Are you a beginner looking for tips creating website content? Or are you a pro hoping to optimize your search engine optimization writing skills? We’re here with some useful web content writing tips to remember when you’re trying to create engaging content, whether you’re a beginner or a pro. After all, if you’re writing content for a website, you want it to have as much of an impact as possible, leaving few corrections for those who have to go in and edit. There is certainly a learning curve to being a content writer, so don’t panic too much – we’re here to give you 20 valuable do’s and don’ts for producing quality content.
1. DON’T plagiarize
This may be the most important tip we can give you so we’re putting it right at the top – do not plagiarize. There are a couple of bad scenarios here. If you’re writing for a client, the client won’t hire you again. If you’re creating a blog post for your personal website, you may not have to worry about losing your job but it will still backfire on you – your site can get penalized or even removed from search engines. So, in short, don’t do it.
2. DO break up your content.
For any content you write, use paragraphs, bullet points, headers, numbers – anything to boost your content on the readability scale. We are naturally programmed to digest smaller pieces of information and if it’s visually appealing, organized, and evenly spaced out, all the better.
3. DON’T write lengthy paragraphs.
While this goes along with our last tip, it bears repeating – don’t write lengthy paragraphs. If you have a lot of necessary information to include, break it up into paragraphs and include headers. Paragraphs generally shouldn’t be more than four to five lines long for easy readability.
4. DO know what the content’s goal is.
If you’ve been assigned an article, ask questions about the goal of the content – is it to insert as many affiliate links as possible? Promote a specific product or service? Sometimes the goal is to subtly promote an idea, product, service, or the client. You have to know the goal of the content before writing it.
5. DON’T use images you don’t have the (legal) right to use.
Unfortunately, you can’t take any pictures from the internet and use them in your article. If your article is well circulated, odds are the image’s creator is going to find out that you’re using their work. Any website using an unauthorized image can be sued. So, don’t do it.
6. DO create an outline.
It’s useful to create an outline for each piece of content you’re creating. While this isn’t absolutely necessary, it’s certainly helpful in terms of staying organized.
7. DON’T oversell a product or service.
Even if the goal of digital marketing is to promote a product or service, don’t oversell it. As a rule of thumb, the best way to go about promoting something when it comes to content writing is to be subtle. Plug it into the article on one or two occasions but don’t oversell – make it more of a helpful suggestion than a sales pitch.
8. DO use Calls-To-Action.
If the purpose of your content creation is conversion, you need to have an explicit call to action (CTA). CTAs are designed to get an immediate response from people visiting your website. For example, a pop-up asking for an email to sign up for a mailing list or advertising a special price if a customer makes a purchase within a few minutes. CTAs should be clear and obvious to the person visiting your website.
9. DON’T sound like a robot.
Insert a certain amount of personality into your content. While, yes, too much personality is off-putting and takes away from the information being presented in the article, sounding like a human being instead of a robot certainly decreases readability.
10. DO write for your target audience.
Keep your target audience in mind when creating your content. If you know that the majority of your audience is of a certain demographic, tailor your writing to them as much as you can.
11. DON’T repeat yourself.
While, yes, content can get a little repetitive, try not to repeat yourself too much throughout the article. Stick to your topic but make sure you keep it interesting without just repeating information.
12. DO answer your target audience’s questions.
Researching questions people have is helpful – there are often obvious questions associated with each topic you’re writing about that don’t always get an answer. Providing definitions and answering questions before getting too far into a topic is helpful, especially if the topic is complex.
13. DON’T use complicated words.
We’re not talking about dumbing down your content – we know your readers are capable of understanding big words. But, for readability’s sake, keep your language relatively simple and don’t fill it with four-syllable words.
14. DO look for inspiration.
As long as you’re not plagiarizing, don’t be afraid to look for inspiration from other websites. Writer’s block is a real thing and there’s nothing wrong with admiring other people’s work to jog your creative juices.
15. DON’T forget to be creative with your anchor text.
Nobody likes a “click here” or “click me” button to link them to another page. Be creative and eliminate the need to use such bland anchor text. You’re better than that!
16. DO review your content before submitting it.
It is nearly guaranteed that there are some little mistakes in your content, no matter how much of a writing genius you are. Proofread everything you write before submitting it to a client or publishing it yourself and make sure you use a spell check.
17. DON’T forget your keywords.
Don’t forget to include keywords and related keywords in your content as much as you can – without sounding unnatural or like a broken record, of course.
18. DO meet deadlines.
If you’re creating content for a client, do your best to meet deadlines. This is especially important if your client wishes to post on a regular schedule and if you want more work from them in the future.
19. DON’T forget to check for readability.
It’s important to make sure that your articles are easily readable and able to be scanned quickly. Keep in mind that a viewer will only scan your article for a few seconds before deciding to keep reading or moving onto something else.
20. DO your research.
Last but not least, do your research before beginning your content. You may not be entirely familiar with the topic at hand and doing some preliminary research saves you a lot of time in the writing process. We hope we have encouraged you to think differently about how you’re going to write your next epically creative, insightful, and all-around informative piece of content. If you’re a pro and already knew all our master tips, thanks for sticking around!