Creating Compelling Content: How to Write for the Internet
Posted 13 August 2014
It’s no secret that social media has transformed the way that we use the internet. One of the biggest benefits that this has brought to the business world is the opportunity to connect with customers on a regular basis through a free, engaging, social channel.
However, whilst many of us understand the importance of producing regular, engaging content for our website, the reality is that many businesses fail to achieve the kind of results that they are hoping for.
One of the most common reasons for this is that they simply don’t produce sufficiently regular content. Unless you are seriously committed to blogging and updating your social media channels on a weekly basis it is very unlikely that you’ll establish an audience of people who read everything that you produce.
A deeper issue is that many of us are simply unsure what we should be doing when it comes to writing content for the internet. We’d love to write weekly blog posts, daily social media updates and monthly newsletters, but because we’re unsure about how to go about writing for the internet it quickly slips to the bottom of our to-do lists…
Here are a few ideas to help you in your attempts to create compelling content and work out how to write for the internet:
1. Keep Things Short
The good thing about starting out with writing online is that keeping things short pays dividends! Readers typically want to digest your content in a very short period of time, meaning that long posts tend to go unread.
By starting out with 300-400 word blog posts – and simple social media updates – you’ll be able to hone your skills within a very achievable time period. You’ll be doing your readers a favour – and they’ll be much more likely to come back for more…
2. Use Lists and Bullet Points
We find that lists and bullet points are a great way to get your point across quickly and allow you to communicate more information in less time and space.
It’s also a good way to engage new readers. If you can offer 5 solutions to a common problem or 7 ways to improve performance then you’ll start to hook new readers from various sources.
3. Take a Less Formal Tone
There can be a tendency for new online writers to take a very formal tone, particularly if they’re producing a business blog. However, the success of social media has meant that you should be leaning towards a less formal tone.
Learning the skill of remaining professional whilst connecting people outside of their working lives is a key step towards increasing your readership.
4. Keep Going!
Like any new skill, writing for the internet becomes more natural as you grow in experience and confidence. It can be very tempting to let blogging and social media updates grind to a halt.
We’d encourage you to persevere – the long term benefits far outweigh any short-term inconvenience – it will do your business the world of good.