The internet is a wonderful place (mostly). It is driven by vats of content churned by thousands of people on numerous platforms: Medium, WordPress, Blogger and digital websites of your favourite news sites, every second, every minute, every hour of the day. But the content that you see on the internet is way different from the content you read on actual, physical paper. It is a different ball game altogether and this why you cannot write for the internet the same way that you usually write. Hopefully, these tips will prove to be useful and help you understand how to write for the internet.
1) Do your research
- This is probably the most basic thing that you should do before you write for the internet. Research is vital to knowing what topics should you cover in your domain, what people are currently reading, what people want you to cover and so on.
- Research is also important to understand the kind of blogging platform you need (amateur/professional) and how will it help you project your content into the web world.
2) SEO is your best friend
- SEO or Search Engine Optimization is the holy grail of writing for the internet. It is the process of diverting traffic (search results) to your blog or article organically by making certain terms discoverable to the people who are searching for those topics.
- Google is very instrumental in making sure that your article or blog is visible to people. Now it does this systematically, through what we call an ‘algorithm’. What this algorithm does is that it reads or ‘crawls’ through your content to check whether that content applies to what the person is searching for using certain terms or ‘keywords’.
- SEO also includes its mobile-friendliness and the time the site takes to load. So the more time your site takes to load, the less SEO worthy will it be.
3) How to write for the internet: Keep it simple!
- Your content has to be accessible to everyone who reads it. It has to be understandable and easy to consume, yet give all the basic information that the reader wants or requires. Don’t fill your content with adverbs to the brim; instead use nouns and verbs.
- Keep your sentences short and use words that everyone can comprehend. If you use words like ‘nebulous’ and ‘befuddled’ instead of confused, chances of a person returning to your blog are slim.
- Try using active voice instead of passive voice wherever possible. Instead of writing ‘A walk in the park was taken by her’, write ‘She took a walk in the park’. Active voice sentences are more reader friendly and more direct.
- Avoid jargon and insider terms. They make the reader feel isolated and shunned by your content, giving the impression that you write only for experts in that particular field.
- Writing for the internet is not the same as writing a paper. You want to make the content easy on the eyes. This is why you should write your text in bulleted or numbered lists instead of long paragraphs.
4) Don’t plagiarise!
- Plagiarism is the act of closely copying something that has already been published by another person or source. Plagiarism is rampant in the online space and individuals that genuinely want to give their readers the best of content risk it, unknowingly. It is unprofessional and unethical and Google hates it when you indulge in plagiarism.
- Take your time to research and write. Deadlines usually make us fall prey to plagiarism and lazy writing. Create a buffer that will allow you to edit and add to your content in peace, without having to resort to copying content from other people’s pages.
- There are some awesome articles on domains that you may write about and it is okay to refer to them. When you do this, it’s always good to add a link to those web pages in your articles. This is good for your blog’s SEO ranking.
- If you like the content that you saw somewhere and want to include it in your article, you can paraphrase it. It’s always better to add your own understanding to this paraphrasing.
- Run your content through a plagiarism checker. It helps you avoid plagiarism that you might have done unknowingly and helps you check whether your content is authentic or duplicate.
-5) Stick to niche blogging
- Niche blogging is when you blog about one specific topic. For example, ‘Yoga’ is a topic of niche blogging in which you can accommodate blogs about the importance of yoga, types of yoga poses to get better sleep and so on and so forth.
- Readers find it easier to read blogs about one specific interest rather than reading random articles about other topics. Personally, I put random articles away for a read if I am bored and nothing else.
- Niche blogging allows you to stay on track with your content and gives it one particular direction. It also enables you to have a reliable audience which shares your content within its community.
- Niche blogs enable you to earn money. For example, if your blog is about education, the ads that will be on your blog will be related to e-books and e-learning portals, which people who are interested in learning online or reading e-books will find interested. Check out How to start a blog for more information on this.
There are various platforms and mediums of writing on the internet which means varied writing for each of them. The ‘writing on the internet’ guidelines highlight the technical aspects of blogging, but there is content that works better on a particular platform instead of some other platform.
Writing for the internet can get difficult and confusing and sometimes, limiting. But remember that you get to engage and interact with people who are interested in the same things as you are and you learn new things literally every day! So there you have it. Now that you know how to get about this crazy space what we call the internet, get cozy in a customised writing nook and engage with thousands of people.