By now you should have a nice list of blog topics and you are likely eager to get started, but before you do, I need to remind you to write for the web. The best part of writing for the web is that shorter really is better.
Web users don’t read
Web content should be created with scannable text, using keywords, sub-headings, lists, one idea per paragraph and concise content.
Highlighting keywords, which can be done with hyperlinks or typeface or colour variation, can provide obvious signposts to key messages and content groupings and increase the usability and effectiveness of your content.
Breaking up text with descriptive sub-headings allows site visitors to easily see what each section of the page is about.
Concise lists of content and key messages are easy to scan and a great way to present content on-line.
One idea per paragraph
Web users are likely to only catch the first key point presented – any additional ideas are likely to get overlooked.
This style of writing, often associated with news writing, leads with the conclusion. Presenting your key point first enables users to get the information they want quickly and if it grabs their attention, they will read on for more information.
Copy written for the web should be half the word count or less than conventional writing.
- Use short sentences and short paragraphs
- Keep your language and sentence structure simple
Creating Credible Content
Use outbound links
With so much misinformation available on the web, many web users question the credibility of on-line content. Being willing to share sources and, as needed, linking out to reports or other sites that back-up key facts is a great way to create credibility.
Use objective language
Overly promotional copy with subjective claims such as “the best” or “hottest ever” can undermine the credibility of web content. Keeping content fact based, clear and concise, is the best way to ensure credibility as well as usability.
- avoid using metaphor, simile or other figures of speech
- avoid a long word where a short one will do
- avoid the use of passive language
- avoid using a foreign phrase, a scientific word or jargon if you can think of an everyday English equivalent
Keep in mind that websites with blog posts tend to get more traffic. So don’t worry about perfection and don’t over polish – let your personality come through and remember this is one place where shorter really is better.
I first ran a version of this post two years ago when it was thought that shorter posts were better. Recent data has emerged showing that long in-depth posts are performing better for some content providers. I am curious, have you tried both? What works better with your audience? Please let me know in the comments below.
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