Content Writing has become an increasingly popular job over the last few years.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that there are over 44,240 authors in America alone. They note that these are people who create “written works, such as scripts, stories, advertisements, and other material.”
This number includes journalists, technical writers, analysts, and public relations specialists across different industries.
Writing is a very dynamic field to get into, so skilled writers have many job opportunities. An example of this is affiliate marketing, where a writer creates content that advertises a product or service online.
A past article on ‘How to Write Content for Affiliate Marketing’ highlights the different tips for this line of work.
Another field many authors go into is online content creation for companies. The scope of work ranges from blog posts to newsletters, to even social media captions.
This can get difficult for novices and experts alike, so here are some tips and tricks you can use to keep creating quality deliverables to engage readers:
1. Write simply but effectively
Some authors might believe that effective writing means using flowery words, so the piece looks better. This is far from the truth.
World-renowned author Stephen King highlights in his book ‘On Writing’, that you shouldn’t dress up your vocabulary. He stressed it is important to use the first words that come to mind as long as they are fitting and get your point across.
People don’t want to read something they can’t understand, but something they can absorb. Writing simply and effectively ensures that readers will be able to grasp the point you are trying to get across. That’s the whole point, isn’t it?
2. Add headings and subheadings
When writing for the web, it is important to remember that not everyone will read the entire piece.
Some may only look for specific information, so if you make it difficult for them to find it, chances are they might click off the page.
By adding headings, you will make your work easier to navigate, cleaner, and appealing to those who would rather skim the piece rather than consume the whole work.
3. Use the inverted pyramid technique when writing
An inverted pyramid simply means presenting essential information at the beginning of your work, trickling down to the remaining details in order of importance.
Purdue University writes that this is one of the most common approaches used in mass media writing. They mention that to determine what information is essential, consider the “W” questions (who, what, when, where, and why).
Additional details count as statistics, background information, and quotes. Using this method will help your potential readers get a full picture and make your online writing more effective.
4. Use flexible storytelling
Storytelling is important in every form of writing. It contains the heart and soul of a piece or the thesis itself.
This doesn’t just mean the plot of your work, but even its flow and structure. Marketing expert Ann Handley stated in her book ‘Everybody Writes’, that storytelling is a way your brand connects with its readers and therefore should reflect the company’s values and vision.
Try to use a voice that is unique to who you are writing for while also being relatable to consumers. Adapting and being flexible to these two factors makes for flexible storytelling.
5. Use keywords and on-site SEO
This is a strategy that can help generate more traffic for the website you are writing for.
Keywords are the words or phrases commonly typed by users looking for something on search engines.
Incorporating them into your pieces will help in raising your placement in the search results. There are many tools and applications to help you find the best ones, but just be sure not to overuse them in your writing.
This may lead to your work or site being flagged as spam by the search engine.
6. Create short paragraphs
Writing for the internet differs greatly from traditional written-word mediums. It also entails considering the device people use to access your piece.
If they are on mobile devices, mid-length paragraphs may just look like a barrage of words on their end. Therefore, it is important to keep your paragraphs short, but thoughtful.
If you are using a computer to write, and your copy already looks too long, it will look even more stretched out on a smaller screen.
Break up your paragraphs accordingly to make your work more accessible and easier to read for everyone.
7. Show don’t tell
This is a tip that almost all writers have heard at least once in their life.
As a writer, it is your job to lay down the facts and serve as a guide for the readers while still allowing them room to interpret things and form their own opinions.
This makes the reading experience more interactive as opposed to one-sided, thus making your work more appealing.
While descriptiveness is important in narrative pieces, it is also relevant in other forms of writing, such as investigative works. As a writer, try to be as impartial as possible and let the details speak for themselves.
8. Add credible sources
Credibility is an important factor that goes into whether people read your work.
If they trust what you have written, they’re more likely to share the piece with other people. Readers will also have a stronger tendency to check out your other literary work.
Hence, it’s important to choose sources you know are reliable. Avery Blank lists down some factors you should think about when considering the credibility of your sources.
Only use information that’s been verified and that comes from reputable sources. Just be sure to always double-check before incorporating it into your work.
9. Use multimedia to make your content more appealing
There is no shortage of multimedia on the internet.
There’s a wealth of images and videos related to the topic you are writing about, and most are free, so adding some into your work shouldn’t be too hard.
This will give readers a break from having to read the text. A visual representation of the subject will help in further educating them on the topic. It’s also a good way to incorporate dynamic movement and interactiveness into your work.
10. Craft an eye-catching title that will make people click
When people are searching for content to read online, one of the first things they will notice is the title of your piece.
If you make one that is completely irrelevant to what you are writing about, then they probably won’t click on it.
It doesn’t just have to be straightforward, it also has to be enticing for potential readers. Make sure that your title perfectly encapsulates what you have written and the message you are trying to convey. This will ensure that everything you have written is aligned with each other.
Keep these tips in mind to help guide you when creating your next online work to ensure that your piece is great and worth reading.
Submitted by Quinn Palmer