In the current economy and job market, writing online has become a popular career choice. Even if a person has experience in traditional journalism or creating articles for print publications, adjustments have to be made for an online audience. The following tips will help any author write quality content for an online website and improve the style and skills needed for catering to this kind of reader.
The first rule of online content is to make an impact in as few words as possible. In other formats, people might enjoy reading lengthy essays or in-depth analyses, but attention spans are shorter when browsing a website. This means people tend to skim your content to find the information they most need. If a writer cannot make a point within 400 words, the reader will likely lose interest and move on.
Of course, not all of your audience is going to click away after five minutes. Longer content and more words might be beneficial for some sites. Consider who your audience is, and who will be staying for more. According to studies done by Parse.ly and Wochit, videos over 90 seconds had a higher engagement time than videos of shorter durations. Longer content, interactive posts, and deep-stays studied by Parse.ly were shown to be engaged much longer and by more viewers. Your readers may be hungry for more content depending on the topic, and if you can provide a fresh look or insight, you’re one step ahead.
Paragraph construction is an art, but not everyone does it well. Even a seasoned writer can be longwinded when it comes to a favorite topic. For the web, paragraphs should be four sentences or fewer. This approach allows the reader to quickly absorb information without becoming bored.
When using short paragraphs, it is helpful to add a subheading over each one to quickly inform the reader what the content is about. Web users scan rather than read, which makes it important to get their attention immediately. Subheadings should not be longer than three to five words.
Writing online means anyone can see it and read it. With this in mind, using short and simple words will make the content friendly for all ages. In addition, using long words, uncommon terminology, or too much technical jargon is jarring for many audiences. Unless a website is dedicated to a certain topic, it is best to keep it simple.
Those who do not have strong writing skills for web-friendly material should consider hiring a content marketing service. This type of company provides professional writers who create various forms of content to go on websites, such as blog posts, articles, and service pages. Each piece is written to client specifications and is ready for the web when delivered. The writers can even re-write existing content to make it appropriate for an online audience.
As more of daily life moves to the web, your writing skills will be in demand but moved more and more online. Most writers will see success by following the tips above and keeping things as simple as possible when it comes to an online presence.