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Writing Online Content – The Good, Bad, & Ugly!

Writing online content will make or break your website. Awful content doesn’t convert. It doesn’t get readers to click links, comment, or buy products, and it doesn’t provide the right information for search engines to pick up on either.

Instead, lousy content can damage your SEO and erode your standing with potential customers. Luckily, If there is anyone that guides you on improving your content, it’s me, and that is precisely what I pan to do in this contributed post.

photo/person-typing-on-typewriter writing online content

Originality & Research

There are computer programs out there that can generate content for you to include on your blog or website. However, it is far better to follow the high quality content rules for SEO and avoid them. The reason being that no real person is going to want to read something that is generated automatically and has no value for them, meaning that you are already losing points with loyal customers and readers. This is key when writing online content.

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Additionally, search engines are now designed to be able to weed out and demote bad content including that which is automatically generated. That means not only will you be putting real people off, but the SEO bots will be downgrading your efforts as well. Something that will make it very unlikely to reach the first page in the search engine results. You know, the page where all the sales and conversions come from!

To that end, it is essential that you create original and handcrafted content, and to do that not only takes time, but effort as well.

In fact, you need to not only thoroughly research the topic you will be writing about but also be able to come at it from an original perspective, one that echoes or appeal to your potential readerships sensibilities. Then and only then will you have content that is genuinely effective.

Structure

Next, when it comes to creating content for your website, you absolutely need to think carefully about the structure of what you are writing. In fact, the structure of your work is like a pathway that leads the readers through to the key points.

That means a brain dump full of information that is not related to the initial question you are asking, or problem you are trying to solve is not good enough.

Similarly, breaking down the information into easy to read bite size chunks is best, as this makes it more accessible for all level of readers and prevents you from displaying vast blocks of text on your site. Something that looks not only aesthetically poor but can look naive as well.

Title

Arguably, the most crucial element of your written content is the title. After all, no matter how well crafted and insightful your words are, your readers’ attention will primarily be grabbed by the headline you use.

With that in mind, there are a few rules that you can use that will help you to create the perfect title that draws readers in, and ensures they engage with your content.

The first rule is that long titles are boring and contribute to reader’s losing interest before they have even got to the main body of your work. Something that means they are way less likely to get through your entire piece. In fact, the maximum number of words for a title needs to be 13, any more than this and you’re getting into snooze territory.

Additionally, your title clearly needs to show who the information contained within the prose is aimed at. One way that you can do this is to reference a specific demographic directly within your title, including using terms such as entrepreneurs, moms, or small businesses.

Alternatively, you also have the option of being so clear with what the post is about, that you create no doubt in the mind of the reader that the information contained within will be relevant to them.

Finally, another way you can help to perfect your titles is to use strong, dramatic words that elicit an emotional response from readers. Something that using title generator can help you with. After all, many of our decisions, including whether to read on are based mainly on our emotions, and this is something that you can leverage to get more readers to interact with your content.

However, a word of warning is necessary here, because the use of strong emotions is also used in ‘click bait’ titles. These types of headlines can be highly dramatic and often controversial, but often mask an innocuous, boring, or irrelevant post. Basically, they promise much and deliver little, something that after a while can become incredibly annoying to your readers and also erode their trust in your brand.

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Some great click bait examples, there’s even one in the title.

To that end, emotional words in your titles need to be used with restraint, lest they have the opposite effect to what you are looking to achieve.

Attention To Detail

Grammar, spelling, reading age, and cliches are all aspects of content creation that involve an added attention to detail. Now, you may wonder why these things matter so much, after all, people will know what you are trying to say, right?

Well, no, actually, and that is precisely the point. In fact, you can’t expect someone that you have never met before to know what you mean if you don’t write accurately.

Additionally, your job as a content creator is to make the prose as clear, easy, and enjoyable to read as possible, and without paying attention to all the factors above you won’t be doing a good job of this. Something that will consequently prevent readers from fully engaging in the message you have created.

Images

Finally, while the focus on this post is on written content, please don’t forget that a picture, really can say a thousand words. That is not to say that you show dumb written material and just go with images, but that they can enhance and illustrate the points you are making in your written word, and as well t break it up and make it look much more aesthetically appealing.

black-and-grey-laptop-computer-turn-on

Of course, choosing the right images to illustrate your work is something of an art form, and using clearly posed stock pictures should be avoided where possible. Instead, go for clean images that follow a theme either by subject or color. This will then create the perfect counterbalance to your written work and will ensure that your content is great quality and effective to boot!

Here’s hoping that this article on writing online content will indeed help your online journey. Much success.


Images courtesy of Pixabay and Pexels.

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