Are You Writing for the Web? Four Quick Tips

Whenever you write a blog post longer than a few paragraphs, it’s a good idea to think about how to make your content “scannable” — that is, easy to read, fun to look at, and divided up into bite-size chunks. Doing so is a fundamental aspect of high-quality web writing.

There are several easy ways to make your posts more web friendly,  and I’m going to illustrate all of them in this one post. So bear with me. As always, I welcome your tips and advice, too.

1. Use Paragraphs, Often. And Sub-Titles (Just Like This)

It can be daunting to read a post that is just one long chunk of text. Sub-titles (or “mini-headlines”) are perhaps the simplest way to avoid the flood of text. You’ll often see newspapers and magazines employing the same technique, and the idea is to help your readers subtly know that their brains will soon get a little break, a quick pause, from the content.

Sub-titles also let readers pick and choose what they want to read, by scanning. This is especially useful for people who are reading on the fly and have a limited amount of time to absorb your brilliance.

But what should they say? Sub-headlines should summarize whatever content comes next. If you’re presenting a series of steps, use numbers to organize the steps.

2. How to Create a Sub-Title

You can do this by simply bolding the text, as I did in the first sub-title, or by using some fancy html, like <h3>, to make the sub-titles look even more special. That’s what I did on this second sub-title above.

3. You Should Also Try to Use Photos or Videos

Adding a visual element to your blog post makes the post fun to read and provides readers with an alternate way of accessing your blog. If I were writing about the Muppets, I could embed this video in my post:

We have many ways to add photos or videos to your site, here’s are a few starting points: Images and Video.

4. Use Links

Links are so important — they’re what make the web the web. I’ve made this point before, in more detail Want More Readers? First Get Link-Happy.

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2 Responses to Are You Writing for the Web? Four Quick Tips

  1. omawarisan says:

    Joy, do you have an opinion on the location of pictures in a post? I have a tendency to have something with a caption near the beginning but wonder if that has some effect on how my blog comes up in searches.

    Thanks!

  2. I am mostly writing articles so that I put the links on the mailing lists I am subscribed to. But I see that some keywords searches (from google I guess) also lead to my blog. But for sometime, I used the summary feature and the paging feature for all my posts. But after doing this, I never got any keyword hits on my blog. I even tried with all the same keywords but the my site never came up. What’s your opinion on this ?

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