Web writers are just like other writers, but they need a few extra magical powers to make a career out of writing for the web. Take a look at the nine skills that can take you from content mill writer to a sought-after web writer.
BY TYLA OLIVER
1. Know the Fundamentals of Web Writing
Your vocabulary might be as lengthy as a thesaurus and you may have the grammar of a high school English teacher, but that’s not what every great web writer needs.
Web writers must have the basic writing skills that other writers have, as well as a few extras. Search engine optimizing your writing is essential to the survival of your web writing career. After all, nobody’s going to read your work if they can’t even find it!
2. Know How to Generate Article Ideas
Sometimes we’re lucky enough to be given a brief; other times we rely on our own creativity to generate the next big idea. Being able to generate good ideas on a frequent basis will ensure that you are constantly creating content that will keep your career afloat.
3. Tell a Story in your Writing
Everybody loves a good story. Telling a story captivates your audience and entertains them, leaving them wanting more. Being able to hold the audience’s attention long enough to feed them information is the trait of a great storyteller.
4. Use Social Media for Writing Ideas
Social Media is a wonderful world of its own, where trends happen and memes go around. If you catch onto something fast enough, you can make a joke about it that’s still funny before it gets old.
It’s important to stay in the loop with what’s current and what topics are trending so you can take advantage of hot topics as they happen.
5. Use Humour in Your Articles
Weaving wit into your writing and giving it a subtle hint of humour makes it so much easier to read and makes your audience want to keep reading.
6. Research Every Line You Write
Research is something that requires a bucket load of patience and it’s not a step that can be skipped over. If you’re not fact checking, you might have an embarrassing mess to clean up.
Readers love pointing out flaws, mistakes and wrong facts so it’s important to check your facts before anyone gets the chance to tell you that you’re wrong.
7. Know Your Audience
It’s important to know who you’re writing for and what they want to read. Writing to a group of ladies about the rugby score isn’t going to get you very far, so be sure to know who your audience is and what they want to hear about.
Jonathan Price tells us in Hot Text: Web Writing That Works “The more you know about your visitors, the better you write for them.”
8. Know What You Want To Say in your Writing
There’s nothing worse than sitting down to read an article and not understanding what it’s about. This often happen when a writer hasn’t honed in their idea so it’s still all over the place.
Make sure you have a very direct message for your audience before subjecting them to complete confusion.
9. Provide Answers in your Articles
If you posed a question in the text, be sure to have answered it by the end of your blog. If someone came looking for answers in your blog, you better give it to them or risk disappointing your audience miserably.
“Make it simple. Make it memorable. Make it inviting to look at. Make it fun to read.” – Leo Burnett
Once you have mastered these nine skills you’ll be ready to enter the wonderful world of web writing. Remember that nobody can stop you from being a success as an online content writer. All it takes is a lot of persistence and practice.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tyla Oliver is a young digital copywriter with a passion for current events and social justice issues. She has gained experience as a writer working for marketing agencies and writing copy for up and coming brands. When she’s not hunched up over her laptop writing her next masterpiece you’ll find her volunteering at animal shelters and taking long walks in nature.