Your audience doesn't likely care about your posts, or plan to spend time reading them. They care about the information behind those posts, and how it can make their personal or professional lives better.
Readers probably aren't following your professional blog or social media posts because they're hooked on your wit and charm. Maybe they are! But let's be honest: they want information.
How do we make it easier for readers to understand and absorb your information? That's what converts them into believers, maybe even into customers or brand evangelists.
Here are 3 tips for better online writing that we're starting to integrate into everything our team does.
1) Keep it Short
People are super busy, and thanks to Twitter, they've got shorter attention spans than ever. As guilty as I am of writing long and intricate emails, the truth is that those giant blocks of text are the last thing most readers want to see. My lengthy messages tend to be the most likely to get overlooked.
That's why I love the challenge of trying to keep important thoughts to 500 characters or less. If it doesn't fit in 500 characters or less, it needs to be broken into a new thought.
2) Make it "Scannable"
500 Character blog posts aren't always possible. If your content needs more room, BREAK IT UP so that people can scan it. Just keep each section under 500 characters if possible.
Make sure people can skim through it and get the important points. That's how people read on the internet, unless they're settling in for the night with a glass of wine to read your blog.
Writing in short, concise sentences is a good idea.
Breaking thoughts into single line sentences is OK.
Seriously, it's OK to do this!
3) Use Sub-Headings
Just breaking things into atomic paragraphs can get chaotic. Use sub-headings to keep the reader on track with your thought process.
Don't just make the text bold. Use actual H2 or H3 tags in your site content. Search engines like that stuff. It helps them understand the semantic content and relative importance of those text elements to everything else on the page.
Online content marketing is like any other form of writing. Get used to not getting it perfect. Take comfort in the fact that you'll (probably) get better over time with practice.
Up next in our "Better Business Writing" series:
For more tips on making your content "scannable," check out Pamela Wilson's inspiring post, "8 Incredibly Simple Ways to Get More People to Read Your Content."