I spent the majority of my 29-year writing career working for newspapers and corporations, and a brief stint with content farms, where strict rules govern the style of any material I produced. While this type of formula writing simplifies the process and results in highly informative material, it has it’s place – and your blog or website is not it.

Writing web content is, in many ways, the antithesis of news writing. While the facts and substance of your articles is still imperative, equally important is the way you present the facts. Your particular voice and personality are what keep readers coming back for more.

Interestingly, new web writers (as well as website and blog owners who don’t consider themselves writers) often seek a formula they can apply to their work. While I remain a big fan of the Five Ws (see my related post, “Writing 101 for Non-Writers”), I advocate an easier way to write good web content. Writing coach Angela Booth calls it “talking on paper.” Here’s how it works.

Let’s say you are preparing to write web content for your weight loss site. The topic is the role of dairy products in weight loss. Instead of trying to apply a rigid formula to the writing, imagine your best friend just asked you if dairy helps you lose weight. What would you say?

Imagine your response to the question and start typing everything that comes to mind. Don’t worry about spelling or punctuation just yet. Simply have this conversation on paper until you’ve answered the question thoroughly.

Later, read through your draft and decide where a little additional information might be useful. Edit run-on sentences, delete rambling thoughts, rearrange the paragraphs, and correct spelling and grammar. Congratulations! You have just written web content with both substance and personality.

Writing web content by talking on paper helps you inject your own style and personality into your blog or website. Combined with your knowledge and experience with the subject matter, finding your own voice sets your web content apart from the crowd.