Content Writing For the Web
Content writing for the web is a great deal different than writing for any offline source. For a variety of reasons, web site visitors tend to read slower online, read less information before moving on and, most importantly, move on very quickly if a post or article does not get to the point quickly.
With this in mind, web content typically needs to be about 50% shorter than if it were to be written offline. However, simply writing less information is not the way to solve the Internet print problem. There are many techniques that you can use to capture your reader’s attention and keep it for long enough to sell your product or service. Good content writers will make sure that the writing keeps the writer engaged, and also sell to the reader at the same time.
Content Writing Tips – Lean Prose
Whenever you write an article or post, remember that the average Internet reader will only read 20% of it. This may tempt you to use repetition in your writing to ensure that you get your point across. However, this is almost never a solution. By adhering to the following basic content writing for the web tips, you can create lean prose that will be attractive to your readers:
Avoid the use of creative or clever language. Stick to facts and make your point quickly.
Try to express one main idea every paragraph.
Do not exaggerate claims. Stick to useful information without too many adverbs or hyperbole.
Try highlighting text to bring out major keywords and make scanning easier for your readers.
Use an inverted pyramid style. Start with your most important point or section and work your way down.
Using the Time You Have With the Reader Effectively
As most Internet readers will move on quickly if they are not getting the information that they want, you have to make every word of your content work to peak the reader’s interest. In general, you have about ten seconds (or about 100 words) to secure the reader’s attention. This means that you should avoid long winded introductions that prevent you from starting to give the reader solid information.
In total, you have about 55 seconds (or about 500 words) to give the reader an overall understanding of the product, service or company that you are representing. If you use an inverted pyramid style, this should pose little problem. Unless you are writing an authority article or post that goes in depth into a topic, it is best to split broader topics into smaller and more centered approaches than to create a long and unfocused article.
Content writing for the web is often a difficult task because you are fighting against the amount of time that the reader will be able to spend with you. As long as you have an interesting and valuable subject and express your views or facts in short sentences and paragraphs, you will be able to hope that the reader will spend enough time reading your content to get the overall point of your product or service and take advantage of your offering.
Corry Cummings is the owner of Content Customs, a content creation company that specializes in high quality web content writing services. He also runs a blog over at Content Customs, which is managed and written by one of the head writers of the company.