General Notes and Tips from the Australian Blog Writing Style Guide
Why Do We Need a Blog Writing Style Guide?
The purpose of the blog writing style guide is to ensure that articles submitted by writers follow the format set out by the company or the agency. New writers should take note that writing blogs or articles for a client’s website is different from essay writing, technical writing, creative, and fiction writing.
Writing for the Web vs. Writing in Print
The main difference between the two is that reading an article on the computer screen can be more difficult than reading in print for example in magazines and books.
Articles written with slabs of text are not visually appealing to internet users. Hence, if you write for the web, you must make your articles easy to read. A study on how internet users read on the websites resulted in setting up a better way to write articles for the worldwide web.
A readable webpage should have scannable text. Thus, it should have subheadings, highlighted words (coloured, bold, or italicised words) and short paragraphs containing 1 to 3 sentences. The whole point is to have a single idea in one paragraph.
What is a Regular Informative Article?
A regular informative article or content is meant to inform the reader about a specific topic. It requires in-depth research and gathering of useful information from authoritative websites.
It is not the same as an informal essay writing where the writer usually gives his personal view or opinion about a particular topic. Moreover, it is not the same as technical writing, where the information provided is too complicated for an ordinary internet user to comprehend.
In fact, you don’t need jargon to impress your readers.
Instead, you need to provide useful information that is explained clearly and concisely.
Furthermore, it is not the same as creative writing, where the author uses flowery language with complex phrases to make himself sound skilful.
What is a Web Content Article?
Web content is meant to sell something to the reader. The goal is to attract a person’s interest, usually intending to earn profit at the end of the process. Web content could be a review, a sales page, an online press release or even more. It doesn’t even have to be in a word format—it can be a video, an image, or a sound clip. Essentially, all informative content can be web content, BUT not all web content are informative articles. However, for a web content to be useful, it must be informative.
SEO or Search Engine Optimised Writing
Clients use their websites so that their business gets found online. Informative articles that undergo on-page optimisation can help their website land on the top search results. However, an article should be of high-quality before Google rewards that website by placing it on the top SERP or Search Engine Results Page. So, what is a high-quality article? A high-quality article is one that is helpful to internet users, and it is informative and engaging. Moreover, a high-quality article should be original or not plagiarised, written without fluff, clear and concise easy to read and easy to understand.
How to Write Amazing Blog Posts That People Will Finish Reading – The Australian Blog Writing Style Guide
- Determine the topic by knowing your audience
The topic of your article will vary depending on the type of audience. Knowing your intended audience will help determine what relevant topic will you choose so that your article is read from the beginning to the end. The topic of your article should be interesting and beneficial to your intended audience.
- Write conversationally
When writing a blog post, think of it like you’re talking to the reader face-to-face. Conversational writing means you’re writing style and tone is casual or informal. The use of 2nd person point-of-view is encouraged when you’re writing for web content. Feel free to use the pronoun “you” to address your readers. Also, try to use contractions to make your article more informal or conversational.
- Be consistent with your tone, voice, and POV
There must be a consistency of the tone, voice, and point of view throughout the article.
Don’t start a sentence using an informal or conversational tone and then switch to a formal tone in the next sentence. Don’t write in the 1st person point-of-view and then switch to the 3rd person POV and vice-versa. Do not refer to a person by his first name in one sentence and then use his surname in the next sentence and vice-versa. You can refer to a person’s full name in a sentence and then use his first name in subsequent sentences. If you prefer to use his surname, be sure to use it for the rest of all the following sentences.
- Aim for unity and flow
Unity means anything you write down should not deviate from your article’s topic and does not disrupt the flow of your article. An article has flow when your audience can read your article from beginning to end without stopping. Flow means your audience didn’t have to reread a paragraph because it doesn’t have a logical connection to the other paragraphs.
- Always give useful information
Many people use the internet to seek answers or information that are useful. The information you provide shouldn’t be useful to you but instead valuable for your readers. The more specific is your information, the more useful it is to your readers. Giving only hints or vague information is an example of fluff in your article.
- Eliminate fluff
Internet users usually search the web for answers and not to read novels with slabs of text.
Thus, you should keep your sentences short and simple. Give direct answers; be always on-point with your articles.
- Be clear and concise
Nobody likes reading long sentences stuffed with unnecessary words and vague information. Short, simple sentences usually give a clear message than longer sentences packed with fluff.
Here are rules on how to write clear, concise, and direct sentences. The use of the active voice whenever possible is recommended. An active voice helps create clear, concise, and direct sentences that are easy to read and understand. Spend time trimming down wordy verbs and avoid using all-purpose nouns.
How to Optimise Your Blog Post for Google and Other Search Engines
- Research for keywords
When you’re writing for the web, you’ll need to put keywords at strategic sections of your article. Otherwise, your article won’t show up in a search engine’s search result. You can do keyword research based on the topic of your article. If you already have a keyword that you want to rank for, the next thing you need to do is to come up with longtail keywords or secondary keywords.
- Create an outline to guide the flow in your article
A proper outline helps in organising your topic’s presentation. Creating an outline is just coming up with subtopics. Your subtopics are the subheadings of your article.
- Write a catchy title
No matter how amazing your articles are, they are useless if nobody’s reading them. Writing a catchy title is crucial to making people read your article. So how do you make titles or headlines that catch people’s attention? Writing a catchy title is not just about adding your keywords but coming up with something that piques the interest of an internet user. Your title should be something that promises to solve a specific problem. According to Neil Patel, it is best to use 6 to 7 words in your title. For instance, a 3-word title is not descriptive enough for people to have an idea of what your topic is all about. Likewise, many people are overwhelmed with titles that are too long, and so they avoid reading them.
- Hook them up with your introduction
After you have enticed internet users to click on your catchy title, your next job is to hook them up with your introduction. As a general rule, your introduction should not be more than 100 words long. You should also place your keywords in this section. Your first paragraph is where you try to hook your readers with a couple of questions that further ignite their curiosity. The second paragraph is about 3 to 4 sentences long. This paragraph is a quick summary that directly answers the questions raised in the first paragraph. You may write your last paragraph to support the second paragraph, or you can tell your readers what to expect if they continue reading the article.
- Optimise the content within the body
Within your article’s body, include all the elements of on-page SEO, such as; keywords (primary, secondary, and LSIs), internal and external links, visuals (images, infographics) and media (audio and video).
- Aim to get more featured snippets
Featured snippets are becoming increasingly popular in the SEO community. More and more businesses are trying to get featured snippets for one obvious reason – to increase website traffic.
- Wrap up your post with a conclusion
Always include a summary or conclusion in your article. Many website visitors don’t like reading a lot and only scan the entire webpage. They often scroll down to the bottom of a webpage to find answers.
- Include your CTA
Likewise, always include a call-to-action or CTA in your articles. Keep in mind that web content is meant to sell something to the reader. After attracting a person’s interest with your helpful and informative content, the next step is for the reader to take prompt action.
It’s time to put those written ideas on screen!
With the provided information, you are now well on your way to becoming an entrepreneur in web content and blog writing. Like all skills, writing content for the online world takes practise and it is something that will develop over time. If, however, writing content and blogs isn’t your forte, free to employ the help of an expert in the virtual industry of website content such as Jezweb. As a company that has been operating for over 15 years, Jezweb prides themselves on producing quality content and blogs that are engaging and capture the imagination of the readers at heart. Don’t wait, get your words out there online. Contact Jezweb today.