Content Crafter Kevan Lee joined us for #Bufferchat to talk about the unique nature of writing for the web.
Check out the full Storify recap here, and continue reading for 32 web writing tips from Kevan and the community about how to write successful blogposts, tweets, status updates, and more.
What makes writing for the web different than print?
- “We have less time to grab attention on the web. Web writing is quicker, more succinct, right to the point.” @Kevanlee
- “Writing for the web: Solve people’s problems, answer their questions, and entertain while doing so.” @KMullett
- “Web writing is less long form and more to the point for scanning.” @ErikJFisher
- “Writing for the web means really knowing your customers. Focus on their interests/needs. Less ‘corporate speak.'” @CathyWebSavvyPR
Other participants mentioned the unique nature of instant feedback, creating small, bite-sized content, and considering line spacing and fonts in web content.
Best Practices: Blogging
- “Write on Day One, edit on Day Two, publish on Day Three. (Translation: Give your blogposts time to simmer.)” @KevanLee
- “Keep things scannable, publish when your post is amazing (and no earlier), have fun!” @KevanLee
- “I think it’s important to know your audience, but also write for yourself & be true to that as well.” @TheNameIsCasie
- “Consistently deliver high quality content and promote to a relevant audience.” @IanCleary
- “Always focus on how you can help people” @MeghanMHall
- “Used an Editorial Calendar – If you don’t have one you will struggle with consistency, variety etc” @IanCleary
- “Research both your audience’s interests and what has already been written about around a topic. Find your unique perspective” @ShannnonB
- “Back up your blog posts with data & facts. You can say a lot but in this #digital day in age credibility is important.” @SeeSawMe
Best Practices: Social Media Posts
- “Consistent formatting is a plus! – bold/italics on Google+, capitalization on Twitter, etc.” @KevanLee
- “Test different lengths and tones on each network to see what sticks.” @KevanLee
- “Think about how your audience interacts on each channel and adapt format accordingly. Audience needs 1st!” @webber_karen
- “ Each social media has an interaction trait. Microblogging for Twitter, General or Personal touch on other platforms” @AshXyle
When is it okay to break the “rules”?
- “Challenge the rules as often as possible. Understand why they exist and if they’re best for you!” @KevanLee
- “Challenging the rules makes for a great opportunity to write about your learnings!” @KevanLee
- “All the time. if it wasn’t for experimentation, we’d still be riding horses.” @aarongottlieb
Crafting an eye-catching headline
- “Great headlines are all about the individual words. Make each word count. Use as many as necessary.” @KevanLee
- “I’ve been writing 20-25 headlines per post, sending them around to teammates, seeing which are best!” @KevanLee
- “Here is a great tool for analyzing your headlines: http://ow.ly/Axmg4” @BKMediaGroup
- “I’ve also used the free ’52 Headline Hacks’ by Jon Morrow. It really helps too. http://boostblogtraffic.com/headline-hacks/” @SocialMedChica
Importance of Images
- “A blogpost isn’t complete without an original, shareable image.” @KevanLee
- “We use Canva to create original images for everything – ideal social network sizes, easy templates, etc.” @KevanLee
- “I’ve found that you don’t have to be Picasso! People love having images to share – and they don’t have to be works of art!” @KevanLee
- “Images help establish a tone, explain a topic, provide a break in content, and capture interest.” @Niclas_Marie“
- “ … 53% more likes, 104% more comments, and 84% better click-through-rates…” @FlyingPTDigital
- “Final tips: Show up consistently, be as helpful as possible.” @KevanLee
- “Enjoy what you do! Your content shines brighter when you’re shining, too. :)” @KevanLee
- “Listen. Give. Be authentic.” @CallMeMissGrant
— Brian Fanzo (@iSocialFanz) August 20, 2014
Thank you to everyone who joined in this great chat!
Tune in every week on Wednesday at 9 am Pacific, noon Eastern for #bufferchat!