With the Internet being a wonderland for fiction and non-fiction writers alike, the top ten tips for writers are always needed. While the basic tenets of using language well apply to platforms both online and offline, writing for the web requires additional best practices. Blogs, digital magazines, columns, and self-published eBooks are all avenues writers can use to build their brands and earn income online. The following ten tips for writers will help said writers using these platforms keep their work engaging and easy to read. This is especially needed as today’s average reader suffers from a shrinking attention span. So, here goes.
Top ten tips for Writers
1. Keep it simple
Write using simple language that assumes virtually no knowledge on the readers’ part. No one is suggesting that your writing should be elementary or lack creativity. However clear, concise writing, void of gross ambiguities is usually a good place to start.
2. Use shorter paragraphs
Keeping paragraphs short and avoiding run-on sentences will help your writing flow better. Your readers will be better able to follow your argument or storyline in a natural way. This skill is particularly helpful when writing for the web, as the ability to virtually scan an article and get the gist is welcomed. Readers will better be able to digest content that does not read like a wall of text.
3. Make the article ‘scannable’
In addition to using shorter paragraphs, using headers, bullet points, and numbered lists are also great for making an article easier to read. It is very important that articles online have enough breaks to help readers visually digest content in stages while they read. This is true even if (and perhaps especially when) the article is a long one.
4. Write through the eyes of your audience
Writing is more than mere creative expression; it is a business. Your audience is the most important part of being a writer. If there’s no audience, then that which you’ve written has become nothing more than a glorified journal entry. It’s, therefore, important to consider your audience when writing. This will help shape your pitch, as you maintain your own unique tone, voice, and overall style. We all have a natural unique way of writing, but even our individual voice can be tweaked – in a sense – to appeal to the targetted collective of the genre.
5. Be consistent and versatile
Having a consistent writing style will help to solidify your brand integrity as a writer. Consistency is what will keep your readers coming back, as well as attract new readers and fans. Find your voice and be true to it, even as you trod new and innovative paths throughout your career. You can try new things and be diverse while maintaining your uniqueness. The two concepts are not mutually exclusive.
6. Optimize your content
Optimizing your content using the relevant keywords allows it to be more search engine friendly. This is always a good thing. After all, if no one can find your article they won’t be able to read it. Learning SEO (search engine optimization) will help you ensure readers find and share your work, and inevitably grow your audience.
7. Don’t over-optimize your content
While properly optimizing your content is something you must do, cramming it with keywords isn’t. There is such a thing as over-optimizing your content. Ensure that you pay attention to keyword density. As a rule, having 3 keywords per 500 words is a good place to start.
8. Offer value
Whatever the focus of your content, persons consuming your content are coming for value. As long as you can ensure your content gives your client what they are looking for, you are offering value. Of course, the kind of value you will offer comes from the nature of your content (what you’re writing about)
9. Connect with your readers outside of writing
It is important that writers connect with their audience outside the scope of their actual writing. Writers should take time ever so often to answer questions or respond to comments and concerns that readers may have. Blogs, social media, hangouts and mingles all provide an opportunity to do just this.
10. Don’t overcomplicate things – Be true to your unique voice
With so many great bloggers and columnists online, it’s easy to get lost in the whirlwind of it all. It’s important to remember not to complicate things. This is probably my number one tip in this top ten tips for writers guide. Truth is, the best writers anywhere are great because they’re true to their own style. So too, find your authentic voice and let that shine through. Much of writing is about connecting with an audience, and you stand a better chance of doing so by being authentic.
So there you have it. My top ten tips writers seeking to use the web to create and share content can use. These tips are helpful for beginner and experienced writers alike. As such, feel free to share these top ten tips for writers with all the writers you know – particularly if they wish to start writing online.