Content writing : practices and rules

The practices and rules a content writer must follow


The main objective of a writer is to deliver details briefly to the reader, so the details must be short and in common language. The content must follow an F-shaped pattern since pattern of the reader usually follows F-pattern in a page. While building an article abbreviations can be used once designating its meaning beforehand. The headers, sub-headers, bullets make an article better accessible and readable.

Principles for effective web content writing

According to an Internet marketing expert and Portent Inc. chairman Ian Lurie’s “Content drives every exchange you have with a potential customer”. To create a good content, the digital content must be always informative, detailed and compelling. Titles, headings and body text must be detailed and concise for the users to understand well. A call to action must be used, so that the reader is compelled to read it. At times when it is appropriate and needed, story can be added.

Using voice, tone and brand message is effective when you are promoting your content.

Here voice refers to brands primary message that needs to be delivered to the readers. Tone varies with user or reader and it refers to interaction between writer and the reader.

It is best to follow few practices while using voice, tone and brand message.

They are:

  • Being true to the brand: The content must sound smart and give off expertise, authority and leadership if technology or intellectual property is to be featured. If non-profit funds are to be raised, the emotional side of the reader must be appealed to. Then the content must be devoted to address the feelings of the reader.
  • Consistency throughout the content: The reader must feel the voice of the writer throughout the page. It may be the FAQ, history or culture page, the consistency of the voice and tone must be regular and even.
  • Avoid cliché: Avoid using daily phrases. The content must be in common language but must avoid daily phrases that may interfere with objective of the content.
  • Avoid stating the obvious. The objective is to deliver the reader our commitment. Rather than stating it, it is better to show our achievements.

Format and Layout

Large blocks of text with little-to-no breaks in paragraphs are often difficult & inconvenient to read.

Primary headings and Sub-headings

The heading and subheadings usually carry some branded language. They should be able to communicate the key messages of the page through literal meaning.

Targeted keywords used in headings serve:

  • Search engines surfing the site
  • Human users locating the site
  • Human users scanning multiple entries in results of search engines

Best practice for primary heading is to use H1 heading. It catches the attention of the user.

Subheadings give flow and structure to content. Also help search engines identify the primary concept and related topics of the given page.

Paragraphs must be concise, informative and onto the point. Use keywords used in search engines to uphold the article. Mentioning source for the article is best method to keep the brevity of the article. Use of internal links helps reader to quickly reach to required position in an article.

By Thrupthi R Prabhu