How to change your writing style to suit the internet

Writing style

How to change your writing style to suit the internet

If you’re fresh out of university, you might have certain rules of writing drummed into you. Everything needs a citation, there’s a jumble of jargon, and now your head is full of big, academic words that you just lifted from the abstract of a journal article. Everything seems kind of stuffy and formal.

The internet isn’t like this. In fact, you might have to unlearn all the things that would have earned you a first on your essay and replace them with a more practical, adaptable style for the internet, unless you want to become a professional academic writer. So, let’s look at some helpful tips that can improve your online writing.

Small paragraphs with subheadings

Essays and reports are packed with dense information. Sometimes sentences take up multiple lines and, before you know it, one paragraph takes up half a page. There’s nothing that can deter an online reader faster than being met with a giant wall of text.

Small paragraphs give the illusion of a shorter article as they show more white space. It signals to people it will be a quick read so they have the time to stick around. Also, adding subheadings will help you break up the text even more. They also help for SEO purposes so try to include them when possible.

Write how people read

Be aware, most users scan the webpage instead of reading every word. They’re specifically hunting for the pieces of text they find relevant. Studies show one of the most common eye patterns people use to scan a web page comes in the shape of the letter ‘F’. They scan the title and the first paragraph. Then, they go approximately a third of the way down the page and briefly scan across the middle before continuing down. Try to place important, eye-catching information in these areas.

Don’t over-complicate things

There’s no need to use complex sentences and five-dollar words when you could use two-dollar ones. Online writing should be accessible to the largest amount of people possible within the target audience. This means making your writing easy to understand. 

Consider how online writing needs to be fast. You need not write quickly, but the reader should be able to get the information they want as quickly as possible. Working out what long, complicated words mean isn’t fun or fast for anyone.

Use images

A page of text without images is boring. There’s nothing to capture the reader’s attention. Include images relevant to your post, but make sure you have permission to use them. You’ll find free images without copyright attached on stock image sites like Pexels.

This should be enough to get you started and writing clear blog posts. Once you have these techniques nailed, it’s time to get into the nitty-gritty of learning SEO techniques, style adaptation, and how to make your readers connect and feel emotions through your writing. There’s still work to be done.

If you’re new to blog writing and need a hand improving your skills, get in touch with Coster Content on 0161 413 8418. Our Coster Academy services teach new writers everything they need to know to be a successful content writer in today’s world.

Alia CosterComment