How To Improve Your Writing Skills?
Web writing differs greatly from print writing on several levels. To achieve text that will appeal to your readers, it is important to practice certain elements in order to make your content digital.
Understanding your readers
First, you need to know who you are talking to in order to tailor your content. Are you talking to other businesses, an educated public, or the general population?
A text whose content is aimed at an educated audience should be constructed in such a way that it can be understood by young people finishing high school. On the contrary, a text whose content is aimed at the general population should rather be understood by young people starting high school. To find out how readable your text is, you can use Scolarius, a free and easy-to-use online tool.
On the other hand, the level of attention of your readers is very limited on the web. It is, on average, 8.5 seconds. This is a very short period of time to deliver interesting content to your readers and convince them to read your entire text.
Explain and simplify the content
Well-explained, easy-to-understand content is essential for your readers. Avoid using technical terms and, if you need to mention them, explain them. Favor short sentences and avoid what is abstract for your readers. Always keep in mind that your text may not be understood by everyone.
As the concentration is less on the web than on paper, your content must be simplified as much as possible. Your readers will only look for things that interest them. A text where the majority of the content is irrelevant to the reader will not be read by the reader.
In the web, we have to use about 50% of the words we would have put on paper. On average, 20 to 38% of the words are read on a web page. This is why the key content of your text should be placed first. It should never be positioned at the end of a sentence, paragraph or page.
The rule to follow in web writing
In the web, there is a very simple rule that allows you to write your texts well. It is: 20 words per sentence, 4 lines per paragraph and 3 paragraphs per subsection. Sure, this is an average, but it’s a great starting point for building your texts on the web.
Know that the shorter your paragraphs, the more they will be read. Using short, simple words, along with basic syntax (subject, verb, supplement) will make your text easier to read for your readers.
When it comes time to build your writing, you should only talk about one idea per paragraph and per sentence. This practice makes your text easier to read.
It is best to write in the present as much as possible and avoid past or future tenses.
Finally, do not hesitate to include signs (like the percentage% or the dollar $) and numbers rather than writing them in letters. It catches your reader’s eye more easily and makes your text look lighter.
The title is a very important part of your text, but unfortunately it is often overlooked and poorly thought out. Know that the more your title is catchy, the higher the reading rate of your text will be.
A good title uses keywords to improve its natural referencing on search engines (SEO). It is formulated to respond to a problem and it summarizes the main subject of the text well. On the web, a headline written as a question works very well with readers.
Best practices in web writing
Here are some best practices to help you create interesting text for your readers on the web.
Use signs, numbers, bullets, bold, etc. Avoid smooth text.
Repeat your subject. Your reader may not read all of your paragraphs. If he starts reading in the 4th paragraph, he needs to know what your text is about.
Do not start a paragraph with a pronoun that refers to the previous paragraph.
Write for your target audience, not yourself.
Use consistent terminology.
Make sure you meet a need: entertain your audience, respond to a problem, etc.
These are just a few of the things, but they can help you build text that’s easy to understand and read for your target audience. Good writing!