Tag Archive: reader engagement

7 ways to make your writing less stiff and unnatural

Is your writing mechanical and stiff? Does it resemble the Tin Man, trying to speak through rusted jaws?

It doesn’t matter if you’re writing an informal post for your blog or an article explaining complex technical concepts. What you write needs to flow and have vitality. The following are seven ways to make your writing less stiff and unnatural.

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The balancing act of web content writing

Recently, Entrepreneur.com came out with a list of “10 Tips for Writing Better Online Marketing Content.” The advice on the list is solid. It also suggests a balancing act that you undertake when writing content for the web (not only for marketing purposes, but more generally).

Stúlkur sýna æfingar á jafnvægisslá á Melavelli, 1911

  • Most readers are looking for specific information or wish to accomplish a specific task, so you need to make sure they can quickly find what they’re looking for on your site and give them the content they want… at the same time, you hope your content is also catchy enough to grab the attention of strays – people who are either idly browsing or didn’t start out specifically looking for what you can offer, but are intrigued enough to suddenly take a look.
  • Writing that’s informal and conversational tends to work best in most circumstances… at the same time, you need to make sure you look professional in all of your communications; no sloppiness, no thoughtless remarks. And in some situations, you’ll need writing that’s more formal; just keep in mind that ‘formal’ doesn’t have to mean ‘dull’ or ‘condescending.’
  • Overall, people do quite a bit of reading online… but at the same time, they generally want to read as little as possible when visiting any given site. There are, however, some exceptions; occasions when they would like to read in-depth, finding out more about a topic or a product. Will the content offered on your site accommodate both skimming and closer perusal?

Accommodating the needs of your readers while remaining true to your own voice and vision requires a deftness with words. It also calls for an ability to put yourself in the shoes of web users, particularly the people who are most likely to be your customers or loyal fans.

– Hila

Is your business too boring to write about?

Young scholar (boredom)

If you’re starting up a blog for your business, you may be second-guessing yourself and wondering if your products or services are too uninteresting to write about. They may be useful, even necessary, but would people want to read anything about them? How could you ever compete for attention with posts on celebrity scandals, political ruin, or best-selling erotica?

Your posts couldn’t really compete, no.  But they wouldn’t have to.  And the writing could still grab people’s attention.

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