10 GUIDELINES FOR WEBSITE AND BLOG CONTENT WRITING
You may have been asking what website content writing means. Perhaps, there are several others like you too who are in search of definite answers to this same question.
Knowing what web content writing entails should precede your journey of putting up written works on websites or blogs.
You may have been a writer for a long time. This does not guarantee that you will be a good website content or blog writer.
Website content writing is not the same as other types of writing. There are rules that you need to follow when putting up web content for websites or blogs.
In a world of over 1.9 billion websites according to Internet Live Stats and more than 3.5 billion Google searches every day, knowing what it takes to make your content gets to the reader is key to your success as a content writer. Either you are writing articles for blogs or you are doing content writing for a company’s webpage, your goal is to get your written work across to the readers. Hence, the need to know how to make website content gets to the intended/expected readers.
When you know how to come up with accurate and valuable content that readers crave, you stand the chance of attracting more readers.
This article provides you the requirements for great web content writing that capture the interest of readers.
As a content writer, here are the important factors you must consider for any content writing:
1. Know your audience
Just after you thought of content writing for that website or possibly while you are still thinking of content writing for your blog, the question that should come to your mind is “who am I writing to?” Until you have an answer to these questions, it’s not time to put pen to paper—or finger to keyboard. Many content writers make this great mistake and it’s obvious in their website content and blog posts.
Spending time on content writing before determining your audience is like producing a product before thinking of what the product could be used for―what kind of manufacturer are you?
As a content writer, you should determine your targeted audience. You should ask yourself these questions:
- Who are my primary audiences?
- Who are my secondary audiences who can influence and inform my primary audience?
The answers to these questions will lead you to the next set of questions which are:
- What do my audiences want to know about?
- What are the things that interest and catch the attention of my audience?
- How will my audience find my content online?
Just as knowing what buyers want affects a seller’s choice of products, knowing what your audience wants will regulate your area of concentration when writing your blog posts.
For instance, you want to make content writing on medical care:
- Who are your primary audiences?
Your number one primary audience is a patient that needs medical care. Others may include doctors and every other medical practitioner.
- Who are your secondary audiences who can influence and inform your primary audience?
Your secondary audience may include doctors, medical professionals and anyone who may know a patient that needs the information your content gives.
Note: Your secondary audience is usually broader and could include people who do not need your information at the moment but will need it later.
When you know who your potential audiences are, you will be able to study and understand what your audiences want and what catches their interest. This understanding will affect your focus in your content writing.
- How will your audience find your content online?
This is the real deal of website content writing. If you have great website content but could not be discovered by your targeted audience, it is as good as you have not done any content writing. That is it―your primary aim is to reach out to your readers.
When it comes to reaching your targeted audience online, you should know that audiences find web content through different internet means which include social media, email sharing, links from other websites and most importantly through search engine results. The most import of all is the search engine results. If your web content is not optimized for Google search engine to pick for your audience when they are searching for content, chances are that they will never find your work.
As a web content writer, you should consider SEO keywords in your content and include them in your headlines and sub-headers.
Even when you are writing for a blog like Largefocus which covers a wide range of topics, you still need to have a targeted audience for each article you write.
2. Let your headline resonate
A golden piece of web content commands its worth at the first sight of its headline.
The ultimate selling point of your content writing is the headline. The headline will determine if an internet user will open your website content when it pops up on the Google search engine. If your headline is not catchy, there is a tendency that internet users will skip your article and scroll to other suggested articles by Google search engine.
The question here is:
How to make your headline catchy and appealing to readers
a. Let your headline appeal to the human brain
The human brain is the comptroller general of all human activities. Hence, you must consider what is appealing to the brain when constructing your headline.
- The human brain is attracted to numbers
There is a portion of the human brain dedicated to the recognition and interpretation of numbers. Adding numbers to your headline will make it more attractive and appealing.
For example: “5 ways to Engage Unemployed Youths in Business”. The internet user would be eager to quickly see those “5 ways”. With that attraction, you have just earned yourself a reader.
b. Let your headline answer questions
Most of the internet users are on Google to ask questions. If your headline is structured in a way that answers questions, you will have more people reading your web content.
For example: “How to make beads” looks like an answer for someone who wants to know how to make a bead
c. Let your choice of words be intriguing
Let your headline be specific with a nice combination of adjectives and verbs.
For example: “How to cook spaghetti” could be well written as “How to garnish your spaghetti and give it great taste”.
They both talk about preparing spaghetti but the latter is already saying something like adding special recipes that will make my spaghetti taste better.
3. Start with the crux
In web content writing, you have to start with the most important message of your article. It is called the “inverted pyramid”. This is unlike the school of thought that advises to hold the very important points and release them towards the end of the article.
When it comes to online writing, you have to put the major points of your content at the top. Then, you can gradually drill down to more specific points that explain and support the claims you have earlier stated. This is because your readers only have a few seconds to decide either to continue reading your content or leave your web page. Since your headline has attracted them to open the link, you don’t want to water down their interest. So you have to keep them interested till they get to the bottom of your web page.
4. Organize your content
It is your responsibility as a content creator to organize your work such that your readers can easily follow through and comprehend your thought processes. Your readers should not put extra effort before they could understand your message.
- Explain concepts from Basic to complex
Make it easy for everyone to understand the concepts in your content―either a reader who has vast knowledge in that field or a reader who knows nothing about the topic you are writing on. Make sure your outlines take your readers through.
- Move from the most-important point to the least-important
Never forget to put your most important and interesting points at the top of your content―remember the “inverted pyramid” style.
- Take it step-by-step
When you are writing to guide your reader on a particular subject, it is better to take each step at a time.
Start with the most basic step to the most complex step. Use different sub-headings for each step and apply bullets or number list where necessary.
5. Make your readers act―use CTA
Good content without a call-to-action might not make an effective impact on the readers. Don’t just leave them to read, make them act out what they are reading.
Let your content be inspiring such that your reader can’t wait to act out what the content says just as you can’t wait to go write/edit that your article now.
For instance: Imagine content with the headline “5 reasons you should end the fight between you and that friend”. A good CTA could be a bolded statement that says: “Now pick up your phone and make that first call to end the fight”. For a reader who has read your “5 reasons he/she should end the fight”, this kind of CTA could be very helpful for him/her to act out what you have thought in your content.
6. Shuffle around words
Words are like cookies—we all have our favorites. As an individual, there’s a tendency that you employ the usage of some words more than other synonymous words. As a content writer, however, it is good to play around words of synonymous meaning so you don’t bore your readers. Prowritingaid is a great website that will help you increase your word bank. Try their editing tools to analyze and improve your writing.
An exception to this is the usage of your keywords. You need to consistently use your keywords for SEO. However, you should be creative with your keywords so that your reader doesn’t get pissed off by the repetition of your keywords.
The websites below will help you with the right keywords for your content
7. Include Multimedia
Images will help convey your message to your readers farther than you can imagine―one image is worth a thousand words.
Infographics will not only grab the attention of your readers but will as well help their comprehension of your content.
According to a tweet, “90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and visuals are processed 60,000 times faster in the brain than text”.
Where possible, learn to use easy-to-read charts or graphs to explain your content.
You don’t have to be a professional graphics designer before you can use great images in your website content writing. Some websites provide free blog images that you can use for your blog post.
Here are some websites where you can get great images for your web content:
8. Use hyperlink/reference
Quality web content is not just about your written work. It is also about how you can point your readers to relevant sources. When you provide sources of information in your content for your readers, it will help them to get more information on the subject of your article and they will trust your web content.
For example: If you have an article on your website that specifically treats one of your highlights in the current article you are writing, referencing such an article will keep your readers engaged and they can move through your website.
However, too much of hyperlinks could be confusing to your readers. Hence, you should know when to use references.
When should you use references?
- Whenever you reference another website or article
- When you give statistics
- Whenever you state a fact
9. Make your readers crave for more
Imagine making your readers visit your blog every day to check out for your new post!
Yes! It is possible. That is why you should always make your web content to be of high quality.
Another great way to make your readers want more is this:
- Refer your readers to related blog post.
- If you know of any video online that could help your readers better, do well to recommend such link.
Do not hesitate to link your readers to resources like these. It will make your readers like your content more and they will refer more people to your website contents or blog posts.
Use CTA (call-to-action) hyperlinks like “Share”, “Join”, “Read More”, and “download” to refer your readers to more resources.
10. Proofread your content
Putting great web content together requires so much work. However, what is worth doing at all is worth doing well. This is the reason you should take your time to proofread your content before submitting or publishing it.
Never be in a haste to submit or publish your content without proofreading it. It is not unexpected that there could be a few grammatical errors, spelling mistakes, unnecessary spacing and so on in your content. Whenever you complete a web content or blog post, always take your time to proofread it before publishing it.
There are great tools like Prowritingaid and grammarly that you can use for your proofreading. These tools will help point out mistakes in your content and suggest correct replacements. Professional writers use these tools for their works every time.
As a content writer, it always feels good to see your readers commend your website content or blog post. That makes the resources you put into your content writing worth it. Nevertheless, don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t get that applaud on your first web content writing. There is room for improvement in your content writing.
Don’t stop writing!
Keep improving your writing skills!!
Photo credit: Pexel and Google