In a world where practically everyone has a website or blog, the internet is an endless wormhole of shit with it being increasingly difficult to find what you need. So how do you make your content appealing to your audience? Here are a few shortcuts:
If you copy, don’t be blatant about it.
Let’s be honest, most, if not all of us, will copy something at some time or another in our lives. With a resource like Google and billions of web pages just a few clicks away, the temptation not to is difficult. As the old saying goes, there is nothing new under the sun, and this stands valid for most things, (except, perhaps, for obscure research papers, and if you’re writing those, I doubt you’d be reading this.)
Hell, even this article involved some insight from other writers, I’ll be honest. But there is nothing more unappealing than an article or post that has been blatantly stolen/copy-pasted/plagiarised from someone else. This is not just lazy, immoral, and stupid, but may also be illegal. Use other writers work as inspiration, a jumping off point if you will, and be sure to add your own personality and value and if you HAVE to use something word-for-word, credit the original author as a reference.
Get your goddamn grammar and spellings right.
Nobody wants to read an article with poor grammar or text lingo. If I’d have started with a “hw u dng” or something equally repulsive, I’d expect my readers to ditch me, and tell other people it sucks too. Today, presentation matters as much as your content, so if you aren’t sure, get yourself a spell check or better, an editor. A typo on a page is a customer/follower lost eventually. Your language should also be crisp and to the point. Boring your readers with needless shit is a recipe for disaster. Further, get yourself a distinctive writing style. (Like mine for instance, though you should probably avoid it if your readers get easily offended.)
Know your audience.
Writing an article about foxes on a car blog is a mistake. While you may roll your eyes at my dumb and obvious example, I can assure you, this does happen on a regular basis. Knowing your audience, and making your content coincide with the demographic you actually want to reach is half the battle won. You should also make it a point to target smaller, more dedicated groups, which usually have less tailor-made content. If you write something great for these guys, you might see your exposure rates skyrocket!
Make your page/profile/site look gorgeous, yet simple.
Let’s face it, humans as a species, are, for the most part, lazy. And this is actually a virtue sometimes, with the plethora of inventions that have been made just to simplify our lives (cough*massage chairs, self-driving cars, robots for everything*cough). So how does this apply to you? Well, if I land on a webpage with a million different things jumping into my face within the first few seconds, I’m going to be confused, and scrambling for the back button quicker than you can say clusterfuck. Odds are, your competition has an elegant, easy-to-understand webpage that doesn’t need me to make a million clicks to get to what I want, so that’s where I’m going to be heading. Make it complicated, watch your readers leave.
Don’t spam readers. Duh.
For the love of all things good in this existence, avoid an immediate “sign up with us to continue reading.” That’s just going to make me paranoid and annoyed. And possibly convince me to leave. Wait until the end of the article, or at least half the post. On that note, once you do get a user’s email, DO NOT effing spam them daily or hourly. Figure out an interval to target them, and make this count. Give them a discount or promo. Or hit them with a well-written post. Season’s greetings are also acceptable. My mailbox probably has enough clutter without you adding to it.
Well, that’s about it. The fundamentals of not pissing off your readers. Keep them in mind for your next post or whatever- they’re not really that complicated.