Most of us don’t have a natural talent for writing well. When it comes to writing for online consumption, writing well is even more difficult.
Why? It’s one thing to settle down with a good book or magazine. People expect to spend some time reading those.
It’s another to read something online, where most people are looking for information quickly. If you don’t grab their attention right off the bat, and keep it, they’ll move on.
With that in mind, here are 7 writing must-do’s for your dental blog or other social media.
- Keep it short and simple.
People’s attention spans are shorter than ever in this internet age. Adding unnecessary words is a sure way to turn off your reader. Writing long sentences is another.
You can almost always eliminate modifiers like really, absolutely, very, and truly. Keep your writing lean and tight. Longer sentences should be the exception, not the rule.
- Space it out.
Today’s online readers want to get the gist of your writing fast. That lets them decide whether to read the whole thing. Long paragraphs are a sure turnoff. A “wall of text” is the kiss of death.
Add some white space to make your writing easier to scan, and add subheads between sections. That helps your reader scan with ease.
- Use bulleted or numbered lists where possible.
- Bullets are usually short phrases or sentences.
- Separate lines are easier to scan.
- A logical progression draws the eye.
- Lists take your reader through the material fast.
- Start with the conclusion.
This isn’t writing for an academic grade. Readers want to know immediately what they can get out of your post. It’s more like writing a sermon: first, tell them what you’re going to tell them and why. Then tell them. Then, reinforce why they should care and what they should do. And this paragraph is about as long as any of yours should be.
- Add visual interest
Pictures or graphics punch up the impact of your writing. So does judicious use of highlighting or differently-colored text. Use a light hand here; too many pictures or a multi-colored article is a turn-off.
- Put yourself into it.
Writing about a procedure is interesting to dentists. Writing about what it means to you to perform a procedure is interesting to your readers. Vary your writing between dental-focused and personal. Combine the two when it’s feasible. This gives your readers a chance to know you as a dental expert and to like you as a person.
- Have fun.
Why would anyone enjoy reading what you’ve written if you didn’t enjoy writing it? Loosen up. Have a little fun in how you approach your topic and in the writing itself. Be careful not to go over the top unless it’s deliberate.
You’ll attract and retain more readers if you keep these seven tips for online writing in mind. The more your readers get to know you, the more likely they are to choose you to solve their dental problems.