How to write online: my tips on writing for the web

by Tolovaj

Do you write on line? Looking for some tips on writing for the web? Want more readers, more interaction with them, maybe even more sales?

I am writing online for about three years now (two in English) and I picked some knowledge by the way. I am not one of the gurus who know all, but just a regular guy who managed to get from 'clueless' to 'several thousand unique visitors a day'. Let me share some (but not all) of this knowledge with you, so you can have better start with your online projects.

For your convenience I created step by step cheat sheet to follow which can be used in all web related writings.

Here we go with my top 10 how to write online tips:

(all used images are PD and RF, sources Pixabay and Wikimedia)

Before you start with writing online

1. Choose your theme. This seems obvious, but I still see writers who just don't know what to write about. SoKnow your target they write just about everything and get nothing back for their investment (time and money). If you look at people who earn money on the web, you'll notice they are all kind of experts on something. They have a niche (or more niches). Find something you are interested in and believe you can write interesting articles about.

If you are passionate collector of toy cars, you are probably able to write several articles on the subject. I am passionate about fairy tales and I am certainly able to write hundreds of articles about them and related stuff. I am also willing to invest additional time in exploring, what leads to next tips.


2. Research your theme. Let's say you decided to write about Red Riding Hood. It should be no brainer to read this fairy tale before you write about it. If you spend more than half an hour on research (I spend dozens of hours on average), you'll probably find there are hundreds of versions, from very bloody to really sterile ones available. This opens hundreds of possible interpretations and views from which your article can be presented.

Little Red Riding Hood by Walter Crane

Mythology behind this particular fairy tale? Feminist view? Responsibility of parents who are willing to put their kids in bed with image of the big bad wolf attacking little girl?

Responsibility of parents who are willing to put their kids in bed without informing them about big bad wolves preying outside?

3. Keyword research. This step in writing online is huge and I realized how important can be only about one year ago.

There are dozens of great tools (mostly payable) for the job, but none of them will help you, if you don't understand the basics.

I am talking about Google keyword tool, where you can find how many people are searching for exact phrase (string typed in search window) related with your chosen theme. For instance, you will find every month:

'little red riding hood' has 74.000 exact searches
'red riding hood' has 90.500 exact searches
'little red cap' 1.300 has exact searches
'red cap' has 5.400 exact searches

Despite my limited knowledge about keyword research I could be writing for hours about just this step, but this is just too much for this article. Let me tell you only one simple fact: If your theme has zero searches, it is probably not worth writing about.

Stand out from your competition

You are not alone and you should stand out from the crowd!

Write online - and fight for your life

4. Check your competition. Everything is possible in the wild world of web but one thing is certain - sooner or later somebody will try to beat your article for the chosen keyword. Some articles on your theme are actually very likely already published, so some competition is probably already visible.

With proper use of search parameters you can estimate your competition and decide what to do. You'll for instance find there are already:

19.400,000 pages related with 'Little Red Riding Hood'
30.300,00 pages related with 'Red Riding Hood'
110.000,000 pages related with 'Little Red Cap'
265.000,000 pages related with 'Red Cap'

With some parameters you can estimate 'only':

352.000 pages compete for 'Little Red Riding Hood'
777.000 pages compete for 'Red Riding Hood'
117.000 pages compete for 'Little Red Cap'
9.360 pages compete for 'Red Cap'

Of course this is only an estimation and it doesn't mean much, if you are not sure you can get with your article on first page and possibly on first spot of search results. I should probably write full article about competition research but this will wait for better days if any.

5. Prepare material! If you want to write on line, you have to present your knowledge in appealing form.

Yes, I am talking about photos and they should be properly licensed.

Web is loaded with stolen images and if you manage to make a page without them, you can have some advantage (not always, but having clear conscience should count a bit, right?).

Beautiful ladies are always popular

I mostly use public domain and royalty free images because in this case I am not obligated to put more than necessary amount of links on the page.

Talking about links - you should always include some of them in your article. Something like "More on this subject..." or "Check the price of this product here...", "Here is an example of..." and so on. Don't forget multimedia (YouTube maybe?) if it is appropriate. It is cool to include some kind of interactivity too. People like polls, guestbooks, duels and similar additions to plain articles.

Interaction on your page can be important indicator for search engines. If something is happening on your page, they can assume visitors have found something interesting. So they will probably send you more visitors.

Write online!

6. Write content. Now you can actually start writing. Make sure to include your targeted keywords in title and possibly somewhere else in the text. Don't exaggerate because you can be accused of so called keyword stuffing. Don't be too restrained either. If you decide to write about Red Cap, search engines and readers expect you to use string 'Red Cap' in your article at least few times.

There are some rules on article lengths and keyword density. I don't believe them. Concentrate on quality content and think about technical issues later. You are the author and you should be the only authority on deciding if something is too long or some words are too often repeated.

Promote your online writing

7. When your article is published, you should promote it. There is a lot of buzz about social bookmarkings, twitting, sharing and so on and all these actions can bring you initial traffic, but if you don't convince search engines your content is better than others', they will not rank you on the top.

I personally use social media only right after publishing. For long term results you need best possible content and all possible suport, what brings us to next, last phase of your writing online tasks.

Promote your work online

The day after...

8. Check your stats. This is probably the most valuable tip on writing online you can get. Search engines will never tell how their algorithms work but you can find out on what subject you are getting authority. Maybe you don't have a chance with Red Riding Hood, but for some reason they trust you on 'color red symbolism'.

If this search string is already giving you traffic, you are probably on page one of results. And if you are not in first position, you should do something to get there.

9. Tweaking. Until you get number one position you can always do something about your article. Maybe you can rephrase some sentences? There is significant difference between:

importance of fairy tales with 73 exact searches
advantages of reading fairy tales with less than 10 exact searches

In this particular case my clear goal would be to rank my article especially for 'importance of fairy tales', where I already have authority at Bing and Yahoo but not at Google with the most searches. Sometimes rephrasing is enough, sometimes we need a link or two (or three thousands) and sometimes we just have to give up and write something new.

10. Support your article(s). I have already mentioned links and we should know they are lifeblood of the web. When you write online, everything counts - links inside your article (make them useful and relevant), links inside other articles on the same site and links on pages on other sites pointing to your particular article. Search engines are nothing else than huge calculators and links give them exactly what they want: a lot of material to calculate.

I have already wrote full article about links and I am willing to write full article on any of next steps about online writing. Please vote and after a while (can we get at least ten votes?) I'll try to make you happy:)

Support your work

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Updated: 06/18/2013, Tolovaj
Thank you! Would you like to post a comment now?

And how do you write online?

Tolovaj on 07/26/2014

I guess wish for learning is essential part of on-line working:) Thank you, WriterArtist!

WriterArtist on 07/26/2014

I am writing for almost 5 years now and still there is so much to learn. Making money online is not easy at all. Thanks for these valuable tips.

Tolovaj on 07/12/2014

Thanks for your comment, ologsinquito!

ologsinquito on 07/12/2014

This is very good advice, especially for all the new writers now arriving at Wizzley.

Tolovaj on 07/15/2013

I think you mean PageRank when you are talking about sites' authority (I have an article about PageRank too) and page rank when you are talking about positions in list of search results.

Yes, higher PageRank of the site can boost your positions, but the key is relevancy. You need really well written articles and some authority to be successful. With bigger authority you can still pass with worse quality...

I don't believe anybody can have 'too much links'. Who has more links than Google itself? But you can have 'too much bad links' or 'not enough quality links'. I see bad interpretation of Google's guidance (which basically didn't change since Google's existance) every day and one of these days I will write full article on this subject too.

I agree on the 'good quality' - this should be proper direction. Unfortunately a lot of very poorly written stuff can be find on top positions thanks to huge wholes in SE's algos. It seems they don't really care. Thanks for you comment, MgaMaayongMensahe and welcome to Wizzley!

MgaMaayongMensahe on 07/15/2013

posting your articles to higher page ranks websites may also give you level up your ranking in google.but to much backlinking is like also cheating google.they said that be sure our articles are in good quality to qualify for a page rank.

Tolovaj on 07/01/2013

@sheilamarie Happy to hear that:)

sheilamarie on 07/01/2013

Thank you, Tolovaj. Your experience is valuable to us all.

Tolovaj on 06/28/2013

There are many factors to consider when we compare squidoo, hubpages and wizzley.. For competitive keywords pages with highest authority (domain age, link profile, PageRank, relevant internal linking etc.) have better chance. On the other hand I can rank for some keywords on Wizzley much easier because I don't have competition here. I can't get traffic on anything related to Rapunzel on Squidoo because there are much more powerful lenses related to this kw already ranking.

Wizzley has good foundation but without more links coming from outside it can really take a long time to rank for competitive kws. Unfortunately at the moment I don't see many authors providing quality links to articles. Without that the progress will be really slow and since squidoo switched on nofollow, a lot of already gained authority was lost and traffic dropped thanks to that fact too.

And yes, you are right about crap. Supported with right authority you can rank for just about anything. This is simple truth about search engines. They can't determine if something is really good stuff. They just calculate and show you the winner. If it is crap, you can always click on ads...

Mira on 06/27/2013

I look up stuff online and get squidoo and hubpages on the first page of results, even if the articles are crappy. And yet HP and squidoo are worried about their traffic. What am I missing?
In any event, I figured Wizzley will have to rank better as time goes by. I just hope it won't take forever.

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