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6 Timeless Tips for Writing Great Web Content

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This is a guest article contributed by Amber Stanley.

There’s no single or easy way to write yourself to stardom. Even great authors and famous bloggers struggled in making their way up to success. Writing compelling content is never a simple process. But if you are determined to learn and understand your potential audience, you’ll definitely find the writing techniques that will work for you.

One good thing about creating compelling web content is having the freedom to write anything that interests you and your readers. You don’t have to follow strict writing rules because what matters most is the life and personality of your posts. Web content is different from other writing forms. Readers rarely hang on to every word you write. They like to scan and they are only after what you can offer them.

These timeless writing tips from history’s greatest writers will help you write the best content:

Create impact & provide value

Stephen King

Writing isn’t about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid, or making friends. In the end, it’s about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life, as well. It’s about getting up, getting well, and getting over. Getting happy, okay? Getting happy.

– Stephen King

One secret to successful web content writing is creating a huge impact for your readers. It doesn’t matter how brilliant your content is. If it doesn’t affect or attract your audience, it means nothing. Your goal should not always be gaining a lot of traffic or earning more money from your website. You should learn how to catch and retain your reader’s interest and how best to serve their needs.

For example, you are reading this article because 1.) the headline intrigued you, 2.) you’re interested to know how these timeless tips can help you. Readers look for information that will help them improve themselves. Things such as writing advice, life’s experiences and tips from the best. Offer them what they need but make sure to deliver on your promises. If you deliver effectively, you convey sincerity which in the end, establishes your credibility.

Do not over complicate

George Orwell

Never use a long word where a short one will do.

– George Orwell

You don’t need to write well to make you sound intelligent. If you can deliver your message simply and clearly to your target audience, then do it. You can still try to be clever and creative by using familiar words. However, don’t take chances with inside jokes or industry terms that will only make your readers confused. Simple writing is more appealing and pleasing to the readers. Remember, less often works best.

Readers value expert knowledge

Neil Gaiman

Start telling the stories that only you can tell, because there’ll always be better writers than you and there’ll always be smarter writers than you. There will always be people who are much better at doing this or doing that — but you are the only you.”

– Neil Gaiman

Know your expertise and write about it. It will help build credibility to your website. Once you become an authority on the web, visitors will draw more to your page. Avoid providing everything to everybody. Identify your strengths and focus only on who you are and what you can offer.

Let your expertise guide your true worth. For example, if you are passionate about  blogging you could share your real-life experiences and your own struggles in blogging by doing a how-to guide.

When the tough gets going…

William Zinsser

If writing seems hard, it’s because it is hard. It’s one of the hardest things people do.

– William Zinsser

Writing quality web content always takes a lot of effort, time, focus, and craft. It may seem easy at first when words flow quickly but once you do the re-write and editing, it gets difficult. It’s hard to write because you are wrestling with all of your personal fears. When it gets hard, the more that you should exert effort.

Don’t get discouraged but instead sit down and make yourself work. Once you have some ideas on paper, you already have something you can work with. You can then have a break and return. Writing is a continuous learning and requires constant practice.

Build foundations

Ernest Hemmingway

Prose is architecture, not interior decoration

– Ernest Hemingway

When writing content, the most important part is building the foundations. Stop decorating your writing, instead focus on making it functional and simple. Hemingway is known for his minimalist writing style that’s why he advised you to be straight to the point and avoid flowery adjective.

If you are writing an article about travel, directly tackle the purpose of your writing. Pick the appropriate words that best describe your travel experience. Avoid using cliches or include too much verbosity and ambiguity in your writing. Content that is overly wordy sometimes loses its meaning.

Message over style

Paulo Coehlo

Don’t try to innovate storytelling, tell a good story and it is magical. I see people trying to work so much in style, finding different ways to tell the same thing. It’s like fashion. Style is the dress, but the dress does not dictate what is inside the dress. What counts is the person.

– Paulo Coehlo

Style is the way writing is dressed up to fit a specific context or audience. Having a distinctive writing style is important in the quality of the content. Nonetheless, don’t focus too much on the style of your writing. Your main priority should be to get the message across to the readers and not on how to deliver it.

Substance wins out over style. Most visitors search for content rather than writing style. But without nice writing style, it’s hard to please your audience. To achieve great writing you have to value both, substance and style.

Which of these quotes was your favorite? Do you have any writing tips to share?

Amber Stanley is one of the experienced essay writers in Australia. She shares her perspectives on education, student lifestyle, creative writing, and careers. Connect with her on Google+ and Twitter.

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