What Is Quality Writing for Online Content?

We all know quality content when we see it.

Quality writing hooks you in right away. It’s captivating, valuable, and each word has purpose. You can’t help but want to keep reading.

Quality writing is the goal of every content writer, but only few achieve it. 

So how can you improve your writing quality?

Improve your readability

So, you want to know how to make your writing better?

One of the easiest things you can do right now is improve your readability. 

Quality writing is easy to read and understand. 

Short sentences and paragraphs are key. The Oxford Guide to Plain English recommends no more than 15-20 words per sentence. 

But don’t be afraid to vary your sentence lengths, write some medium-length sentences. 

Write short ones too. 

But try to keep all of your sentences under this 15-20 word “sweet spot” otherwise you’ll lose the flow of your sentences, and your readers’ attention because a super long sentence simply isn’t as readable or lively as it could be if it were simpler or broken into smaller chunks. 

See what I mean? 

The same applies within your sentences. Don’t use too many short words in a row. It’s confusing and sounds robotic. Where possible, replace multiple short words with a single word 

For example, write “several” instead of “a lot of”.

Though basic, making these simple changes will really improve the readability of your writing.

Keep it simple

Ditch the big words. Your readers won’t be impressed that you can use the word “neuroplasticity” in a sentence. It’s only making your writing more difficult to read. Never use a big word if there’s a simpler word that will do the job.

Remove fluff and filler words that waste your readers’ time.

Filler words make sentences too wordy and difficult to follow. 

Fluff adds more information than is necessary. This could be through the use of cliches like ‘it goes without saying’. If something actually goes without saying, you don’t need to say it.

Other examples of fluff to avoid are:

  • “Needless to say” 
  • “At the end of the day” 
  • “For what it’s worth”
  • “Really” and ”very”
  • “So”, ”Basically”, and ”Just”
  • “Here is” or  “There is”

… But also be specific

I know what you’re thinking. 

Yes, I just said to keep your writing simple, and now I’m saying to do the opposite?

Not exactly.

Your content doesn’t have to be wordy to be specific. You can very easily content that is to the point, yet still specific enough to have an impact. 

Consider these two sentences:

“CBD oil can help with pain relief” is simple, but it’s too broad to be interesting.

“82.5% of patients with migraines noticed an improvement in their symptoms or discomfort after using CBD oil.” This is still simple, but it’s specific and grabs the reader’s attention.

Make it scannable

While some people will take the time to read your full piece, most readers will skim until they find the part that answers their question.

Writing scannable content is essential. If it isn’t easy for a reader to find the information they’re looking for without reading the full piece, they’ll move on.

Scannability can be achieved by changing the structure of your content

  • Space out your writing to group similar content together. 
  • Incorporate lists.
  • Use clear headings for each section.

Read your writing out loud

It’s hard to determine the quality of writing you’ve written yourself. Try reading your content aloud to get a better sense of how it sounds through your readers’ glasses.

  • If you’re running out of breath, break your sentences into smaller chunks.
  • If you sound like a walking academic thesis, use simpler language.
  • If you keep losing your place, fix your content structure.

Reading your writing out loud can help you find and fix small (but critical) mistakes that you may have missed, but first-time readers will spot them immediately. 

Don’t hit publish yet!

Before publishing your content, give your brain a break. Let your content sit overnight so you can review it with a clear, focused mind. You’ll probably find slight mistakes and improvements to make in your writing you hadn’t noticed the day before.

Practice, practice, practice

The best way to get better at anything is through practice. 

But don’t just practice writing. Practice reading too. 

Analyze everything you read. Pay attention to structure, word choice, and flow. If something sounds good, figure out what makes it good and try to emulate that in your own work. 

The bottom line

There are many small changes and practices you can incorporate to help improve the quality of your writing. Using these content writing tips in your own writing will improve your authority as a writer and an expert. It’ll also improve your readers’ experience, encouraging them to read the rest of your content.

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