50 Tips for Writing for the Web

by in Marketing

With so much content being published online every day, it is harder than ever to capture the attention of online readers. You must be able to produce relevant, interesting copy that can be easily read—or more likely, skimmed.  And you’re up against some stiff competition—it’s just as easy to read your article as it is to watch cat videos on YouTube. This is why writing effectively for the web is so important.

To help you compete and grab readers’ attention in a world of endless content, here are 50 trusted writing tips for the web.

Plan Before You Write

1. Know what you wish to achieve with your content. Set at least one objective for each piece you write. Click to Tweet

2. Know exactly who you are writing content for- whether you refer to them as readers, visitors, or potential customers. Click to Tweet

3. Know what your readers want and which of their problems you can help solve with your content. Click to Tweet

4. Plan to engage your readers by providing content for each stage of their
customer journey. Click to Tweet

Set at least one objective for each piece you write

Write for Your Readers

5. Create pieces of content that promote action from your readers. Click to Tweet

6. Answer readers’ questions throughout your content. Anticipate their needs and provide solutions. Click to Tweet

7. Don’t leave your readers with more questions. Have the conversation they came to have. Click to Tweet

8. Speak from experience, not speculation, to instill trust. Click to Tweet

9. Include firsthand experience and results in your content to make your expertise clear. Click to Tweet

10. Establish credibility by substantiating research with credible sources. Include links
or citations. Click to Tweet

11. Always include examples: first hand experience, research, statistics, etc. Click to Tweet

12. Propose helpful solutions without pitching anything. Click to Tweet

13. Readers only see what they are looking for. Be clear, and give them what they need. Click to Tweet

Readers only see what they are looking for

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Create Easy-to-Consume Content

14. Make it easy for readers to scan your content to find what they are looking for. Click to Tweet

15. Illustrate content where possible and support your messages with images. Click to Tweet

16. Ensure your images do not look like ads. You don’t want to ostracize your visitors
or readers. Click to Tweet

17. Too much noise takes away from the usefulness of your content, so use multimedia thoughtfully. Click to Tweet

18. Separate your content into easily digestible “chunks” using images or bullet points to break up heavy text. Click to Tweet

19. Bulleted lists work well for listing options or items. Click to Tweet

20. Numbered lists work well for listing step-by-step instructions. Click to Tweet

21. Tables work well to illustrate if-then statements, compare numbers, or answer
questions. Click to Tweet

22. Write in concise sections with only one main idea per section. Click to Tweet

Make it easy for readers to scan your content

Don’t Lose Your Head(ings)

23. Use clear, short, descriptive headings for each section of your content. Click to Tweet

24. Use section headings as an outline for your content so that readers can easily find the information they need. Click to Tweet

25. Parallel the headings in your content to one another, to stay consistent. Click to Tweet

26. Use different levels of headings. The more important something is, the more prominent it should be. Click to Tweet

27. Use content headings to answer questions and introduce key words or messages. Click to Tweet

Use clear, short, descriptive headings for each section

Effectively Communicate

28. Maintain a conversational tone in your content to show approachability. Click to Tweet

29. Keep your content positive but avoid unnecessary “happy talk”. Click to Tweet

30. Place important messages near the top of your article or webpage and make them
stand out. Click to Tweet

31. Start with key messages and delve deeper with each additional thought. Click to Tweet

32. Match the tone and personality of your content with your topic or subject and audience. Click to Tweet

33. Write usable, manageable, concise pieces of content- not full manuals or handbooks. Click to Tweet

34. Make your content scannable or skimmable, giving out only necessary information. Click to Tweet

35. Where possible, include calls to action (CTAs) or next steps with each piece of content. Click to Tweet

Maintain a conversational tone in your content

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Use Simple, Consistent Language

36. Use “you” rather than “he” or “she” to keep content user-centric and gender-neutral. Click to Tweet

37. Be consistent in your use of “I”, “you”, and “we” to avoid confusing your reader. Click to Tweet

38. Use “I” for content written from an expert and “we” for content from a group or agency. Click to Tweet

39. Write in active voice rather than passive. Ex: We built the website vs The website was
built by us. Click to Tweet

40. Use MS Word scales like Flesch Reading Ease and Flesch-Kincaid Reading Level to measure readability. Click to Tweet

41. Aim to write at a 7th grade reading level to ensure you appeal to all audiences. Click to Tweet

42. Do not over-complicate your content with jargon or acronyms that may not be universally understood. Click to Tweet

Aim to write at a 7th grade reading level

Keep it All Simple

43. Avoid writing in caps because they are more difficult to read quickly. Click to Tweet

44. Only underline links to avoid confusing your reader into thinking something is clickable when it is not. Click to Tweet

45. Use bolded words and italics sparingly, only to show importance or emphasis. Click to Tweet

46. There is no need for repetition if you are writing simply and clearly. Click to Tweet

Avoid writing in CAPS  because they are more difficult to read quickly

Edit Thoughtfully

47. When editing, read your content aloud. Does it make sense? Do you get caught on any words/phrases? Click to Tweet

48. Before you publish, double and triple check all facts and links. Click to Tweet

49. Ask a friend or colleage for a final read-through to see if they catch any
remaining errors. Click to Tweet

50. When editing, cut out all unnecessary words and only use plain language. Click to Tweet

Ask a friend or colleage for a final read-through to catch any remaining errors

Looking for more great writing tips? Check out the free eBook below:

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