It's easy to publish a website, but it will only succeed if your audience thinks it's valuable.
Unfortunately, it's also easy to post bland or confusing content that few people want to read. If you aren't meeting your traffic goals, time to upgrade your content.
We will give you a brief summary on how to create and format your web content:
- Cut it Down
- Use Active Voice
- Write on a Narrow Topic
- Use Lists
Let's get started.
Cut it Down
It's easy to ramble when you're writing about a topic you love, but you are gambling with your visitors' patience. Most will leave once they realize your paragraphs are too wordy. But how do you streamline your content without compromising the information within it?
First, cut adjectives and adverbs. Many authors naturally fill their work with descriptive words, but it's easy to use too many. While fiction is bland if it doesn't include vivid descriptions, exact details are more important in helpful articles. Remember, your audience doesn't want to filter through unnecessary words, they want to learn!
Using some adjectives and adverbs is okay. If you are unsure about a word choice, delete it. If the sentence still communicates your information clearly and concisely, keep the change. Remember, stuffing your content with descriptions only warns your readers that they are on an unprofessional website.
Use Active Voice
If you want to sound authoritative, then use active voice. Your viewers won't trust what they are reading if it seems passive and unsure. But what is an active voice?
Active words take place in the present, while passive ones refer to the past. In English, most passive words end with the letter d, like the words stopped and looked. If you discover a passive sentence, reverse the subject and object. Calls to action and commands are always active; use them.
Grammar software will highlight passive language, and running your content through your favorite program is a great way to highlight problem words and phrases until you can recognize them on your own. A quick web search on passive language also reveals example sentences. Study them.
Write on a Narrow Topic
Readers love research and want to learn every detail about their favorite topics. If your articles are too broad, however, they might look for information somewhere else. As you write and research, search for items worth exploring in a new article.
If you feel like your topics are too niche, don't worry about it. Your readers will process your articles like a more extensive book, where each chapter covers a different issue. Some topics are too niche for a broad audience, but you won't know until you write about them. Remember, you can always refine your focus later.
Few readers enjoy decoding huge blocks of text and will become annoyed when they read too many paragraphs without a break. So, give them one. Lists, graphs, and pictures communicate information while also allowing your readers to rest their eyes and minds.
Space your breaks evenly in your articles, and add variety. Lists are fun to read, but not after reading five in the same article! You can use images for your lists, or type them out, and many pictures are available for free. Just make sure you use the right license! Quotes are also useful, but they could annoy your audience if they sound stupid or mock their opinions.
There's no reason to settle for uninspired content, and you owe it to yourself, and your audience, to create a website worth exploring.