Even though I’ve been teaching essay writing techniques to students at the post-secondary level for more than a decade now, I must confess that I felt like fish out of water when I first started writing articles for an online audience.
This post first appeared on my erstwhile FREE WordPress.com blog. It was re-blogged several times on that platform. Just in case you found it somewhere else. Thank you very much.
An interesting discovery
I quickly realized that much as the general rules regarding quality writing hold true for both offline and online situations, there are, at the same time, several basic differences.
Well, it’s been a while now and I’m happy to say I’ve learned some valuable lessons. These online writing lessons have greatly raised my confidence and competence level when it comes to e-writing.
I am going to share with you some pillars of online article writing that have guided me so far.
You will be surprised at the resultant remarkable improvement in your articles if you apply as many of these guidelines as possible.
1. Write from a position of authority.
Write in a way that shows you know what you’re writing about. You do not need to boast in order to achieve this. What is necessary here is to focus on writing on topics or ideas about which you have sufficient knowledge and experience.
This is the reason why on this blog I write only about the actual, real time, real life blogging insights I have gathered so far and those I keep learning.
On my other blog, CegastAcademy.com, I focus on sharing the knowledge and experience I’ve gained from my previous, hugely successful professional career of over two decades.
Surely, you’ve got something about which you know so much. It could be about an extensive experience in a skill, a craft, an academic subject or a rare, special talent. Whatever it is, that is what you must focus on.
And make sure you keep learning so you can continue to write from an informed perspective.
2. You will need to sound original.
Let the truth be told. It is almost impossible nowadays to write about something no other person has ever written about before. But you know, at the same time, it is difficult for two writers who are not openly copying from each other to say it in exactly the same way.
So my advice is this: find your own voice and style. Then let it come out as loudly as you can through your articles. Your readers will love you for your authentic, unique style of saying what they may have already heard many others say.
3. Try to say it as briefly and as clearly as possible.
There are many times I have to hold myself and pull back when I begin to go on and on.
As an introvert, I don’t talk much but hey, I can really write and write … and just keep on writing. But internet people don’t have time for long talk nor very long paragraphs. They are always on the move.
You can only keep your online reader interested in what you’re telling them if you can say it in short, direct sentences and paragraphs.
And one more thing. Make sure you do not repeat yourself unnecessarily.
The keyword is “unnecessarily” because I’ve also learned that for effective SEO, it is good to say one thing and say it again several times.
4. Put a smile on the faces of your readers.
This may be difficult for some of us to achieve but you have no choice but to learn how to create humor in your writing.
Sometimes, all it takes is a quick, appropriate joke. At other times, you can use an anecdote to make your audience laugh even to your hearing! As you can see, a well-considered exaggeration can also do the trick.
The point I’m trying to make is this: Do not scare away your readers with a dry, lifeless post. If you keep on putting them to sleep, they may stop visiting your site.
5. Reduce grammatical errors to the barest minimum.
That is if you cannot avoid them entirely. There is a number of ways to do this.
- Edit your work several times before hitting the publish button.
- Use a grammar app to auto-correct your mistakes. But don’t rely on them too much. From experience, I can tell you that some of these apps have their own issues as they work like the robots they are made to be!
- Keep on learning grammar rules to help you improve your writing.
- Let others edit or proofread your work if it is possible for them to do so.
6. Write for a specific audience.
As a writer, you’re an infopreneur by default. Your articles are the products you are bringing to the online marketplace.
Like every other seller, you cannot serve the whole market. Even if you wish to do so, you will soon realize that not everyone is interested in your wares.
That is why you must select a particular segment of the online market and tailor your writing in a way as to attract and engage them only.
You can apply the below guidelines, among others, to help you succeed at satisfying your readers’ needs.
- Identify the age group you wish to serve.
- Know their specific need you want to address in each article.
- Find out if they will find the information useful.
- Write in the style they will easily relate to and understand.
- Avoid talking down to them. Many of them may know more than you care to know so, at the very least, treat them as your equals.
- Give them as much helpful information as possible.
7. Structure your article appropriately.
Don’t just write. Write in a carefully organized manner. Some of the things you would want to consider are the following.
- a concise and captivating title.
- an appropriate introduction signaling the ideas you’re about to raise and discuss.
- short and precise paragraphs with each containing a single idea.
- helpful subheadings to separate points and paragraphs.
- a concluding statement.
I’ve said it before. Not all the rules for old-school offline article writing are useful for internet writing.
Writing on the internet is a different ball game in many respects. I’ve learned this the hard way and I’m still learning to do things better. Fortunately for me, it is not in my DNA to ever stop learning while I live.
I believe you too will benefit a lot as an online writer if you seriously consider the lessons I’ve just been sharing with you.
Don’t forget to share this post. Thank you.
And keep writing so we all may learn to do more and accomplish more.