Level 3 Writing for Digital Platforms

9 Iron-Clad Rules of the Internet

(You won’t believe #7)


  1. It’s a relationship, not a science project. Every click to your site represents real live people with real needs. They’re clicking because they read your Facebook post, Google ad, Tweet or the title of your article in their Google search results. They’re coming because they hope you have an answer for them.


Who is your audience? What questions are they asking? How does your content provide answers to their questions?


  1. Searchability and Sharability are the new king and queen of the Internet…. Make it easy for people to find you so they can read your inspiring content. Choose concrete nouns and verbs for your title. Be specific.


What are you doing to make your content more findable? Would you and others on your team share your website’s content with their social networks?


  1. ….however, a well-placed story, angled toward your audience, will keep them coming back for more. Story is still the best way to show changed lives and other results your organization has achieved.


What kinds of stories could you write for your website that would inspire your readers?


  1. Lead with the most interesting part of your content. Give everything away in the first paragraph so that readers know what they will get from you if they keep reading. They make split-second decisions about whether or not to keep reading.


How did you start the last three pieces of content on your website?


  1. Create content that demonstrates how you fulfill your mission and meets the felt needs of your readers.


What do you provide for your audience that they won’t find anywhere else on the Internet? What makes your content different from anyone else’s?


  1. Make your most-sought-after content easy to find. Post it on your home page or post an easily identifiable link to it on your home page.


Where on your site will they find what they are looking for? How many clicks will it take for them to find that content?

  1. Length, it doesn’t matter as much as you think it does. Standard length for most web stories is 500 to 750 words. That’s the length the experts say your readers will tolerate when they read content online. However, new research is showing that if your content meets a high enough felt need, your readers will read longer pieces.


Consider these two articles at FamilyLife.com:

–Three Simple Ways to Pray for Your Children–assigned at 300 words

–The Dangers of Becoming a Helicopter Parent–assigned at 3,000 words


  1. The most important analytic you will want to track depends on your goals. Page views tell you how many people are finding your site. Time spent on your site tells you whether or not people are reading your content. Count on your audience being able to read 200 words per minute. If people are spending up to three minutes per page view, they’re reading approximately 600 words.


What’s the average length of the articles you post on your website? What’s your average length of time per page view?


  1. Graphics matter. Use pictures, headlines, pull quotes and subheads to keep the attention of your readers.



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