Rewriting Stale Web Content
The Internet has more entertainment than anyone can consume. Unless you make your content stand out, you will always struggle reaching your ideal audience. Rewriting stale content can give any website a traffic boost, and you should never underestimate its power to revive unpopular pages!
Make It Scannable
Viewers like finding information quickly. There are several techniques webmasters use to make it easy to scan content. While word choice is vital, blocky content signals that the author doesn't value their time. It is also a common trope on amateur websites, and many visitors will leave as soon as they spot a paragraph that is too hard to read.
You can break up your content with images, and using vector files means you won't slow down your load times. Lists also work, as long as you format them consistently. Remember, too, that punctuation is subjective. You can transform large paragraphs into smaller ones if you knowhow to use commas, periods, and semicolons.
There is not set rule for paragraph length, but most web content uses paragraphs of 70 words or less, and that is long for some niches! English teachers often tell students that paragraphs need at least two sentences, but this isn't true if you use compound sentences, as long as you allow readers to catch their breath.
Use Proper English
Outsourcing content is a risk webmasters take, but this often means paying for posts that don't sound quite right. Paying fora native English speaker is their most expensive option, but is almost always the right decision. They know how other native speakers write and speak, and won't distract readers with phrases they never imagined they would read.
While some audiences appreciate technical language, this doesn't mean they want to read strictly formal sentences. People don't speak formally all the time and every language has conventions.
This is why it is easy to spot a non-native speaker, even if they are fluent! Their sentences sound unnatural because they use words in the wrong order, or add words that aren't normally there. Native speakers don't make the same decisions, and your readers will question the information you share because it sounds like the cheap, lazy posts they have read before.
Wordy posts are boring posts. Streamlining your content makes it more interesting because visitors can find the information they are looking for more quickly. Read your content carefully, and highlight words and phrases you can cut without compromising quality.
You might feel surprise when you see how many there are! It is tempting to fill content with empty words, and this is a common technique when a writer has run out of new information to share. Adding lengthy summaries, or emphasising the same point several times adds to the word count but subtracts from the reader experience.
Once you know that every sentence has a purpose, start transforming them. Cutting adverbs is an easy way to simplify content, and is a strategy you should turn into a habit; it will help you find and create polished content!
Finally, try reworking sentences, playing with word order and the phrases you use. Often, there is a simpler way to communicate an idea, but you won't find it if you aren't willing to tweak your favourite sentences.
Rewriting stale content is a skill any writer can learn, whether they are a freelancer or run a website of their own. It takes a lot of work to create stale content; don't waste it, transform it!
September 17, 2018