writing for the web

In the rush to publish, nobody noticed that the headline should have read 'Bradbury'.
When blogging or writing for the web, speedy content publishing is often critical.

So much so that it’s easy for bloggers and web writers to abandon proofreading to work with a ‘publish now, fix errors later’ strategy.

But it’s not ideal. You can get away with this approach if your website/blog is small and you don’t get much traffic.

But bigger brands and businesses demand more attention to detail. They can’t afford to have poor spelling and wayward grammar ruining the impact of valuable content.

You can improve the accuracy and effectiveness of your content by understanding why mistakes creep in and why you don’t spot them. See if any of these sound familiar…

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Good content stands out from the crowd.

Good content writing is different things to different people.

It might be an article that gets you lots of traffic. Or retweets. Or Facebook likes.

It could be a sales page that converts at more than 2%.

Or a handy solution that solves an annoying problem.

Good content writing is all of these things and more. In my experience, good website content and good blog content deliver what a reader needs – information, a solution, entertainment or inspiration.

… While also satisfying the demands of the content publisher in terms of page views, links, leads or sales.

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Fast writing will enable you to get more done.

Writing can be a slow and painful process. Some days the word gods just don’t smile upon you. They barely even smirk.

Sometimes you can write for hours and only have 100-200 words to show for it. And even they don’t seem very good when you read them back.

So you delete them and you’re left with nothing.

Surely there’s a better way? A faster way?

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WaitingDo you find writing web copy hard? Coming up empty when it comes to thinking up traffic-pulling ideas for your web writing?

There’s nothing worse for a content writer than sitting in front of blank page, writing a sentence, then deleting it; writing another sentence, then deleting it… It’s not so much ‘writer’s block’, but a lack of workable ideas.

This can be a problem if you’ve set yourself a blog posting schedule or you need to come up with an idea, fast. But sometimes all your brain needs is a nudge.

Which is why I’ve put together this list of 57 ways to make thinking up new article ideas and writing web content easier.

It starts with what I think is the most important point…

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Haven’t got time to write? Don’t want to write? Maybe you don’t know what to write?

I’d like to know what aspects of content creation are currently frustrating you, so we can improve our services and develop content tools to make the thinking, planning and writing processes easier and faster.

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In terms of the structure of a news article, the classic Inverted Pyramid favoured by journalists is a process of ordering your information in order of its importance to the reader.

So your first paragraph talks about the main point; the next most important point goes into the second paragraph; the next most important point forms the basis of the third paragraph. And so on.

Using the Inverted Pyramid structure has two benefits…

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Back In TimeGot an idea? Take action. Do it. And do it quickly.

What’s really stopping you? Fear of what people will think? Don’t worry, they’ll tell you if they don’t like it.

If you don’t try… Well, you’ll never know whether it would have worked,

And you might regret not knowing.

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Speed...By implementing a content writing system you could become more productive, writing faster than you ever did before. 

Such a system could help when you’re struggling to get an article started; point you towards information you hadn’t thought of; and help you think through the structure of what you’re writing.

Where can you find such a system? Oddly, the author of The Jungle Book wrote about one over 100 years ago…

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There is ordinary web content writing and there is good web content writing. Just as there are ordinary muffins and there are cream-filled muffins.

Sure, this super-muffin (see photo, right) is just a normal muffin with the top cut off and a squirt of whipped cream.

But it’s a muffin with a twist that stands apart from everyday muffinry. It’s a muffin that gives you more than you expected. And is it tastier than a normal muffin? Quite frankly, yes. It is. I had two.

My point? You can apply the cream-filled muffin idea to web content writing. You just need to work out what your cream is going to be (or how you’re going to make your writing different).

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Good content writingIf the aim of good content writing is to attract new visitors and (hopefully) convert them into satisfied readers, subscribers or buyers, then the process starts with delivering VALUE.

It’s all very well having a ton of articles on your website. But if you haven’t got anything of real value to offer your visitors, they have no reason to stick around.

So where does our cheery Spanish ‘hello’ come in? Quite simply, the time that somebody spends on your content is directly affected by a sequence that includes your Headline, the Opening line of your article, your article Layout and the call to Action.

Or ‘HOLA’ for short.

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