How to Adapt Your Writing Style For Online Content

Published on September 11, 2015

We've written about high quality content and site design in the past, but there are other steps that content producers need to take when transitioning from the offline world to digital spaces. Here's how to prepare effective written content for your site!

1. Grab Readers with Snappy Headlines

Headers and headlines can do two things for your online content. First, they invite the reader to the article. Because of this, you should make sure that your titles efficiently explain the content that follows.

Second, you can use headers and headlines to break up content strategically. Online readers typically scan content, so it's helpful to break information into labeled pieces.

2. Write Engaging Ledes

In journalism, the first sentence on a page is called the lede. Writers use these to hook readers, and content marketers should use these to their advantage, too. Make the first sentence on your page, blog, or social media post an explanation of the remaining content to boost SEO

3. Limit the Number of Links to PDF Files

Users want to read content on your site, not on a downloaded document. While PDF allows designers to keep graphics consistent, they don't make for a user-friendly experience (especially on a mobile website design) and come across as clunky. 

4. Use Bullet Points

Think you can't use sentence fragments here? Think again! Bullet points are an informal way to get your point across and offer clear information. Take complicated ideas and break them down into smaller concepts or descriptions by using these. 

5. Get Rid of Passive Voice

Grammar lesson! Check out this sentence: 

I was bitten this morning by a four-eyed dog.

And, then, compare it to this one: 

A four-eyed dog bit me this morning.

The first sentence is an example of passive voice, while the second is active voice. Passive voice is unsophisticated and can confuse readers, while active voice immediately answers the verb's 'who?' Use it to quickly convey information to readers.

6. Be Yourself

Sure, it's pretty common advice, but this is truly how organic search results happen. By evoking the same language that you use on a daily basis and discussing subjects in accessible ways, you can help your reader find your website. Have a sense of humor, try searching out new ideas related to your product or service, and build a brand that fits the goals you have for your business.

If all of this sounds a little complicated, Geek Chicago would love to step in and help you design a content marketing strategy that suits your needs. To get to know us better, sign up for our newsletter or drop us a line!