welcome to traffic stampede
Write For The Web And People
Day 3 and still nothing about getting those 100,000 visitors.
Fear not, we need to cover how you should write first before we look at traffic generation.
Because, if we don't, all that will happen is your website will be non stick!
You will bust your ass to get those cool 100,000 visitors and it will be a waste, because they will be gone in a flash.
If you aren't able to get them to stick around. They will slide off your website and back into the internet abyss
I call those one page entrance and exit people 'bouncers' and it is these people that play havoc with what we call 'bounce rate'.
So your aim is to gain visitors and also to keep visitors!
And to do this you are going to need words.
Not video, words!
OK so this is where you need to find your voice.
"Hey, you said this was about writing"
I did and it does, by voice I mean that you need to be able to speak to people through your words.
Because our words count.
Web writing and writing a printed book are totally different things.
And today we need to learn how to write for a web based audience.
Ready? Let's do this.
The Single Line Sentence and 3 to 5 Line Paragraph
You will have noticed a few things by now.
First off, I don't write long lines.
And secondly, I write very short paragraphs.
I can almost hear my old English teacher smashing her ruler down onto the desk in anger.
But 'hey Miss Cartwright, sit down and relax, I've got this'.
The reason why I write in this fashion is nothing to do with pissing off Miss Cartwright and everything to do with...
Our eyes read in a very different way to how we read a book, when online we scan read.
So we don't like to read a bunch of text like this because it is boring and it means our eyes have to do a lot of work to break up the text and this is tough and it means we can't understand what you are trying to say in the article you have written.
You get the idea.
So we need to learn 'how to write'.
Yes, it is back to school (well ignore 90% of what you learned).
And here are the commandments of writing online:
Law 1: Thou Shall Not Use Big Words
Have you ever heard of the Flesch- Kincaid Reading Test?
Way back in the 70's the US Navy needed a way to take the super 'word heavy' training manuals they had and make those easier to read.
In essence they were too complex.
A group of researchers (have a guess at what their names were) came in and created a score for how easy things were to read.
That score looks like this:
If you are wondering how books stack up to this test check this out:
Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone score 81 on the test.
Moby Dick has a score of 57.
So you want to make life easy for the reader and that means writing to a level that a 10 year old could read.
People read things online at super speed, you want your words to be read, so make sure you keep it simple!
Law 2: No More Than 3 to 5 Lines To A Paragraph
Remember what I said about keeping it simple, you also need to keep it short.
Never put more than 3 lines to any paragraph online (5 at the most if you must must do).
As we saw above, blocks of text are harder to read and we need people to stay around and read.
If people are scan reading we need to make content as easy and pleasurable as possible for them.
It is all about providing a great experience.
Law 3: Write Like You Talk
You will have noticed as you read this post that it sounds more like a chat than an article.
I am in your head!
Ok, so while I might not be there, you are probably hearing a voice in your head as you read.
They call this phenomenon 'inner speech'.
We want to activate this as much as we can because it builds connection with our readers.
Remember, your blog is a conversation between the writer and the reader, it is not a story book.
Law 4: It Is About Them and Not You
This is going to be an ego check.
Your blog is not about you it is about them.
If you write all day about how 'I did this' and 'I did that' you will find yourself boring the pants off your reader.
A person reads a blog because they are looking for a solution to a problem.
Let's say you want to write a blog about being a mum.
But the reader doesn't want to hear your life story every 2 seconds.
They are looking for a solution to their issues.
Perhaps they feel alone being a mum and need to hear that someone is going through the same thing.
Perhaps they just want to feel that someone else 'gets what they are going through'.
Perhaps they just want to be told 'you are doing great'.
Well to be privileged enough to tell them this, you need to build connection with them.
And we never connect well with the people who talk about themselves all day.
Fortunately there is a super quick fix for this.
Add the words 'you' and 'we' more often to your writing.
'Being a Mum is tough, you get sleepless nights, you get to have baby vomit all over your brand new dress and of course you get to be told you are a terrible mum when they become teenagers.
And that is why I created this blog for you, because we deserve recognition for the hard work we put in.'
As opposed to:
"I am a Mum to 2 young boys, I live in a London and this is my blog about my life as a mum'.
I am sure 'blog number 2' would be useful for some people, but we want to build to 100,000 visitors per year (or even month).
Most 'Mummy blogs' are like blog number 2.
They get read, but we want to build a thriving blog that allows us to have a business, so make sure you add plenty of 'you's to your writing.
Law 5: Take Productivity Over Grammar
Grammar is important but not as nearly essential as people think.
I use Grammarly to write but mistakes still do happen.
When you write a lot (and you will be by the end of this course), you will find mistakes creep in.
It happens no matter how much checking you do, because you are so close to the work.
You will find plenty of mistakes in this course but hey that's life.
People are way more forgiving than you think.
The rule of thumb is this, read things out aloud before you press publish.
But don't stress if some fool calls you out online to say you forgot to say it's and put its instead.
They are just trolls trying to critique your work rather than read it and enjoy it.
(But if you have made that error, say thanks to them and change it, manners count online too).
Typos happen, grammar mistakes happen, but that is a side effect of blogging.
Don't stress about them in the early days.
OK, so what I want you to do is write your about page.
Yes, I want you to write a kick ass, take names about page that delivers some punch, the about page of your site will get read far more than you think.
So you want your about page to have some pop, some sizzle and some captivating copy
Here are some considerations.
Follow the rules set here.
Make it not about them, make it about you and them.
Have some fun with this.
Want some ideas, then check out this great about page.
Tomorrow we get into 'what we are going to write about'
See ya then.