Your primary aim when writing Web content is to inspire your readers to take action. To take action, they need to read your content first.
How do you encourage them to do that?
Here are five tips.
1. Create a Goal for Your Content (Get Action)
Your first step is to be clear on your goal. (If you don’t have a goal, stop thinking about writing, and start thinking about your goals for your content.)
Write down your goals on a spreadsheet. This will enable you to track your content’s effectiveness over time.
Once you have a goal, your entire focus is to encourage your readers to take the action you want.
Here’s an example. Before the Internet, everyone got their news from newspapers. I’m old enough to remember news boys hawking newspapers at train stations. The headlines sold the newspaper: one of most famous headlines ever was the New York Post’s: “Headless Body In Topless Bar.”
A newspaper headline’s goal was simple: newspaper sales.
Before you start writing, ask yourself (and write it down): “What action do I want my readers to take?”
2. Write For Your Target Audience
Who’s your target audience? What do they want? Can you entertain them, inform them, or teach them? Or perhaps just arouse their curiosity?
How will you do that?
Make notes on this; the notes will help you to write.
3. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Is Important — Your Content Must Be Found
You’ll need to promote your content to get readers. (See the next tip.)
However, before then, you need to bake in some SEO. You need to write your page title, as well as your article title, your keywords, and your page description.
Basic SEO gives you your best chance of getting readers in the days, months, and years to come.
4. Plan Your Content’s Promotion (You Need to Grab Readers’ Attention)
It’s not enough to create, you also need to promote your content if you want readers.
You can promote on social networks, to your clients, and to your online friends. Of course, you’re sensible; you won’t take this too far and try to spam people.
5. Drop the Dead Donkey
“Drop the dead donkey” is journalistic jargon. Used in TV newsrooms, it means to remove the funny human interest story which often appears at the end of newscasts. The phrase also refers to filler content used in print publications and on the Web.
There’s a lot of dead donkey material on the Web. You read a headline in a newsreader, and are fired up to read a wonderful story. Sadly, the story doesn’t make good on the headline. It’s a dead donkey.
Once you’ve written a first draft of your material, ask someone else to read it. Did they finish reading?
Leave the content for a day or two, and then reread it aloud. Now you’ve got some distance from it, remove any dead donkey paragraphs.
There’s huge competition for attention on the Web. The above Web writing tips will help you to get your content read.
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