You’re a writer – and a darn good one too. You’ve got tons of magazine or newspaper clips under your belt, you’ve been a freelance writer or blogger for years, but for some reason your web article stinks like an old, half-empty can of tuna fish. What gives?
Writing for the web is different than print writing and blogging and making the transition takes a bit of tweaking. Just like a hunt for the strange smell in the fridge, let’s see if we can sniff out your web article’s issues:
It’s Too Long
Web readers have a shorter attention span. Most often readers are looking for information quick and easy. Web articles have the advantage or disadvantage, depending on your perspective, of having to hit hard and quick before the reader loses interest. Trim your word count and keep the reader.
It’s Too Dense
Web page space matters more, I argue, than in print. Web readers tend to skim the page and if the first thing they see after clicking on your link is a lot of heavy dense paragraphs, they’ll hit the back button. Break up paragraphs, use bullet points and pay careful attention to your spacing.
You know keywords bring in the Google juice but have you “keyworded” yourself out of readers?
“Freelance writers shouldn’t write web articles or use their freelance writing jobs to produce web articles that include SEO or search engine optimization keywords that readers may Google or search while they look for articles written by freelance writers who focus on writing.”
Really, what have I just said in that sentence above? Not too much, but you know that I’m trying to get search engine juice. A web writer has to remember to focus on the reader as well as focus on the content including the SEO keywords. What’s the point in bringing the readers in if they can’t figure out what you’re talking about?
Novice Posing as Expert
Nothing stinks up a web article more than information presented as fact when it is just opinion or a credible source that is not an expert, but an enthusiast. State what may not be the obvious. If you are an avid gardener, but not a horticulturist, say so. This doesn’t mean you can’t write on subjects or quote non-experts, but writers need to be very clear about where they have gathered their information.
Writing for the web can be tricky. Web articles are as unique as the medium in which they are presented. When writing web articles, writers need to focus on readership, web page design, SEO keyword application and transparency in content and sources. Keep these things in mind and you’ll have web writing jobs and high internet traffic in no time.