Writing for the web takes more work than some people think. If you want to be successful writing articles or blogs, these tips can be very helpful.
As I have gotten more into writing for Associated Content and my blogs, I’ve learned that there are some tricky aspects to writing for the web. There are things you have to take into consideration that you might not need to think of when writing for a print publication. Here are a few of the things you might face as you enter into the world of web writing.
Use keywords or regular language – When you’re writing for print, there are no search engines, so keyword density doesn’t really matter that much. You can just write in the way you want, and people will understand. They buy books based on the title and synopsis. When you’re writing for the web though, you need to think of search engines, and you have to think of keyword density.
Some people go too far when they first start writing, and their writing sounds strained because they try to stuff as many keywords into each paragraph as they possibly can. Some others barely use any keywords at all, and their writing gets lost on the web. It takes time, but you need to learn how to fit key words and phrases into your web writing without sounding like a list of senseless words. Google won’t like keyword stuffing anyway. After a while, you get better at balancing regular language with your SEO language, and your work will be found by search engines.
Looking for sources – Some people don’t even think about this, but it’s really important. If you’re talking about something that can have a major effect on someone, like medical advice for example, you need to prove to people that you know what you’re talking about. If you’re a professional, you need to tell people early in your post or article. If you’re not a pro, you need to cite sources that prove your information is valid. If you’re giving important info and don’t cite your sources, people aren’t likely to trust you.
Writing what’s popular or what you like – This can be a hard one for many writers, and I’ve experienced it myself. Do you write what’s popular right now, or do you write what you like? Maybe you love writing about celebrity gossip, but maybe you hate it. Maybe you’d rather write about strange toys from other countries. Most people either write popular topics to get paid, or focus on the niche they love. Either can work. Personally, I try to do a bit of both. I try to pick up on hot topics when they actually interest me, and the rest of my writing is whatever I want to write at the time. Whatever you chose, try to do what makes you happy. If you don’t enjoy your subject matter your articles and posts will show it, and it won’t do well for your reputation as a writer.
Writing “evergreen” content – Another thing that can be tricky for some people when writing for the web is writing “evergreen” content. For those who don’t know, evergreen content means something that won’t go out of style and will be of interest for a long time. For example, Lindsey Lohan’s latest crazy activity might be popular right now, but in a few weeks no one will care anymore. A listing of all the roles she’s ever appeared in and a ranking of her acting skills in each role would be of interest for a much longer time. When you’re writing for the web, you have to make a choice between being on top of every new trend and rumor, or writing things that people are going to come back and read both today, and months or even years from now as well.
Finding new things to write about – This is something that probably affects every writer in the world at some point or another. Eventually, you’re going to feel like you’ve run out of things to write about. Fortunately, if you’re writing for the web, you have access to the internet and the limitless ideas it can provide. Start surfing around and see what you come across. You might find inspiration. Using a site like StumbleUpon can be a great way to find random sites and get inspired.
Writing for the web might seem like a huge challenge for some, but once you get over the little hurdles and learn a few tricks, it can be both rewarding and profitable. If you find yourself in a bind, try to find other people who are doing web writing too, and ask them how they got through. Most writers have gone through the hard stuff at one point or another, and they may be willing to help you get through and keep going on your path to becoming a great web writer.