The 10 commandments for making readable, engaging online content

Attention aspiring journalists, online content is your future. Print is becoming a scarcity and print that has a 10 year future is basically a myth. Writing online will become the M.O for any future writers out there. Be it music, film, fashion or careers – being able to write readable, engaging and unique online content is an absolute must for today’s insatiable consumers.  

However, there is a lot of push-back against modern online content. Those of a higher-brow cry ‘click-bait’ and ‘waste of time listicle’ at any piece of content that isn’t a 6000 word+ think piece. So it’s important to remember that these people are dinosaurs. They are, of course, entitled to a preference of format however, as I said before, their outcries only emphasise further that they are 1,000 years old.

The future of online content is in the hands of the young people today. While the flexibility of format has increased, that doesn’t mean that the same rules don’t apply. Audiences fluctuate but, at their core, all respond to certain fundamentals.

Fortunately Bluehost have put together this handy infographic that uses statistics and real life mistakes publications have made to highlight the unfaltering 10 commandments of creating readable and engaging online content. Here are three of the best takeaways.

1. Catchy headlines

Only 20% of online users will read the article of a headline that comes into their vision. To bump up that 1/5, write a headline that isn’t click-baity but leaves enough of a knowledge gap that entices readers.

2. Keep your language simple

Unless you’re writing for a niche market, don’t show off with complex sentences and technical language. By all means explain technicals within the article but write online content with the assumption that your readers knows the minimum about the topic.

3. Listicles are the future

Human brains are intuitively drawn to organised information. Lists are perfectly skimmable, easily sharable and display large amounts of information in seemingly digestible formats.

online content

Image credit: Bluehost