Due to differences in consumption habits and marketing priorities, rules for creating quality online content are quite distinct relative to those applied in traditional media. Thus, it is important to stay current with what works!
Important Rules for Online Content
The following rules for online content apply in various formats, but are particularly important to apply in your blog content!
A picture is not only worth a thousand words in online content, but it may also be worth 1,000 shares, $1,000 and much more. Pictures concisely convey the key messages of your typed content. They contribute to emotional appeal. They also break up the content, which helps drive interest from readers and longer on-page duration.
Make It Scannable
Arguably the most important online content rule is to make your content scannable. People move quickly through their online consumption or buying process, and often don’t read every word of your message. Thus, you want to offer an efficient scan, where readers can identify primary topics or sub points to review. The scan may create a domino effect where the reader does feel compelled to move through other sections.
Along with visual elements, subheadings contribute to scan ability. Subheadings break up sections of your content thesis into critical sub points. Readers may have keen interest in one or more secondary elements as opposed to the entire article. The next chapter on Search Engine Optimization addresses address the dual benefits of using Header Tags to create subheadings.
Craft a Compelling Introduction
Your introduction should offer a concise answer to the thesis of your content, an interesting anecdote or a relevant fact. The goals of the introduction are to quickly establish credibility, and to entice the reader to continue through the content.
Use a Conclusion
Most content pieces, especially blog posts, should have a clear conclusion. This component is used to concisely summarize the key points of the piece, along with presenting the call-to-action.
Create a Call-to-Action
Whether you operate a corporate, e-commerce, media or personal site, your content normally has a specific purpose. In general, that purpose usually includes motivating the reader to take a next step, such as downloading additional content, subscribing to your blog or emails, completing a questionnaire or making a purchase. A distinct and compelling CTA is vital to guiding people through the buying journey.
Bolding or underlining words and phrases, and using block quotes, are examples of a technique called markdowns. This tactic is used to call special attention to important words, phrases or statements. It may also influence SEO, as it conveys to Google and other search engines that the highlighted phrase is important.
Write Short Paragraphs
As with journalistic writing, short paragraphs are necessary to keep readers interested and engaged with your content. It pushes the reader to continue from one paragraph to the next based on the limited additional consumption time required.
These are some of the most important rules for online content. Implement these effectively in all of your posts to amplify the interest, engagement and response from your audience!
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