Do you get the feeling that you’re writing to an empty room?
Despite spending hours crafting your blog posts, no one seems to be reading them.
You’ve spent ages researching and compiling a list of topics as long as your arm that you know your audience will love, and yet they’re met with silence.
I have to say; your dedication is admirable.
But if, every time you upload your fantastic value-laden information and hit publish…
…absolutely nothing happens.
Your natural reaction is going to be, “Argh! My writing must suck.”
But before you enrol in a writing class, just stop and think for a moment. Your writing style is probably perfectly fine, but what about the structure?
You may look at your work and think how proud your old English Teacher would be—stop right there. That’s your problem. When writing for the web and an online audience, you can forget just about everything learnt during your school days.
You need to spend less time writing and more time thinking about how you structure your work.
Writing for an online audience
There is a peculiarity about writing for the web—most people will only scan a web page rather than read every word.
That’s because they are searching for information and if they can’t find it quickly, they’ll move on to another website.
So the trick is engaging your readers and getting them to stay with you until the bitter end.
How do you do that?
Your writing should be relatively short (long enough to cover your subject). So if you’re writing about a very complicated issue, it may be worth breaking it down into several posts. Not only will that make it much easier for your reader to follow, it will also encourage them to come again for your subsequent posts.
Also when you’re writing start with your conclusion—sounds odd, but by doing that, you are immediately giving your readers what they want. Once you’ve done that, follow up with supporting evidence point by point.
- White space
Does your finished article, blog post or web copy look like a page from a novel?
If your text is in one long, or several long paragraphs it won’t look very inviting.
Lighten it by increasing the amount of white space on your page. Break it down into small paragraphs (no more than 3 or 4 sentences each).
Or go mad and use a single sentence paragraph.
While you’re following step 2, insert some informative subheadings between your paragraphs. This will help your reader get the gist of your post while they are scanning the page.
Using bullet points creates interest
- Highlights important points
- Are instantly scan-able
- Draw the reader’s eye as they break up the rest of the text
Don’t only use your post to generate links to your website. If you have researched your content well, you’ll probably have an external source to link to. This will show your reader that your information is well considered (and it may also generate a link from your source too).
Use the bold function to pick out essential concepts within your post. These, coupled with the subheadings, should help your reader fully understand the topic you are covering and whether it will be of interest to them.
But don’t go mad—you don’t want to confuse your reader.
Some people have said that the days of the numbered posts—such as “8 Top Tips to Improve Your Copywriting” are gone. But reader’s still love them.
They help to grab attention and, once reading, retain your reader because they’ll want to make sure they learn everything.
- Check and check again
Before hitting the publish button, read through your work and make sure it makes sense. Do the headings and bolded words make sense and convey the overall concept of your work?
Of course, this read-through should also pick up any typos and other errors.
So there you have it—writing informative posts is one thing, but if you want people to read them they must be presented in a way that:
- Gets your concept over immediately
- Looks attractive and readable
- Gets to the point