SmarterSites' Blog

Providing powerful productivity tools to work online!

Writing Quality Content is a Key Skill for any Internet Marketer

This is by no means a complete guide, but rather some starting tips or techniques for how to write for the web.

Research – Know your topic!

This sounds obvious, but the number of people who attempt to write about stuff they don’t understand astounds me! Good writers are informed writers. We’re not talking about becoming experts here, just a solid grounding in the topic. Sites like Wikipedia are great for getting a subject overview (remember this information isn’t always 100%!). A few good hours of Google searching is a must. Use their new “Wonder Wheel” (click on the “show options” tab above your search results) to generate mind-map like structures of related search terms to help you explore the different facets of a topic.

When I need to write about a completely new subject, I set aside at least 3 or 4 hours of solid reading (doesn’t have to be all at once!) to learn about the topic. You don’t have to do this every time you write something. You’ll find the knowledge you gain from one good stint of reading can be used to write multiple articles. Take particular note of the style of writing and the kinds of pages that show up in your search results. This will be the kind of content you want to emulate when you start writing. Note I said emulate not copy! Be very careful to avoid plagiarism. Not only is there potential for legal consequences, but Google will slap you silly if they notice you have plagiarized content on your site.

Start with the title

Forget about trying to outline your entire piece of writing first; when writing for the web I like to start with a title . What this does is ensure you are crystal clear about the direction of the article from the beginning, making it much easier to write fluently and stick to the point.

Bear in mind that people surfing the web spend mere seconds on any given page, so don’t try to accomplish too much in a single article. It’s better to explore one or two core ideas rather than branch into multiple sub topics. Five hundred to eight hundred words is typically considered the optimum for web articles, and while that sounds like a lot, you’ll be surprised at how hard it is to say anything good in such a small amount of space!

If you find yourself going off on a tangent in your writing, don’t ever delete it! Copy and paste it into a new document and leave it for another time. Good words and ideas are precious, and having a collection of small snippets of writing can be very useful for future articles.

Don’t think, just write

Easy to say, hard to do – but “just writing” is possibly one of the best writing techniques I’ve ever known. Little is more intimidating than a blank sheet of paper or a blank document on your computer, so it’s important to get something down rather than critique every sentence as you write it. Once you have a grounding in your topic and a good title as a starting point, stop thinking and start writing. Don’t worry whether you’re writing is good or not. At this stage you’re just focusing on getting out a first draft. (Just Google what the noted writer Ernest Hemingway said about first drafts for a rather un-inspirational quote on the subject.) Even if your writing is really bad to start with, you’ll find it easier to tidy up a bad draft than spend hour upon hour painstakingly perfecting each sentence. More often than not you’ll discover that 10% to 20% of what you’ve written isn’t actually too bad anyway. By taking these good parts and expanding them, you can turn that 20% good content into 50% good content, and then that 50% into 90%!

Another technique that I have had a lot of success with is writing two separate drafts from scratch. I write a complete first draft, print it out and then delete it off my computer. I put the first draft in a draw and write a second draft without looking at the first. By deleting the first draft, you force yourself to approach the piece from the start, except this time you’re brain’s already warmed up and your thoughts are more organized! Once I’ve done a second draft I’ll take my first out and mine it for any particularly good sentences that I want to keep – but I typically find that my second piece of writing is significantly better than my first.

It gets easier!

Some of these techniques may seem really time consuming, but the good news is you don’t need to use them all for every article you write. If you’re writing 20 or 30 articles for a site you’ll likely find that after the first two articles or so you get into a kind of ‘flow’ and the words just start coming.

Writing’s like anything – practice makes perfect. While there are some naturally gifted writers, anyone can teach themselves to write good basic content that people (and search engines) will enjoy.

… if all you can think off is “But I’m not a writer!” You can pay someone to write your articles for you.

There are a number of websites that connect publishers (like you) with freelance writers. One popular site is Elance! Just post a project and writers (“Elancers”) will “bid” for the job, offering to write X number of articles for Y dollars per article. At the bottom end of the scale you can spend around $5 per article. Typically, the more you spend, the higher the quality of the writing…

Enjoy your writing!

Heide Holtz

SmarterSites.net

Advertisements

Filed under: Latest buzz, , , , , , , ,

Share this Blog

Bookmark and Share

SmarterSites Quick Guide!


Is Your Advantage to Succeed!

Turn your Blog or Website into a Smarter Site and you will increase Your Income by $50 to $500 a day in 30-days or less!

Calendar

October 2017
M T W T F S S
« Mar    
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031  

RSS Latest buzz on Social Media

  • NBA legend upstaged by baby chewing on his sleeve October 19, 2017
    Tim Duncan is one of the greatest power forwards in NBA history. But his baby is the real all-star.  The basketball legend was watching his old team, the San Antonio Spurs, take on the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday night when the cameras caught this adorable scene.  Monty Williams with Tim Duncan & Vanessa, baby is using Tim's shirt for a paci […]
    Keith Wagstaff
  • Taika Waititi peppered 'Thor: Ragnarok' with Indigenous Australian and New Zealand references October 19, 2017
    "That spaceship, that's painted with the Aboriginal flag colours. No one else knows that but us." Taika Waititi's Thor: Ragnarok was filmed in Australia's Gold Coast, and stars locals Chris Hemsworth and Cate Blanchett, but that's not what makes it a particularly Aussie film. SEE ALSO: Jeff Goldblum improvises all the answers to […]
    Shannon Connellan
  • Hellish California wildfires inspire haunting web comic October 19, 2017
    Image: Brian fiesBrian Fies lost everything when his house was consumed by the California wildfires: family heirlooms, photos, ornaments made by his children. He’s taken the painful tragedy and turned it into a gut-wrenching web comic with details that capture the hellish experience. SEE ALSO: California wildfire victims returning to their destroyed homes is […]
    Sasha Lekach
  • Radio host discovers she got paid less than her male co-host. So he took a pay cut. October 19, 2017
    Take note, men. Comedians Dave Hughes and Kate Langbroek are both hosts on KIIS FM, a radio station in Sydney, Australia. They do the same job, ribbing off each other as you do on an afternoon show, but Langbroek was getting paid significantly less than her male counterpart. SEE ALSO: Women face pay inequality and have no path for advancement at Google, laws […]
    Johnny Lieu
  • Typhoon Lan will be Earth's next megastorm, with effects rippling across the Pacific October 19, 2017
    It's 2017, which means a week cannot go by without a megastorm potentially devastating some part of the planet. As Hurricane Ophelia fades from headlines, now all sharp weather eyes are turning to Typhoon Lan in the western Pacific Ocean.  The storm is currently churning to the east of the Philippines, slowly moving over some of the warmest waters on Ea […]
    Andrew Freedman
  • These new little Tasmanian devil joeys are as clingy as human babies October 19, 2017
    Not just a Looney Tune, Tasmanian devils are some of Australia's most unique little creatures, at risk of extinction from disease and dwindling in numbers. But there's adorably good news afoot. Dubbo's Taronga Western Plains Zoo has welcomed the arrival of not one but two litters of Tasmanian devil joeys, the first with three joeys and the sec […]
    Shannon Connellan
  • Here are some of the most stunning nature photographs of 2017 October 19, 2017
    Another year, another super impressive bunch of photos from the Wildlife Photography Awards.The winners of the competition, which will go on display at London's Natural History Museum later this the month, were announced on Wednesday.The 15 photos below are all winners of their respective categories. Some are dark, some are amusing, and they're all […]
    Haley Hamblin

RSS eLANCE – Get work Done!

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.