Last month I shared with you five tips for improving your writing for the web.
Since continuing to hone your craft and learn how to write better for the web will likely result in higher pay, I thought it’d be helpful to share five more ways to improve your writing for the web. The goal is to get more, higher paying clients, is it not?
If you’re nodding your head and following along, let’s help you to get just a little bit better today and knock your editor’s socks off with your next submission. Ready?
1. Use a Pin-Worthy Image
I would argue that virtually all blog posts are better off with at least one image. Images are great for cluing the reader in on what you’re about to talk about. They can also serve as an attention grabbing mechanism when sharing your post on social media. We want people to read, right?
One of the most powerful social media platforms at the moment for blogging is Pinterest. This doesn’t register with a lot of people, as Pinterest is traditionally thought of as a DIY, recipe or crafting place. You only go there to find hairstyle inspiration or a theme for your four year old’s birthday party, right?
Wrong! It turns out that Pinterest is a great medium for sharing blog posts and articles. But you can’t pin a post without an image. Let’s take it a step farther. You shouldn’t pin a post, without a killer image and caption.
Check out the image for this post and copy the style if you don’t know where to start. I traditionally use Compfight for all of my photo sourcing needs and PicMonkey for edit/adding text. Both are free (unless you upgrade to a premium option). Just make sure to search for Creative Commons Licensed photos and credit appropriately.
2. Hook Your Audience
Remember when we talked about how sentences, paragraphs and words should be short? We also talked about how paragraphs should traditionally be 2-5 sentences long. When is it okay to use a one-sentence paragraph?
You should only be using one-sentence paragraphs when you want to make a statement or call attention to a specific point. I like to start my posts off using a single-sentence paragraph a lot of times (see above). It can be a great way to “hook” your reader into learning more.
The sentence can be a statement or a question. Or you could make it a two or three sentence paragraph with multiple points and/or questions. You probably don’t want it to be much longer than that. Your introduction, on the other hand, can have a few paragraphs that make it up as a whole.
What can you say to hook your audience? Ask them a question to pique their interest. Make a bold or controversial statement that someone wouldn’t traditionally agree with. Say something that the reader can’t ignore, but rather wants to learn more about. Just don’t forget that you have to back it up with the rest of your text!
3. Connect Emotionally with Your Readers
This continues our points from above. Now that you’ve got the reader’s attention, you need to find out how to connect with them emotionally. Doing so, will increase the chances they’ll stay with you for the rest of the post and/or read on to see more of your work.
How do you do this? By helping them to solve a problem that they currently have, helping them to conquer a fear or instruct them how to acquire something they’ve been longing for.
In this post, it’s my goal to solve your problems of getting higher paying clients by increasing your writing abilities. By working on your skills, you can also become more self-confident and hopefully conquer some of the fear of putting yourself out there. How am I doing?
4. Summarize with a Powerful Conclusion
[Tweet “Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.”]
You need to have a conclusion for each post. It’s not enough to have a strong hook/paragraph and back up the points in your body with great information. If you haven’t summarized what your reader just read or learned, you’ve failed. Don’t worry it’s not that dramatic or hard to fix.
It can be as easy, as adding a “In Conclusion” subhead and summarizing the content of your post in one or two paragraphs. You don’t want to say the same thing that you’ve said above verbatim, but rather highlight the problem (or topic), the pain behind the problem and how you’ve offered to solve it.
Bring your audience full circle with your conclusion and they’ll be thankful you did. It helps to get what they just read to stick better too!
5. End with a Call-to-Action
This is just as important as hooking your audience in the beginning. Now that they’ve read your post, what do you want them to do? Help them to take the next (or first step) in solving their problem or conquering their fear.
Or simply just ask them a question based on what they’ve just learned/read. A question is a great way to further connect with your audience.
If you’re writing a guest post for exposure or an article for your own blog, consider ending with a call-to-action asking the reader to sign up for your newsletter. Or to give you feedback or take a survey, so you know how to better serve your community. It’s worth a shot!
See what I did there?
It’s kind of funny writing a post about writing a post. Now you’re really going to dissect my writing skills!
It’s important to continue to hone your craft and better your writing skills. Using a pin-worthy image, hooking your readers and connecting with them emotionally are all great ways to do this. Ending each post or article with a conclusion summarizing what you just talked about and with a strong call-to-action is a great way to help your audience retain the information and take action.
Our goal is to resonate with them and make a lasting impression. Don’t make yourself forgettable!
Which of these five writing tips do you have down? Which can you improve upon the most?
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