7 Action Steps You Can Take Right Now to Craft Compelling Web Content

Posted July 17, 2017 | Laura Christianson

By Janis Fisher Chan
Guest Contributor

All writing should be clear and interesting.

But in today’s fast-paced world, where there’s so much content competing for the eyes of increasingly busy readers, it’s crucial for blog posts, social updates, marketing materials, and other web content to capture attention.7 Action Steps You Can Take Right Now to Craft Compelling Web Content | BloggingBistro.com

Whether you love to write or find it a chore, these seven tips will help you craft clear, compelling content that reaches your specific audience.

Tip #1:
Look at the topic from your readers’ point of view

A great headline might capture attention, but people quickly lose interest if the content doesn’t immediately seem relevant to them.

When you write content for the web, you’re not writing for yourself.

Action Step #1:

Ask yourself three questions:

  1. Why would someone read what I write?
  2. Are they already interested in my topic?
  3. What do they want or need to know?

Tip #2:
Focus on your most important message

Your goal in writing is to communicate something important to your readers.

What is that something important?

Action Step #2:

Write a key sentence or two that expresses your most important message. This will help you focus on what you want to say.

When you write, include that key sentence at the beginning to help readers focus.

Tip #3:
Let the ideas flow

Think about the facts or ideas that explain, build on, or reinforce your most important message.

Action Step #3:

Put your key sentence at the top of a blank document or a writing tablet and then quickly jot down all the points that come to mind.

You can do a mind map or write a quick “throwaway” draft.

Or you can talk the topic through with a friend or colleague. Keep in mind that you’re not writing: you’re getting ready to write.

Tip #4:
Do a quick first draft

Professional writers know they seldom get it right the first time. So don’t fret about making it perfect as you draft.

Action Step #4:

  • Write your draft quickly, putting the most important information close to the beginning.
  • Then read it from your readers’ POV.
  • If it seems to work, fine. Otherwise, throw it away, think about your audience again, and write another draft.
  • If you’re still not sure, show it to someone else.

Tip #5:
Be specific and concrete

Compelling writing is specific and concrete, not vague and general.

If you read, “It was a fabulous apartment,” would you know what the writer meant?

A more useful description would be: “The apartment had picture windows that overlooked the ocean, a fully equipped cook’s kitchen, and one of the most comfortable king-sized beds I’d ever slept in.”

Action Step #5:

If you want to convey that something is “fabulous,” or “amazing” or “disgusting” or “dumb,” try to show your readers, rather than telling them.

Check out 11 Weak Words that Dilute Your Blog Post’s Impact.

Tip #6:
Use plain English

7 Simple Steps to Crafting Compelling Web Content | BloggingBistro.comYou might not notice the jargon and technical language that’s commonly used in your niche. But if your readers don’t understand it, you might as well write in Martian or not bother to write at all.

Compelling writing is clear writing.

Action Step #6:

Whenever you use acronyms or terms specific to your topic, ask yourself whether readers are likely to understand them. Always substitute plain English for fancy-sounding jargon.

Tip #7:
Revise and edit

If you’re like people, you scan web content quickly to pick out the most interesting and useful information.

Action Step #7:

Help readers do that by using short sentences, short paragraphs, headings, bullet points, and visuals, and by eliminating every unnecessary word.

Reinforce your credibility by checking that the spelling and grammar are correct.

Finally, look at your content on a tablet and a phone to make sure that it’s readable on all of your audience’s devices.

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7 Action Steps You Can Take Right Now to Craft Compelling Web Content | BloggingBistro.com

About the author

Janis-Fisher-ChanJanis Fisher Chan ran a training company that helped professionals, executives, academics, authors, content developers, bloggers, and others write clearly for specific audiences.

A published author and passionate traveler, she recently launched Travel on the House, an informational web site with tips and advice for people who want to make travel affordable by swapping or rent out their homes.

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One response to “7 Action Steps You Can Take Right Now to Craft Compelling Web Content”

  1. Ankeet says:

    Nice post Janis

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