This is a guest post by Jesse Langley.
Whether you write for a company website, contribute to a blog or run a blog of your own, you should strive to make every word on your pages valuable to your readers. That’s easier said than done: posting relevant, interesting and engaging content with every new post can be difficult, especially if your website or blog primarily covers one topic or theme. But even if you have a decent-sized audience, you can always find strategies to improve your content and reach a wider audience.
The Internet is a crazy place, and trends rise and fall with lightning speed. Staying current should be a top priority, but it’s also important to make your readers a part of your writing, to write clearly and well-defined posts, and to think beyond your own point of view. These are just few ways to make your web content buzz.
Make your blog posts active
Engaging your readers takes more than just interesting content—it requires you to interact with your readers. Write posts that suggest a call to action: asking direct questions for readers to answer in the comments section, posting polls, and writing posts based on reader feedback are all good ways to encourage communication and collaboration.
Posting your social media contact information can also encourage your readers to network with your readers beyond your website. The goal is to make visitors to your website welcome, and to make them feel like the content on the page is especially for them—adding personal touches and communicating with your readers can help build a sense of community.
Learn how to write
“Of course I know how to write,” you say. But knowing the basics of writing and knowing how to write for your particular audience are two very different things. Writing for the Internet is different than writing for traditional outlets—and the more digital our world becomes, the more traditional writing is changing as well. Read some of your favorite blogs, and consider online training to learn how to write for the web. If your writing skills are a little rusty, you can also take classes at your local university. Being confident in your ability to write is vital—but having technical knowledge of writing will bolster that confidence as well.
This isn’t a suggestion to write content that might offend or confuse readers, but being willing to discuss opposing opinions or to invite guest writers who might offer a different point of view can be valuable. That also requires you to read websites and other resources that might not match your or your company’s philosophies. But keeping an open mind does more than give insight into other points of view: it can also be a tool of lifelong learning for you and your audience. A large audience is a diverse audience—so write for all of your readers.
The goal with your website or blog should be to teach—and learn from—your readers. Sharing experiences and knowledge is at the root of most blogs and websites, and it’s one of the best ways to keep your readers engaged, active and informed. The more collaborative your website is, the more successful it will be.
Jesse Langley is a writer and editor living outside of Chicago. In addition to writing for various clients, he’s also an online learning advocate. Jesse is writing on behalf of Colorado Technical University.
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