Creating great online copy is as much about what you say as how you say it. A clear, engaging message should come with all the trimmings. These often forgotten extras are crucial in capturing your audience in the first place. Follow these 5 steps to ensure your online copy is stimulating for both the eye and the mind.
The layout and structure of your article play a pivotal role in attracting readers. ‘Heavy’ looking content is an instant turn off. Your copy can be made lighter in a few key areas. Keep sentences in the active voice, short and to the point. Limit your paragraphs to six sentences. Use sub-headings, lists, and bullet points to create that much needed white space – a visual breather for your readers. Experiment with bold and italicized font to allow your key passages to pop out.
2. Accessible content
Writing online copy is all about showcasing your expertise, but never forget your audience and their level. Jotting down the likely background of your readers is invaluable in etching out appropriate content. This doesn’t mean you need to be simplistic. Work on explaining the complexities of your topic in a way that will enlighten and educate – perhaps circulate a draft among less knowledgeable colleagues to test the waters. Online readers are seeking a quick, pain-free education. Provide that in bite-sized, memorable and meaningful chunks.
3. Write to the demand
Take the time to seek out hot topics in your industry. The best written article will go unread if nobody is interested in the topic it covers. What are some common questions that your clients always ask you? Are there current events across your industry that people are talking about? Perhaps you can highlight the breadth of your knowledge by referring to either past case studies or new technologies on the horizon. These types of topics are fresh, attractive, and fill a knowledge demand.
4. Use images to enhance
The online community is visually orientated. Tap into this with high-quality images that complement your article and enhance its message. Images serve as the ultimate hook, so choose carefully and consider what ideas and style you’d like them to carry. Remember that your readers will interpret the image before they read a single word of your copy – make sure it draws them in and delivers on its promise within the article itself.
5. Quality copy
Once you’ve snapped up readers with all of the above, don’t stumble at the last hurdle! Nothing kills authority as fast as sloppy grammar and punctuation. If this isn’t something you’re good at, find someone who is. A thorough edit will protect you against readers questioning your expertise and checking out mid-way through the article. Think of how convincing and powerful a great speaker can be – the exact same rules apply for the written word.
Following these 5 tips will ensure your online copy sparkles. You already have the knowledge and expertise in your field – deliver it to the online community in a package that does it justice!