9 Writing Basics to Engage the Online Consumer
Did you know when it comes to writing for online posts, you need to think like a producer of a television broadcast rather than as an author? The truth is that the Internet is a multifaceted medium, not only expressed through written language. If you want to have a voice and vote on the web, you will need to learn to think far beyond pretty filler words. To effectively write online, you need to know the 10 basics.
Knowing how to write well does not guarantee success on the web. It is one thing to know how to communicate well through printed material and it is quite another to convey a message effectively on the web.
The Internet consumer is not the same as the print consumer. Rather than reading, the Internet consumer scrolls through content until they find something interesting that pops out in the headline or short description.
That is why it is so important that anyone who wants to communicate with their readers in virtual form, knows how to present information in a way that won’t be discarded in the first few lines.
Here are the 10 Writing Basics to Engage the Online Consumer
1) Get to know the community you are targeting
You need to know your readers the same way a television broadcast program knows their audience. All demographics such as age, level of education, interests, dislikes, hobbies, etc. must be graphed out to create a persona.
2) There is a big difference between printed text and on-screen text
Printed content is structurally and functionally different from online content. While a printed content consumer reads everything and anything, an online consumer wants to grab the main idea in a few sentences. In addition, printed content is more formal and read passively. It is a narrative, presenting a long, thought-out story that engages far more then a few minutes of the consumer’s time. Online content, on the other hand, is informal, segmented, interactive and dynamic.
3) Content on the Internet goes beyond mere words
When writing for the Internet, you should think like you are writing for a TV show. Think about the elements of presentation and interaction. Analyze the medium in which your content is to be found. Think about all audio-visual ingredients you might add.
4) Words are also graphic images
It’s important to consider the visual impact the reader will receive before they start reading. People pay a lot of attention to the style of the font, the color and size of the text and how it appears distributed on the page.
5) Never copy and paste
When searching for content, it is not effective to simply reuse content from another source. Adapt and organize it in a way that is appealing to your readers and stays consistent with the rest of the site.
6) Write content rich in high-value keywords
Include keywords in your titles, subtitles, and use them naturally throughout the text. The Internet reader has a mindset of searching and withdrawing. They prefer to go through the text to find certain keywords or links, without reading the bulk of the text.
7) Write in chunks
On the Internet, people have zero tolerance for filler sentences and lack of a purpose for the content written. Even when you are writing longer text, such as an article, divide it into smaller segments. Cut out unnecessary content and condense whenever possible. Remember that your content should always be easy to navigate. Visual impact is key.
8) Use the traditional inverted pyramid structure
Content should be written for skimmers, and for the purpose of catching the attention of the reader. Make sure who, what, when, where, how and why are stated at the beginning. Minor details should follow behind the main idea..
9) Be personal
Write as if you know who your reader is. Share your opinion and take a safe position on the issue you are dealing with. People love to read content that is personal, creative and passionate. Avoid unnecessary babble and write unpretentious.