When it comes to writing for the web, you have to grab your reader’s attention quickly.
In many cases, you have just seconds before they click away.
That’s why shorter is better. Shorter paragraphs. Shorter sentences. Shorter words.
A newbie mistake when it comes to online content is to write like you’re trying to impress your eighth grade English teacher. If you’re writing for your eighth grade English teacher, you’re doing it wrong.
Your eighth grade teacher may have liked big words and complex sentences, but your readers won’t.
In this post, I share six easy steps to help you tighten your online content. If you liked this post, you may also like Five Proofreading Tips That You Can Use Right Now By Yourself.
6 Steps to Tighten Your Writing
If you’re writing quickly it’s easy to use extra words that add no real value to your content. Tighten your writing by checking over your copy before you publish it.
I’ve included a list of five things to check. Most of these can be found by using your word processor’s search tool.
Next time you proofread your content, look for following common problems:
- Run-on sentences. The word “and” often connects two (or more) independent clauses. Make each clause its own sentence.
- Long words. Avoid long words. If the word has more than two syllables, try to replace it with a shorter word.
- Passive voice. Be careful about using passive voice. Search for passive words like “be” and “is.” Make it active when you can.
- Stilted writing. Write like you talk. In web writing you can use fragments or start a sentence with “and” or “but.”
- Vague phrases. Replace vague phrase like “many” or “a lot of” with exact data to reel in readers.
- Typos and spelling errors. Look for misspelled words and typos. These mistakes turn many readers off.
Remember, choose every word carefully. Use only those words that add value to your content. Be frugal with your phrases. You have mere seconds to attract your reader.
How do you check your web content before you publish it?