they reach the end, they’ll still get the important takeaways. They will still have gained value from your content.
4. Use A Thesaurus
Unless you’re writing a high-concept creative piece in which repetition is deliberate and necessary, you should avoid using the same word more than once within two sentences.
If you’re paying attention, you’re probably getting ready to call us hypocrites. We have definitely used the same word within two sentences in this very piece (pertinently, the word ‘word’). This is where it gets complicated: the repetition rule depends on the kind of word you’re using.
Words like ‘the’, ‘you’, ‘and’ etc are fine to repeat. You’d struggle to write without them. And sometimes, you can’t avoid repeating a word. That’s also fine.
However, if you can use a different word (without it sounding weird and forced), you probably should. For example, if you have used the word ‘passionate’ in one sentence and want to continue expressing the sentiment, consider continuing with words like ‘thrilled’, ‘devoted’, and so on.
5. Break Up Your Text
Massive blocks of dense text are no fun. Even the most word-loving academic would baulk when faced with a daunting slab of unbroken print.
What’s more, huge blocks of text look suspicious to firewalls and antivirus software. This is because malware bots have a tendency to spew meaningless paragraphs of code that go on for pages and pages.
So, to keep both your audience and the antiviral armies happy, make sure to break up your text with plenty of white space, subheadings, and images. A good blog design will help.
6. Make Sure Tt Looks Legit
We just said that you should use graphics to break up your text – but here’s the catch: too many of the wrong kind of graphics looks suspicious.
Nobody wants to catch a computer bug from a piece of online content. If they open your webpage and find it full of weird flashing images and random popups, they will click out and never come back.
So, do use graphics – but use them in a way that enhances rather than detracts from your written content. Don’t let the pictures overwhelm the writing.
7. Be Clever With Links
Links can be a great way to drive website traffic and gain conversions, or a great way to drive people away from your site. So use them carefully.
For example, writing website content is a fantastic opportunity to draw out interesting aspects of your business. You can use your content to link readers to other pages on your site, or to send them on interesting internet journeys through your industry. This kind of linking can build interest and appreciation for you, for what you do, and for your industry as a whole.
However, if the links you use are untrustworthy or irrelevant, that will negatively impact you and your brand. You always want to be seen as a trusted authority, which means vetting every link you include very carefully.
8. Use Tools – But Don’t Rely On Them
There are some fantastic tools and WordPress Plugins out there for web writers. Apps like Grammarly are incredible for picking up unintentional mistakes. If you use them properly, they will hone and sharpen your writing into something brilliant.
However, these tools aren’t meant to do the writing for you. When you start relying on them too heavily, you risk sacrificing your unique voice and style to the algorithm.
For example, the Hemingway app is amazing for telling you when your writing is getting a bit complex. However, if you set yourself a certain ‘Hemingway score’ as a goal, you’ll find that you have to flatten your writing style in order to meet the software’s requirements.
So, use software as aids and tools, but don’t let them call the shots!
9. Research Your Competitors
The best way to learn to write is to read. And the best way to learn to write web content is to read what your competitors are writing.
Regular competitor research is a must for any business. It’s vital to understand the latest industry trends, what’s going on in your market, and how you can beat the competition.
In the case of web content, looking at what your competitors are putting out, whether these are product videos, white papers or case studies, not only helps you with general competitor research, it will also tell you the kind of content your customers like, and the kind that falls flat.
That doesn’t mean you should copy your competitors’ successful pieces. But you can learn the elements that work for them, and add your own unique spin.
10. Keep A Little Back
People clicking on your content is wonderful. Though people clicking on your content again and again is even better.
To keep people coming back to your blog, or website, or social media page, always hold a little back. Don’t put everything out there at once save something for a later date.
You could do this by splitting one topic into several posts. If you’re going to struggle to produce that amount of content, don’t worry. Keeping something back can be as simple as scheduling regular posts, or promising your followers that you’ll be back on a certain day/time.
The important thing is that your followers look forward to your content, and come back eagerly whenever you upload something new.
Practice Makes Perfect
Writing web content is not an exact art. Like pretty much anything, the more you do it, the better you get.
If your first piece of web copy flops, don’t be disheartened! Keep at it. Over time, you’ll learn what your audience likes and where your strengths lie. You’ll hone your craft until you’re consistently producing winning pieces.
So keep practicing – and don’t let the critics get you down!