If you want to do business online, you need to learn how to write online. The phrase “content is king” sounds like a real cliche, but it is just as meaningful as it was when people first used it to describe the importance of quality online content.
Whether it’s for a personal blog, a business website or an online CV, high-quality content is a key factor in creating engagement with your website visitors, in sustaining a recurring user-base and in getting visitors to perform tasks – purchasing, sharing, commenting, contributing or any other action that you need.
So what are your next moves in the way to writing online content like a pro?
Content Research within Your Field
Be familiar with leading blogs and websites that publish relevant content to your field. Know the lingo, the recent news and the latest challenges. Just having this knowledge in mind, if you don’t actively write about these topics, will help you produce better content.
Reading a lot will also inspire you to ask questions and develop ideas for topics that could be interesting for your own website. It will help you find your own voice as a writer and establish an expertise in your relevant themes.
Know Your Target Audience
You know how you speak completely different when you talk to an office administrator, to your best friend or to a 5-year-old child? That’s because you know how to adapt yourself to your listening audience. Same goes with your online readership.
If your target market consists mostly of teenagers, you will want to address them at eye-level, using fun and exciting terms and not shy away from slang. If you want to grab the attention of potential home buyers, you will definitely want to express an honest, reliable and experienced tone. Understanding what your target market wants to read is crucial in getting the right effect. Don’t patronize, don’t over-complicate and don’t try to be funny if it’s not what they need from you.
Aim for Action
Your content can be witty and fascinating and still not get you the results you’re hoping for. Why? Because it’s not enticing your readers to act. You need to write in a way that will make your readers engage and perform tasks, like subscribe to your newsletter, purchase your products, attend your events or follow you on Facebook.
One thing you need to do is avoid the passive voice. It’s not – “Your life is improved by our products”. It’s – “Our products improve lives”. Or better yet, put a Call to Action in there by using the imperative “Improve your life with our products”. Direct and conclusive is the way to go.
If you write online, you need to practice writing concisely and clearly. Here’s a little exercise: Start by writing a 500-word article that describe your business or service. Then rewrite the same text with 300 words without compromising the quality. Then, if you’re really brave, try 200 words.
You’ll be amazed to see how fast you adjust to writing shorter texts that are still compelling, professional and enjoyable.
Get Another Pair of Eyes
You may have won 15 Spelling Bees in a row, but a fresh pair of eyes looking over your texts is never a bad idea. In this day and age, we rely too much on digital spell-checkers to do the job for us but that’s just not going to cut it if you want to write like a pro’.
It’s not only the spelling and typos. Another person will be able to make observations that you as the author cannot come to. It’s an opportunity to get feedback and exchange thoughts. Don’t be too proud to ask. That’s what friends are for.