When it comes to creating content, there are some key differences between writing for online audiences and offline audiences. In this lesson we’ll cover some best practices for content copywriting, as well as explore tools to help you choose engaging topics for your audience.
Reading habits can vary a lot between online and offline content, with factors like style, length and structure all having a big impact when it comes to writing for different channels. To capture your online audience's attention, you’ll need to adapt the way you approach writing. For example, while reading a long article in a newspaper could be enjoyable, reading multi-page articles online are more likely to be frustrating. This is because as online readers we are constantly flooded with information, so our need to multitask and consume online data quickly and efficiently has left us with shorter attention spans.
Keeping this in mind, here are a few best practices for successful content writing:
Start with a good hook that clearly explains to the reader what they can expect. A great hook or opening sentence is important to draw people in. This could be a statistic, like “60% of people say owning a dog makes them happier”, or a question, like “are you up to date with the latest in puppy fashion?”.
Make sure that as you’re writing, you always keep your target audience in mind, and focus on what you can offer them. Try to read your content through their eyes, and don’t be too salesy - you want to engage your audience, not bombard them with too many sales messages.
Another valuable tip is to incorporate a “call to action”, or CTA. CTAs are short statements designed to entice a website visitor to take a specific action, so you should make them as creative and persuasive as possible. It could be ‘start now’ or ‘sign up today’. Tailor your CTA to your strategy, and make sure it helps you achieve your objectives.
Creating content regularly means it can be tough to stay inspired, so here are a few ways to come up with engaging topics.
Try researching your competitors to see what topics they cover. As you research, keep a list of potential topics and refer back to it when it’s time to brainstorm new content. In addition, tools like Answer the Public allow you to type in a specific subject or key term and receive a list of some of the most searched queries involving those words. This is great for creating content topics that respond to real user demand.
Other tools to help you get an idea of how popular a topic is include Search Console, which can help you see the terms people use to find your website, and Keyword Planner, which shows you how many people search for a specific term.
Finally, make sure you’re consistent in your writing style, so that when readers read your content, they immediately associate your brand or business voice with it. A clear and recognisable tone of voice will help to establish a relationship with your audience and differentiate you from competitors. Try writing down the attributes you want readers to associate with your brand, such as honesty and enthusiasm, and always write with these qualities in mind.
To wrap up, consider how writing styles differ between online and offline, review our top tips for writing for an online audience, and consider how you can tap into online resources to get inspiration for new content ideas.
- how online audiences and offline audiences differ in their the way they read content
- why it's important to adapt your writing style to an online audience
- tools and systems to help support writing copy for the web.