Web content is very different than books, essays, or newspapers. While both web content writing and print writing demand quality and consideration, their execution is worlds apart. If you’re used to academic writing, professional writing, or print, you may wonder why your web writing isn’t pulling in customers the same way. Consider these 8 web content writing tips to help you write great content online.
Here are 8 Web Content Writing Tips to Keep Customers Reading
1. Use a Second-Person Narrative
You are the important person in web content writing.
That’s second person narrative, making “you” the subject. If your sentences focus on “I” or “they,” you’re writing in first- or third-person, which directs attention away from your reader. To make a better connection, make your reader the star of the story and speak directly to them.
2. Use an Active Voice
You write web content in an active voice and your audience loves it.
Your web content was written in a passive voice and your audience’s love was felt less.
Do you see the difference? The first sentence is in active voice, which puts more emphasis on the subject–you. It states what the subject does, while a passive voice states what happens around the subject. Besides being more exciting, the active voice is also more direct, concise, and clear. Keep in mind that an active or passive voice is different than your brand’s voice.
3. Don’t Be Afraid of Emotion
It can be frightening. We all feel it.
Did you sense a change in tone? Using short, conversational phrases like those above is a web content writing tip that will add emotion to your work. Remember you’re speaking directly, actively to your reader, so adding emotion adds interest and makes the content relatable.
4. Use Connotation
This isn’t just your web content, this is your online masterpiece. Or maybe your virtual compositions. Or internet soapbox.
These synonyms carry connotation, which brings emotion to your work (or creation? Labor of love?). To give your audience a particular feeling, try connotative terms in lieu of neutral phrases. Or you might say; try colorful prose and ditch bland filler!
5. Add Transitional Phrases
I know what you’re thinking.
What is a transitional phrase?
Both the above are transitional phrases in web content writing, meaning they move the reader along to the next paragraph. Repeated use of dramatic transitions is an ad copy strategy sometimes called grease-slide copy, and the goal is to move the reader down the page. Web content is generally short and fast-moving, so these phrases work well here, but be careful not to overuse this tactic and take the substance out of your writing.
6. Remove Extra Words
A very important web content writing tip is to make sure that your content does not become unnecessarily lengthy, drawn-out, or long-winded.
Make your content clear and concise.
Did you get bored with the first sentence? What about the second? Terabytes of online content compete for your customers’ attention every day, so the web content that wins is brief and clear. Here’s a web content writing tip to help keep it simple: every word should have a purpose (remember, it might be SEO). Scan the page and remove the following before publishing:
- Words that don’t add meaning
- Phrases that can be shortened
7. Use Sentence Variation
You like to write web content. You want it to be effective. You are here to learn more.
It’s important for web content to be effective. So, here you are.
It’s tempting to fall back on a simple subject-verb-object sentence construction, like the first three sentences, to maintain active, clear, brief copy. However, repetitive sentences get boring fast. Variate sentence length, construction, wording, and transitions to keep it interesting.
8. Loosen the Mechanics
Web content writing tip: 6 basic mechanics such as
- Sentence Fragments
are used differently in web content writing. Very differently.
The above construction is mechanically incorrect, but it’s written this way to achieve an effect. Web content mechanics often drift from strict correctness to make the content more interesting or easy to skim. However, mechanical deviations should always be clear and add something to the content; incorrectness that creates confusion is simply an error.
As you consider these web content writing tips, remember to also consider your topic, audience, voice, and SEO strategies. Also, be conscious of what you are writing; emails, blogs, products, home pages, landing pages, and other types of web content all require a slightly different approach. When changing your writing style, change it slowly, and don’t sacrifice your voice or authenticity.
Do you write differently for the web? What do you change? Leave a comment!