How to Adapt Your Writing Style For Online Content

How to Adapt Your Writing Style For Online Content

We've written about high quality content and site design in the past, but there are other steps that content producers need to take when transitioning from the offline world to digital spaces. Here's how to prepare effective written content for your site!

1. Grab Readers with Snappy Headlines

Headers and headlines can do two things for your online content. First, they invite the reader to the article. Because of this, you should make sure that your titles efficiently explain the content that follows.

Second, you can use headers and headlines to break up content strategically. Online readers typically scan content, so it's helpful to break information into labeled pieces.

2. Write Engaging Ledes

In journalism, the first sentence on a page is called the lede. Writers use these to hook readers, and content marketers should use these to their advantage, too. Make the first sentence on your page, blog, or social media post an explanation of the remaining content to boost SEO

3. Limit the Number of Links to PDF Files

Users want to read content on your site, not on a downloaded document. While PDF allows designers to keep graphics consistent, they don't make for a user-friendly experience (especially on a mobile website design) and come across as clunky. 

4. Use Bullet Points

Think you can't use sentence fragments here? Think again! Bullet points are an informal way to get your point across and offer clear information. Take complicated ideas and break them down into smaller concepts or descriptions by using these. 

5. Get Rid of Passive Voice

Grammar lesson! Check out this sentence: 

I was bitten this morning by a four-eyed dog.

And, then, compare it to this one: 

A four-eyed dog bit me this morning.

The first sentence is an example of passive voice, while the second is active voice. Passive voice is unsophisticated and can confuse readers, while active voice immediately answers the verb's 'who?' Use it to quickly convey information to readers.

6. Be Yourself

Sure, it's pretty common advice, but this is truly how organic search results happen. By evoking the same language that you use on a daily basis and discussing subjects in accessible ways, you can help your reader find your website. Have a sense of humor, try searching out new ideas related to your product or service, and build a brand that fits the goals you have for your business.

If all of this sounds a little complicated, Geek Chicago would love to step in and help you design a content marketing strategy that suits your needs. To get to know us better, sign up for our newsletter or drop us a line!


Jason Finn

Founder & Chief Geek

Jason has nearly 20 years of consulting experience, predominantly in the technology space. Most recently he was the COO and Director of Technology for Rich Casto & Company, a national training and consulting organization in the real estate industry.
As a consultant for IBM, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, and Envision Consulting Group (now IMS Health), Jason has served clients of all sizes, including Big Pharma, Fortune 500, and Global 1000 companies:

  • Allstate Insurance Company
  • AOL (America Online)
  • Astellas Pharmaceuticals
  • Eli Lilly and Company
  • Ford Motor Credit
  • Wockhardt USA (formerly Morton Grove Pharmaceuticals)
  • Norwich Union
  • PNC Bank
  • Reynolds and Reynolds

Sarunas Budrikas

Creative Director

Sarunas is a web design and development expert with hundreds of successful projects in his portfolio. He is passionate about delivering extraordinary user experiences for every client and consistently goes above and beyond everyone’s expectations. As an SEO expert and strategist, he can optimize your website, or app, to get the most out of it, day in and day out. Sarunas holds a degree in Electrical Engineering from Kaunas Technology University, in Lithuania. Sarunas now lives in Chicago, and calls it home.

Alexandra Olsavsky

Client Experience Specialist

Alex specializes in content generation and social media promotion for Geek | Chicago clients, helping to solidify their presence in the online community. This includes blog writing, graphic design, co-ordination and design of weekly newsletters, and active engagement on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn. Outside of Geek, Alex is a classically-trained soprano who professionally performs around the city of Chicago (most recently with the Chicago Baroque Band, and with the Rolling Stones for their "50 and Counting" tour).