5 Basics to Online Writing That Wows Your Readers

This post is part of a series that will get published very Monday on Content marketing or Blogging, subscribe to this blog to receive your daily copy of  helpful small business online marketing strategies.

Online users have short attention spans, and no one wants to create content that gets looked over; so mastering these basics can make your online marketing campaign sizzle.

Small Business Blogging- Wow Factor-Internet Marketing


The beauty of these guidelines is that they can help you sell or gain attention anywhere from websites, to blog posts, to newsletters and email marketing campaigns. So whatever online marketing strategy that’s in place for your small business these tips can help inject the wow factor into your material.

1. Crappy Headlines Means Crappy Content

What’s in a name? Well when it comes to online writing everything.

Attention spans are at a premium these days, and your content faces tough competition to get your reader’s interest. So, have a promise in your headline that your writing will deliver. Find a way to communicate the benefit by spelling out what your audience will gain from reading your material (Answer this question for your readers: What’s in it for me?)

It helps to write your headline first, because it helps set an expectation for your post from the get-go. This strategy also helps narrow your focus in your writing and editing stage.

The art of writing great headlines can be mastered by applying a few basic formulas that you might have already come across. Next time you are waiting in line at the grocery store, gloss over the magazine racks and note the titles that get your attention. You might just notice a few formulas that get reused over and over, check out this great post on Copyblogger to find out what they are.

2. Sub-Titles are your friend

And not just sub-titles, but bullet points as well. These help break up your writing into smaller chunks, allowing some white space and making it easier for your readers to navigate. Avoid long blocks of text because even at a glance this can seem intimidating and too much work for your readers to wade through. Use your formatting skills to highlight important points, so that they are easier to spot and pick up on.

3. Can the “Average Joe” understand you?

Ever had to read a scientific or academic paper? They are a pain, and not very popular outside the academic community. If your online marketing efforts are targeting a wide audience, then great writing means that anyone can pick up your material and read it.

You may an expert in your field, but unless you are writing for a very specify (read: narrow) audience with a lot of knowledge in your line of business, then you ought to keep it simple and avoid using acronyms, and overly complex words.

4. Keep It Short and sweet

Putting out 5 pages of great material is not going to help your marketing strategy, when you can cut it down and save everyone’s time. Really try to get to the point in as interesting and few words as possible. If 2 sentences can get your point across instead of 5, trim it. Give your writing a 5 minute or 10 minute reading test is, it digestible? Maybe you need to simplify it, or narrow your focus.

If you really have some information that you think needs to be broken down in more than a page or two, then consider having a downloadable PDF that your reader can refer to and a short blurb about why you think its important. An even better strategy is to have it link to an e-mail subscription to receive your newsletters, that way you earn more subscribers for your mailing list, and your e-mail campaigns get a few more eye-balls.

5. Use some basic SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

If you want your content to rank better than making it search engine friendly is important.

What I like to do with each post is write freely then go back and review ways that I can use some keywords to make it search engine friendly. SEO is a must-have if you are hoping to get more search engine traffic. A great way to get started in learning about it is through this free guide by SEOmoz.

The point to remember here is you write for humans, not robots. So don’t get too wrapped up in technicalities and forget your readers.

Internet and content marketing is really cool because through a little time, patience and marketing tactic you can build a loyal audience that cares about what you have to say.

And that’s it, 5 basics!

If this all seems a little too much to chew, perhaps you could benefit from more one-on-one coaching and tutorials, click here to contact me to find out how we can make this work.

Image credit: Flickr Mohammed Alnaser

Daisy Quaker is a freelance internet marketing consultant, specializing in social media strategy, content marketing, e-mail marketing and internet marketing strategy. In her spare time she writes a personal style blog. Find her on Twitter and Google+ and tell her what strategies work for your business.

The Secret to Getting Your Prospects to Listen

Get your customers to listen

Two words: Speak up!

Being humble is overrated. Too many small business owners don’t give themselves enough credit for having knowledge that others would want to learn or read about.

But if you think about it, how many times have you given advice, or given your opinion to help your customers? Probably quite often.  So why not put this advice on the web?

It’s the best way to get people to listen. And listeners are more willing to buy from you than a business they have never heard of because you become more familiar.

Start with the Basics

What are some of the things you wish your customers knew when coming in to your store?

Your first few posts could be as simple as:

  • 10 things to know before you buy <blank>
  • Questions to ask when shopping for <blank>
  • What your might not be telling you

Starting with basic information could be the building blocks to your blog’s success.

Do a quick poll around your store about questions customers often ask, or even set up a fishbowl near the register where people can submit questions or ideas.

Chances are if they are asking you, then other potential customers out there are also typing it into Google.

And that’s your chance to really build a following (and its no secret that regularly updated sites get ranked higher on Google and other search engines).

Make the Content Digestible

Once you start writing, make sure your content is easy to read, understand and put into action.

Avoid writing long elaborate essays that show how wise and all-knowing you are, but rather short and simple tips friendly advice that customers can digest. Think of it as elementary level writing.

If writing is not your strength, then perhaps a great copywriter can help.

Blogging does not have to be complicated, and it will help you gain better search results. But the best part of all of it is, when you do sell, people will be listening.

Image credit: Flickr atelierpompadour