How To Write For The Internet

Everyone can write, but how do you write so that people read? 

In a digital world teeming with information, consider your work an above-average success if the audience maintains an interest past the first sentence.

Because most published content fails to attract the audience’s attention.

Be it blog articles, social media posts, emails, or landing pages – it takes mere seconds before readers decide if they are interested or not.

If you’re serious about connecting with your audience, pay attention to these points. They are guidelines I use in my career that landed me writing jobs with top content teams. 

Today, I produce content for global enterprises, businesses, and startups with these principles. 

Know your audience

Understand your audience before you start writing. Most newbie writers make the mistake of creating content without a clear picture of their readers. 

  • Is your audience stay-at-home parents?
  • Or busy business executives with little time to spare? 
  • Are you writing for technical experts who prefer descriptive and concise writing styles? 

You can’t write compelling and engaging articles without understanding how your audience consumes information. 

Busy professionals skim through the article rather than reading word-by-word. Busy parents might read part of the content and return to the rest later. 

Meanwhile, technical experts and high school students perceive and digest information differently.

And this brings us to the next point. 

Write in ways they understand

Once you know who you’re writing for, you’ll need to step into their shoes. Not literally, but figuratively to learn the nuances, colloquialisms, or cultural differences specific to your audience.

Then, adopt your writing style accordingly to your audience.

For example, you might write for a global audience where English is not their first language. You risk losing their attention if you use idioms or phrases specific to certain countries. 

Likewise, writing for a group of yoga practitioners differs from writing for software engineers. To exhibit authority and understanding of the topic, learn the nuances they use and apply them appropriately in your writing.

This doesn’t mean unsparingly sprinkling terms like ‘asana,’ ‘chakra’, and ‘downward dog’ in your content.

Remember, you don’t write to be a showoff but rather to inform, educate or persuade by adding value. 

Explain technical terms or industry jargon when necessary if you’re targeting people with lesser experience in the niche.

Here’s more info about maximizing conversion in your copy.

Don’t overshare, and don’t undershare, either.

Some writers get carried away when writing. They try to cram too much information into a sentence or paragraph. 

Or they include information that doesn’t align with the content’s purpose.

Blog articles for top-of-funnel marketing intend to create awareness and address pain points, solutions, and fun facts. You shouldn’t write content with in-depth information before warming up the topic with the audience. 

For example, I’m not sharing how to change your writing style to adapt to your audience’s voice. Discussions like

  • word difficulty, 
  • readability, 
  • passive vs. active voice

 are better discussed in a separate article dedicated to the topic. 

On the other hand, don’t overshare basic details that the audience already knows in bottom-of-the-funnel content. 

At that point, the audience expects you to demonstrate substantial knowledge and expertise in the article. So, it’s equally important not to undershare when it matters. 

Use appropriate structure, style, and voice. 

The surge of AI writing tools has caused writers to lose their nerves and worry about being replaced. Yet, some experienced writers continue to command high fees and are never short of jobs.

I still write for AI and tech companies. And this makes me wonder why some companies insist on hiring human writers despite the abundance of AI-powered tools. 

Hence, I drafted a framework allowing you to engage the audience online and stand out from AI-written copies. 

  • Structure is the format of a particular content. For example, case studies, how-to articles, and product reviews use different structures. It also includes subheadings, bullet points, numbered lists, and bolding particular words to make the content more skimmable.
  • Style describes the tone, mood, and guidelines for writing specific content. For example, you use empathetic writing styles for wellness blogs, concise writing for business articles, and academic writing for students. 
  • Voice is the personality and individuality in writing. Every writer is unique and capable of telling stories in their way. Your voice continues to evolve, is imperfect, and reflects your human nature.

Again, discussing a framework that shapes my writing career requires more than a simple blog article. However, it’s important to note that maintaining and developing your voice is key to remaining relevant as a content writer. It helps separate your writing from average writers and AI tools. 

Bottom line

The internet brings advanced technologies that empower global connectivity. But let’s not forget that online audiences are people like you and me. So, write as a human does, but in a format and style suitable for online reading devices. 

Author

  • Kenny Lee

    I'm an engineer-turned-writer who helps tech businesses increase online visibility with SEO-optimized content.

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