How To Write Content For A Website – Six Little Tips
The Reader Always Comes First
If you want to learn how to write content for a website – you need to start with your readers.
Whatever you write on your site, it should always be, first and foremost, for the benefit of your readers.
Give your readers exactly what they are looking for and give it to them at the get-go. This means putting your most important information at the top of your blog post. In journalism, this is referred to as the inverted pyramid. It simply means, giving the who-what-where-why-when in your first paragraph. Add more details in later paragraphs.
Readers also want you to talk to them. Use a conversational tone in your writing. Address your reader directly by saying “you.”
You also need to consider that readers scan content. They won’t read your website like they read a book.
People read books from cover to cover. Websites are read in every possible order. People may start on a blog post, jump to another blog post, visit your about me page, and then go to your home page. So, make sure that whatever page your reader lands on – they can immediately engage.
It makes it much easier to scan content when paragraphs are short and the content is split up with headers, pictures, and lists. Put white space between paragraphs.
Keep it Simple
Keep your writing short and concise. Stay to the point.
Your blog isn’t a place to offer sophisticated prose that wanders and meanders.
It’s a place to offer valuable information your readers will love. If you find your post wandering off in a variety of directions, pick one direction and stick with it. The other directions you want to go will make excellent future posts
You might have the vocabulary of Tennyson, but your blog isn’t the place to showcase it.
Don’t use three dollar words. Instead, use ten cent words. And by all means, throw away unnecessary words. Websites like Hemmingway App can help identify simpler phrasing and excess word use.
Action, Action We Want Action!
One of the best ways to instill action in your content is to avoid passive voice. What does this mean? Look at the two sentences below. Which one is more exciting?
- The bear attacked the hunter.
- The hunter was attacked by the bear.
The first sentence is more exciting because the subject of the sentence – the bear – is doing something. The second sentence is what we call passive voice. In this sentence, the object of the sentence – the hunter – is having something happen to it.
The Hemmingway App also identifies passive voice.
Have fun with words! Infusing your sentences with energizing words is another way to build action. Of course, you still want stick with ten cent words, but you can still be creative with them.
Speak from Authority
You are an expert in your area – or at least you need to be to have success with your blog. Act like it.
Don’t be timid.
Write with authority.
You know your topic and that is why you are writing a blog!
Punctuation, Grammar and Spelling
Although great prose isn’t an absolutely necessary attribute when it comes to writing for a website there are some mistakes which really should be avoided.
Let’s face it, you want to give a good impression don’t you?
I’ve written a short course about a variety of punctuation, spelling and grammar mistake which should be avoided. You can access the course here.