If you’re interested in diving in to the freelance writing business, excellent!

Writing for the web (and for an online audience) is now one of the most popular industries freelance writers thrive in. This is because:

  • Millions of people use the internet to find information about, well, anything that interests them.
  • Companies want to reach out to these people through digital marketing.

But what most writers do not realize is that writing for the web is completely different as writing for print. With print, you’re inclined to be creative, powerful with vocabulary, and are able to relate to your readers in large paragraphs.

With web content, it’s almost the complete opposite. And it has more to do with who you’re writing for than the writing itself

Good vocabulary and creativity are certainly key elements of good writing, but there’s something you need to know about the audience you’re writing to: they don’t have the time in the world to read your stuff.

With web content, readers skim, scan, and will jump from your article to another if they think you’re blabbering too much. They are so distracted with everything else on the page that their eyes dart in diagonal directions. To solve this, you need to create content that will keep their eyes still and their attention engaged in what you wrote.

With this in mind, here are 5 basic tips to help you create engaging content:

  1. Research before anything else. Before you even begin typing up your first draft, gather as much information as you can about your topic. Don’t just depend on stock knowledge or on your personal musings. If it’s an article meant to inform, it should supply enough facts to support your statements.

  2. Enclose your ideas in short paragraphs. Most articles and blog posts published online contain paragraphs that are between 1-3 sentences. You can even leave a single sentence as a paragraph if it can stand on its own.

  3. Use natural and understandable language. As much as you’d like to sound creative, intelligent, and knowledgeable through your vocabulary, your audience won’t appreciate it as much. Try to write in a direct and straight-to-the-point manner. Here’s a trick: Use words you’d normally use in a personal conversation.

  4. Write properly. Nothing turns a reader off than bad writing, and we all know what bad writing is. Terrible grammar, comma abuse, misspelling, subject-verb disagreements, and so much more. Content will always be king in web content, so if you want your clients to keep hiring you, you have to at least know how to write properly.

  5. Engage readers with media. Inserting images and videos that support your topic will certainly interest your readers. Just make sure to use media that can explain your topic further.

Writing for the web takes practice, especially when you’re not used to such brevity or consistently writing in the 2nd or 3rd person point of views. But as you continue to learn and grow as a freelance writer, you’ll be able to produce engaging and informative content that will be of great use to your clients.

Stef Gonzaga is a freelance writer who has provided original content to many online locations. You can learn more about her and her work from her website http://journal.stefgonzaga.com/pages/about-stef or follow her on Twitter @stefgonzaga