4 Most Important Things to Remember while Creating Online Content

by Steve Aedy on February 5, 2013

online content

If you have come to this article with the question, “How do people read online?” The simple – and sad – answer is…they don’t.

A visitor to your site probably won’t read your content; they will scan it. A recent study found nearly 80% of participants scanned a website; just over 15% bothered to read the content word by word.

This means writing content for an online publication is very different from any other form of writing.

Check out the four most important things to remember when creating online content.

  1. KISS
  2. We’ll adapt the acronym a bit – Keep It Simple and Scannable. Visitors scan text. So, you need to make your content scannable. Here’s how:

    • Use short paragraphs. Make it easy for scanners to digest chunks of text.
    • Only have one idea per paragraph. Visitors will skip any information that doesn’t grab their attention in the first few words. Randomly jumping from one topic to another, without warning, won’t sit well.
    • Keep the word count to half the length of conventional print writing.

  3. Make it Obvious
  4. Be specific about what you want visitors to read. Draw attention to the most important content.

    Use meaningful subheadings to guide the reader from point A to point B. Also, subheadings help break up the content, making it look less daunting.

    Bullet points can share a lot of useful information in an easy-to-read list. Writing a short sentence and then support it with bullet points (see the above section for an example) is a good way to go.

  5. Link Wisely
  6. Online readers are very different from print readers. If a reader picks up a magazine and doesn’t like the first article she comes across, she’ll simply turn the page to the next. She won’t put the magazine down and grab another.

    If online readers don’t like what they see, they might leave your site entirely.

    Online readers spend an average of 30 seconds on each webpage. Take advantage of their short attention span; link to other relevant articles on your site. Guide visitors from one useful topic to the next.

  7. Build Trust
  8. Readers who buy the Wall Street Journal can trust the information they find there. Employees go through a hiring process. Their writing is evaluated before publication. And they have a longstanding record of quality to back them up.

    Anyone can start a website. There is no criteria a writer must meet. Very few online writers have an editor. It’s unclear who is actually writing the information on the web. And there is little, if any, accountability for quality.

    Therefore, online writers should provide citations for their work. You might think it is dangerous to link to outside sources; a visitor could leave your site and never come back.

    However, by providing citations for your writing, you’re building confidence with the readers. They know when they want quality information, visitors can come to you.

Transitioning from print writing to online writing can be a challenging task. However, if you keep these tips in mind, your visitors are more likely to absorb what you have to say.

Image Credit: Anselm23

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Article by Steve Aedy

Steve is a full-time freelance writer and content manager for Fresh Essays, a company that provides online content writing services and editing help. You can reach him via Twitter.

Steve has written 1 awesome articles for this blog.

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{ 13 comments }

Yasir Khan February 5, 2013 at 7:25 pm

In order to achieve great success in online business, it is a must for you to produce high quality online content. You need to work smart to gain attention from the online visitors.

Steve Aedy February 6, 2013 at 11:31 am

Or offer something good for free, you choose :)

ZK February 6, 2013 at 12:27 pm

High quality content that is relevant to your audience is the key to building communities

Ti Roberts February 6, 2013 at 3:28 pm

Great tips, Steve. Creating exceptional content is one of the best and quickest ways to gain trust and creditably online. Especially the kind of content that builds proof of your results and social proof. Thanks for sharing.

Ti

Ship security February 7, 2013 at 12:18 pm

Content must contain generalized words as far as possible.Because it can help to understand most of visitors.All visitors are not sound in English so generalized help them to understand well and quickly.

Taswir Haider February 8, 2013 at 6:30 am

Hello Steve,great tips. High quality content that is relevant to your audience is the key to building communities.Thanks.

Picture Framing Manchester February 9, 2013 at 12:51 pm

The content should like to create in such away that should be help full to make people proficient in their jobs in an areas of their lives.

Nanvy @ CRM Software Solutions February 13, 2013 at 7:40 am

Content plays very significant role when it comes to online marketing. It can generate good traffic for the targeted site and it does help in achieving high ranking in SERPs.
One can create a very useful content if follows these things.

Ship security February 13, 2013 at 2:05 pm

Content is the King. If content is unique then it gives boost in Ranking if possible image also required with content.

cristi @ Top Blogger Malaysia February 13, 2013 at 11:55 pm

Awesome post, Agreed with all your points.

And according to me i believe trust of readers is very important to engage the good traffic. So we must build trust and rest will depend on the quality of the content.

Rajkumar February 15, 2013 at 10:04 pm

Building trust is not a thing which the content writers will have in mind. They simply use fillers to complete the article. However, coming up with real life examples and numbers will draw their attention.

Picture Framing Manchester February 16, 2013 at 9:48 am

During finalizing content we have to avoid spelling and speech mistakes.Lack of grammar in content also leads to misunderstanding.

Kent Morris February 22, 2013 at 7:09 am

Great tips, Steve. Creating exceptional content is one of the best and quickest ways to gain trust and creditably online. Thank you so much for the post!!!!!!!!!!!!

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