Quick Online Writing Guidelines

Online writing. Everyone’s doing it, right?

On blogs, websites, social media.

And you’re thinking, why not you?

You can write. In fact, you think you’re a pretty good writer.

But where to start? you wonder.

Online Writing Starter Tips

If you’re itching to get started writing online but you’re worried about your skill set, these tips and information will get you going.

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Online Writing Success Funnel

    • Forget about what you want to say
      What you write online is not about you. Sorry. What you need to write about is what matters to your reader or customer and then write about that; give them solutions to problems. Your content needs to help pain points, teach, entertain, or all of that.
    • Make it short
      Today’s readers have very short attention spans so use bullets, short sentences, and short words.
    • Make it easy
      Don’t make them jump through hoops or over obstacles to respond to your call to action. If you want them to subscribe put the form or button right there for them.
    • Be Specific
      Specifics create high appeal. Are you selling an ebook on flowers or an ebook on 47 ways to grow glorious roses?
    • Be Inspired by Copy, Don’t Copy Copy
      Don’t be afraid of using sentences or writing that you really like or that inspires you (just give credit where credit is due). However, copying is not only bad form, it also happens to be illegal.
    • Interesting stories can help
      People on social media love good stories so by all means if you have a good story, tell it.
    • Relationships matter
      In today’s market, you are your brand. This means say what you mean, deliver what you promise, own up to your mistakes, and put yourself out there. Think of your writing as a way to build an online relationship with your readers.
    • Keep it fresh
      Don’t deliver someone elses tired message, deliver yours.
    • Don’t be namby pamby
      Uh, I’m considering the idea of explaining to you that you might want to give a thought to writing copy that does not flip flop so you have at least a better chance of…Ugh. Shoot me now. What I should have said in that sentence is: Write copy with a clear point of view to turn readers into customers.
    • Learn what works and what doesn’t
      Keep track of what works and what doesn’t. Pay attention to who responds to your offers, your social media traffic, and any place else online you spend time. If it doesn’t work, don’t spend time on it.

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Understand the Different Stages

of Decision Making and Write Accordingly


  1. The Early Stage: in the early stages of decision-making your readers are forming opinions about you and wondering if your writing is going to meet one of their needs. So tell your readers up front what need you are going to meet.
  2.  The Middle Stage: a little further on in a post, or landing page, or webpage, your readers are in the process of gathering specific information about ways to meet their challenges so this is a good place to point out how others like them have solved the same problem.
  3. In the Later Stage: in the later stage of decision-making people are ready to buy, but are evaluating the merit of your specific product (should they buy your book on creativity or the other author’s book?). Make it clear why your product is the best for them.


Use Persuasive Elements (thank you Copyblogger)


  • repeat, repeat, repeat
  • give readers reasons why they should act (buy, subscribe)
  • be consistent
  • provide testimonials and referrals
  • compare what you have with something the reader already knows is true
  • identify a pain point or problem the reader might have
  • solve that problem
  • create exclusion, we all want to be invited to something when we know not everyone is invited
  • overcome the objections
  • tell a story

Edit Edit Edit

All writing needs editing; no matter who the author is. It never hurts to have an additional pair of eyes look things over. But, if you don’t have someone you exchange work with for editing, or someone you trust to edit your writing, it’s a good idea to set anything you write aside for a bit so you can come back to it later. Here are editing tips for online writing:

  • Is there a better word? As you edit think of simpler or more precise words.
  • Can you cut anything? Don’t be afraid to pull out phrases that don’t fit or stand out in some way.
  • Trust your instincts. If you know breaking a grammar or other rule makes it a better piece, do it.
  • Don’t count on spell-checkers, they don’t know the difference between to, too, and two.
  • Try proofreading for one type or error at a time so you don’t miss anything
  • Double check your punctuation.
  • Read your piece backwards to check spelling.
  • Read the text out loud.

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And last but by no stretch the least, feel free to break every rule under the sun and every guideline above if you know you can make it work for you.

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More Online Writing Tips and Information

The Ultimate Writing Online Guide

How to Waste Words to Develop Your Signature Writing Strengths

Twitter Tips and Talk for Bloggers and Authors

Writing Tips and Trends You Should Know for 2012

Brighten Your Future by Pushing for Creative Failure


Karen DanielsZencopy founder Karen Daniels is an Amazon Top 10 Selling Author.

Check out her Creativity Books here.