Three Fab Fixes for Your Online Writing
Keeping a reader's attention online is a tricky thing. There are a few stats knocking around about our attention spans being akin to the humble goldfish's. Yet, we all spend time reading on our phones, getting pulled into interesting articles or distracted by clickbait so it's totally possible to keep people engaged. Here are three ways how to do it:
1. Get into your reader's head
Get to know your audience. Who are they? Mothers? OAPs? Today's yoof? What age bracket are they in? What kind of jobs do they have? Do they have children/partners/homes? What keeps them up at night?
Armed with this valuable info, write using the language and phrases they use for an instant connection.
Taking this important step will inform your writing before you even get started, and will keep you from going off on a tangent.
2. Make the page more interesting
Looking at a dense page of text will put anyone but the most time-rich, obsessive lover of reading off. You don't necessarily need to keep things short (although do keep things concise), but you can make your words even more palatable with some clever formatting. This includes:
- Big, enticing headings
- Short paragraphs
- Balancing white space (not too much but not crammed)
- Use bullet points and numbered lists (like this one)
3. Get into the flow, Joe
When we write we can become a little formal. It's probably a habit from school or corporate writing which tend to be on the stiff side. Online writing is meant to be accessible and easy to read. Of course, you still want to write for your audience (so formal may be the order of the day) but a few tweaks can help to make the text more engaging.
- Try contracting words. For instance, make cannot, can't and do not, don't
- Be direct and keep sentences short e.g. Add your email address here instead of If you'd like to subscribe, please fill in your email address here
- Avoid passive language. For instance: this cordial can be added to your drink is passive, but add the cordial to your drink is active.
There you have it, some easy fixes to polish up your web copy. Let me know how you can get on :)