February 25, 2020
Figuring out how to write content for a website? You’ve come to the right place. Creating engaging content is imperative nowadays, if you want to be heard by the growing audience on the web. It is of the most important aspects of any site, and without it, you’ll be unable to rank in search engines or gain visitors.
Not only do you need to write content, you also need to write content that’s interesting and engaging. Without giving your visitors a reason to continue reading, your site will never receive conversions, social shares, or comments.
So how do I write captivating content? It is actually quite simple. I am going to give you 16 tips that you can use for accomplishing this task. By the end of this article, you should be very familiar with what goes into crafting a great article!
Don’t Write a “Big Wall of Text”
Face it, nobody wants to read a big wall of text. Everyone wants quick and easy information. Forcing people to read an enormous paragraph will feel more like a chore rather than something enjoyable. This will result in your readers leaving and searching for an alternative website.
You want to give your users plenty of white space to help relax their eyes. Always separate your text into digestible pieces of content. Preferably, you’ll want to separate paragraphs into 3-7 sentences.
Make Your Writing Visual with Images
Internet surfers have short attention spans. Unless you are writing a novel, they will not be interested in a bunch of text with no images. Websites are always competing for the attention of their users, and winning their attention always takes work. To make this task easier, use captivating images in your content!
Having images in your content helps make it more entertaining and visually appealing. Think of a time you clicked on a website with 3000+ words and no pictures. Would it have been more enjoyable with images? Would you have found it easier to read if it were visual?
Many websites overlook this important step when starting out. Most of the time, it is because free images cannot be found everywhere, and they may not understand the legal aspects surrounding free-to-use pictures.
What they do not realize is that finding images is, in fact, incredibly easy if you know where to look!
How to Find Images
This part is simple but can require a little searching around. You can use public domain sources such as Pixabay and Free Images. Public domain is just a special criteria for content that isn’t subject to copyright law. Wikipedia and various government sites (in the USA) also have a bunch of public domain images.
If you cannot find what you need for free, then you can head over to Getty Images and iStock to purchase images taken by professional photographers for a small fee.
Remember to NEVER use someone else’s photographs without permission. It is pretty common for bloggers to steal from other blogs and not realize the dangers of doing so. Using copyrighted work can get you into big trouble. Content creators have faced hefty fines for stealing from other websites. If you are in doubt with an image you want to place on your site, then don’t use it. It is not worth the risk.
Use Interesting and High-Quality Images
You want your images to add value to your content, not be a huge eyesore. This means you need images that aren’t grainy or downright ugly. Images to stay away from include ones with heavy gradients, old shine effects, and ugly designs.
Another thing to remember is your placement of images. It is best to place them in the center or to the right with text wrapping. It’s better to avoid putting images on the left as they can disrupt the user’s reading flow.
Avoid Simple Grammar Mistakes
Making a few grammar mistakes is fine. It happens, and it is something that’s difficult to prevent without a proofreader. However, making 10s of mistakes throughout your content is not, and nothing makes you look more amateur than bad grammar.
Imagine you are an affiliate marketer trying to promote a product. You create lots of content, but it is riddled with incorrect punctuation, no spaces after periods, and spelling mistakes. Do you think people are going to find you a credible source and make a purchase if your grammar mistakes are glaring? Probably not.
You can (partially) fix this with tools such as Grammarly and ProWritingAid. Please note that these are not the end all be all for improving grammar. Some mistakes will still go unnoticed by the software, but they can be an excellent starting point.
The best way to improve your grammar is with practice and research. The internet contains a wealth of information, and you can find tons of grammar tips and tutorials.
Eliminate the Fluff
Using some fluff is fine, and it can contribute to an overall more enjoyable reading experience. However, too much can leave your readers wondering when you are going to get to the point. Try to keep your content as simple as possible. Short and sweet is the way to go, and your users will thank you for it.
Use Proper Text Colors and Fonts
How many times have you gone to a site with white text and a black background? Did you ever notice how these colors caused your eyes to feel a little strained? These colors are unnatural to the eyes and in nature. Not only that, it is the complete opposite of what people are used to.
For these reasons, it is best to use the classic black text on white background design for your website. They cause less of a strain on our eyes and improve the user experience. They are also the colors used in long books and newspapers.
Also, use common text fonts. Don’t use anything special like painted, cursive, or similar types of fonts in your content. They are not easy to read and will result in users getting frustrated and leaving your site.
Add Heading Tags and “Decorate” Your Content
Using H2-6 tags and bold text in your content makes things simpler for users who like to skim through content. Every time you move into a new topic, you can add an H tag for the title (like the tip 7 title above). This makes it easy for people to shift through your content and find what they are looking for. You can also highlight important points in your text with various styles. This greatly contributes to the navigability of your content.
Bonus tip: Using a great theme is a requirement if you want the proper text formatting and readable designs.
Double-Check Before Publishing
Always make sure to double-check your content before publishing. Often we make unnoticed mistakes that can’t be spotted until re-rereading our content. It is best to do a final check after taking a short break. That way the content is not fresh in your mind and issues are easier to spot.
Avoid Being Distracting
It is possible to use too much of the things mentioned above. Using too many titles, bold letters, images, and paragraphs can lead to distracting and hard to read content. Always find a solid balance.
Show, Don’t Tell.
Instead of telling people about things, show them. You can achieve this by writing your content like you are having a conversation with your reader. Ask questions, show them with images, tell personal stories, and explain things in vivid detail.
Realize that Your Content will Not Please Everyone nor Be Perfect
Stressing over publishing the perfect post will do more harm than good. We are our worst critics and sometimes look at small things that other people would never notice. This can result in having numerous drafts just sitting around, never to be published.
Instead of spending hours trying to perfect your content, publish it and continue editing in the future. It is probably impossible to write that perfect blog post anyway, so holding it off will do more harm than good.
Write About Things that Interest You
This one is the most important. Write about something that interests you! You’ll find that writing comes naturally when you are talking about something you enjoy. I enjoy writing about making money online, scam products, and WordPress tips. This enables me to create my content fairly quickly without hitting “writers block.”
If you start up a new blog and find out that it is boring and bland right off the bat, then consider finding a different topic. It is better to find something different early on rather than doing something you hate for years to come.
Find a Problem and Solve it
Most internet searches involve a problem that someone is attempting to solve. A few examples include…
- How to lose weight
- How to make money online
- How to make French toast
- How to add fractions
- How to eat healthily
- How to play poker
As a blogger, your job will be to teach people how to solve these problems. This should be your ultimate goal when creating content. You can do this with tutorials, explanations, how-to guides, and more.
Don’t copy other people’s work or plagiarize. This is the worst thing you could ever do for your website and yourself. Plagiarizing can get you into legal trouble if caught (and you will be caught). Not only can the original owner file a lawsuit against you, plagiarizing can also get your site penalized and deindexed by Google. You can attend different content marketing conferences and courses to learn how to write in order to capture your audience and engage new customers.
Always be original with your content. People enjoy visiting websites that are unique and that offer something new. You want to give people a reason to come back to your website each and every day.
Write with Authority
Be concise when writing. Don’t use the phrases “I think,” “in my opinion,” and “could be” continually throughout your content. Write with confidence. You are the authority when it comes to your blog. People already know your website is about your opinions and research, so you do not have to batter down your reader letting them know what they already know.
Most Importantly, Always Practice
Writing is like any other skill. It can be improved tremendously with practice. If you feel that your content is not up to your standard, then just keep writing. You’ll eventually learn to write more naturally.
Alissa Zucker is a copywriter, working for the professional writing company Mcessay.com. She is interested in reading classic and psychological books which provide her with inspiration to write her own articles.