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Tips in Writing Online: A Reminder to Myself

Nowadays, people love expressing themselves. Be it in the way they dress, the way their hairstyle goes, rallying in the street, vandals in the walls and many other ways. One of the most famous ways of sharing ideas, opinions, and information is through blog writing. Blogging is new term created from the word blog. Blogs are online content sites are created personally. Some blogs are established for a particular topic like education, entertainment or fashion. But most blogs are personal. This means, the owner of the blog writes anything that interests him or her. He can also share private information if he wants to.

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More and more people are starting their blogs to express themselves. And since blogs are free, they can create it anytime they want. However writing content for your site is not easy. Because you are writing for an online content, your audience is wider in scope. Anyone can read your post and so you have to be careful in what to write.

The basic way to write is like writing a personal school essay, where in you tell personal stories and relate it to your topic. Academic style of writing essays can be effective in telling opinions. This is because you write paragraphs and paragraphs of ideas. You only have to support these ideas with relevant information and you already have yourself and good blog content.

But the academic style of essays is not always good for blogs. This is because many readers get bored reading blocks of paragraphs. This style of writing does not help increase the readability of your work. If in case you encouraged someone to read your work, they will probably stop reading midway of the content. In a study about online readers, reading habits, it is found out that 79% of the total samples only scan online pages while only 16% read it word-by-word. In addition, search engine algorithms like that of Google, prefer readable contents. They easily index this type of content, and let many readers find it easily. As a writer who wants to express ideas, you want more people to read what you write, so to help you make a readable and more effective blog post, here are some killer ideas that you must consider:

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Start with a Catchy Title

The title is what readers see first when looking for something to read and so a catchy title can attract readers to read your post. In previous years, many writers use attention grabbing words like “free” and “deal” to attract readers. But this has long been associated with spam, so writers should be wise to veer away from it. Writing the title is a challenge, for even the best writers. It must define the main idea of the write-up but at the same time creatively written to attract people to read. ¬†Write one of a kind, creative titles that will stand out. Some blog writers start with the title first before they write, but it is advisable to write your essay or blog first before creating a title.

Open with an Interesting Lead

The lead is the opening paragraph of a blog or any writing composition. Just like the title, a lead must be creatively written to grab the attention of the readers and continue reading. There are many ways to write a lead, some of the often used leads are: quotation lead, the writer starts with a saying or line from a famous person; standard lead, the writer opens up by stating the main idea; statistics lead; the writer shares a statistic and suspended-interest lead, the writer gives important information but also lure readers to read further. You can be overly creative when writing your lead, but you must remember that online readers have a short attention span. Keep your post and simple to be sure that they won’t get bored. Sometimes, going direct to the point, while adding few interesting sentences, is enough to make them continue reading.

Share Relevant Information

Even though blogging is usually based on personal opinion and experience, it must still be informative. An informative blog becomes credible, and authoritative. Readers like this type of contents because they learn something from it. A good way to make your blog informative is by researching first before writing. By researching you gather relevant data and at the same time understand the topic better. When you have a personal opinion to say, always follow it up with a strong supporting data. You must also share the source of this information so that other readers, interested about it, can also look it up.

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Keep Everything Short and Simple

Jakob Nielsen, founder of “discount usability engineering” movement and an expert in eye tracking research and web layout errors, identified online readers as, “selfish, lazy, and ruthless.” People who read online contents do not actually read everything. They have a short attention span, so they only read parts of the content. If they get bored while reading, they move to a different page to read something else. This is why blog writers should create simple and short write ups so that readers won’t easily get bored. However, a simple content does not mean short of relevant information. It must still have enough data and facts to engage readers in learning more about the topic. This is a challenge for online writers, but Nielsen added that good writers should cut 40% of a content word, targeting least valuable data, while removing only 30% of the contents value.

Consider Bullets and Subheadings

To keep a content short and simple, employing bullets, subheadings and other scannable texts should be considered by the writer. These texts highlight important words and ideas so that readers do not have to read the content word-by-word but still gets the whole point of the blog. An inverted style of writing is also perfect to let readers know the main topic even at the start of the content. In this style, writers begin with the most important information and write down towards the least important data. Cutting out adjectives, buzzwords and unsupported ideas also help in keeping the brevity of an online content.

Writing a blog is not that easy if you want more readers to read your post. The online community as Nielsen said is lazy and demanding and so writes must adjust for the readers. This is a challenge to write and their skills and creativity will be tested if they want to create an effective, readable and interesting content. For sure you already know, even when you are still in school that writing is not easy. Despite working hard to research, write and edit, you still good low grades from your professors. You might think that your academic essays and research papers are good, but it is still not good enough for other people. Writing online content will truly test a writer’s skill, but by applying the tips shared above, you can attract, more readers and make your blog search engine friendly to gain more web traffic.