Author: Tichakorn Hill
With so many sources of information on the Internet that people can go to these days, it’s hard to grab the attention of online readers and keep them interested. But don’t throw your hands in the air just yet. There are a number of things you can do to make your content stand out and increase your readership. To help you leverage your website, here are 9 easy steps you can take:
Know your audience
There are important questions you need to ask yourself before typing away on your keyboard: Who am I writing for? What kind of information do they need? What are their problems and how can I help solve them with my content? What are the questions they may have? Answering these questions before drafting the piece makes your content relevant and interesting.
Know your goal
What do you want to achieve with your content? Setting at least one goal for each piece will help steer the focus of your content and put you on the right path to achieving the result.
Write strong headlines
Your headline is the most important part of your content because readers decide whether to read your piece just by looking at the headline. An effective headline grabs the reader’s attention and makes them want to know more.
Strong headlines come in different shapes and forms. “List” and how-to headlines like “7 Ways to Make Your Workday Awesome” or “How to Lose Weight in 10 Days” are popular because they work. Headlines that leave an air of mystery or make a bold statement are also likely to make people want to click. Write several different headlines and read them out loud. If a headline sounds boring to you, it’s probably boring to the reader too. Use simple but powerful language!
Write in a conversational tone
Web posts should be easy to read and understand. Write simply and clearly. Maintain a conversational tone to show approachability. Try reading aloud what you are writing. If you stumble over your words, then the reader might get lost too.
Translate the jargon
Simple language makes people care. Complex terms, on the other hand, leave people with more questions and don’t inspire action. Ask yourself: Would someone outside of my agency understand what I’m writing? If not, then it’s too confusing. If people don’t understand what you’re saying, you could be missing out on important actions or collaboration especially if you’re asking them to do something.
Spell out all acronyms the first time you mention them and put the initials in parentheses.
Make your content scannable
If it is a long piece, break it down into digestible chunks with clear, short headings. Use bulleted or numbered lists to outline steps, options, or action items.
Use easy-to-read fonts, such as Arial, Times New Roman, Courier, Calibri, or Georgia
with an easy-to-read size, usually 12 points. Headlines should be larger – 18 points or more.
Avoid excessive use of font styles such as italics, boldface and underlining. They can help call attention to certain parts of a post, but using too many styles defeats the purpose.
Include some empty space around the text to make it more legible.
Including visuals such as photos, infographics, or clip art makes your content much more interesting. Just don’t overdo it otherwise they’ll take away from your main point.
Tell readers how to contact you
Include a “Contact us” page on your website or blog so readers know how to reach you by phone and/or email. It’s also a good idea to solicit feedback or news tips from readers. Tell them where to email or call to suggest topics for your website or blog.
Always edit your work before posting
Run a spell check and grammar check to pick up commonly misspelled words or awkward phrases, but don’t rely on spell check alone. Read your work out loud to make sure it makes sense. This forces you to read each word individually and increases the chance you’ll pick up on any errors. If you provide hyperlinks to websites, make sure the links work.
Now you’re the expert. Happy writing!