Although print journalism might seem to be an antiquated concept, many of the world’s best copywriters and digital content creators still use time-tested practices as they develop content for the web.
In fact, thinking like a journalist can increase your writing speed and boost your audience engagement. The following are some of our favorite tips:
Break news quickly
Pressure is usually high in the typical newsroom—and it’s not much different for today’s digital content writers. When something exciting happens in your field, don’t wait for days or weeks to comment on it. Consider jumping on the story right away in short form, following up later with a longer article or blog post to dive in deeper in the days afterward.
Don’t bury the lead
There’s a reason this expression is a classic. With so much content available today, readers will click right past your articles and blog content if you don’t get to the point right away. To that end, your lede (the opening paragraph of your article) should be concise and provide readers with everything they need to know about the focus of your piece.
Write for your readers
Short sentences. Direct language. Simple vocabulary. There’s a time and place for flowery, expressive language, but a piece of blog content usually isn’t one of them.
One excellent tool you can use for checking readability is the Hemingway App, which points out confusing sentences and even assigns your work a reading grade level. Give it a try the next time you write blog content or website copy.
Maintain your integrity
Blog content does give you more freedom of expression than a traditional newsroom, but the most successful bloggers still hold themselves to incredibly high standards. So, if you’re being paid for a blog post, you need to be transparent with your readers.
Are you sharing quote or citing a statistic? Be discerning about the reliability of your source—and link to it if necessary.
Also, plagiarism is totally out of the question. Not only does the Internet make it easy to get caught (and for your commenters to point it out on a public forum), but your reputation as a content generator will also never been the same.