Writing good content for your website or blog comes easy to some people. If your strengths happen to focus elsewhere, don’t despair. Writing, like everything else, is a skill that you can improve with practice. The process will become easy as your expertise develops.

The Five Ws - essons taught in J-school can be applied to writing web content. Journalists include five fundamentals in everything they write: Who? What? When? Where? Why? Use these Five Ws as a formula to help you write better and faster.

Who is the information going to help? Even in a tightly focused niche, there are sub-niches. Let readers know in the first paragraph – if not in the title itself – who will benefit from the words that follow. This article, for example, is intended for webmasters and blog owners who don’t consider themselves writers.

What is the point of your article? One of the quickest ways to lose readers is to ramble. Avoid that mistake by making your point early in the post, then supporting or explaining it in subsequent paragraphs.

When does the information apply? A cooking blog, for instance, might offer ideas for a variety of circumstances, such as “quick meals for busy weeknights” or “light summer dinners” or “tasty recipes for those on a budget.”

“Where” covers location. Remember to tell readers where to go when writing about a place or event. If you’re writing about something in cyberspace, provide the url and relevant instructions on how to navigate through the website to reach the desired page.

The “why” of the article is often the real selling point. Why should the reader use your tips or buy your product? Because it provides a solution to a problem they have. When explaining why, your words are describing the benefits of the solution.

Keep It Short and Simple - Unlike readers of print media, website and blog visitors aren’t looking for long, highly detailed articles. Web content is more concise, delivering a lot of substance in fewer words.  Keep the vocabulary simple and the sentences brief. Focus each article on a single concept. Aim for 400 to 600 words per article. Ask someone to read it through and give you feedback on clarity before you post it.

Be Conversational - Writing coach Angela Booth advises her students to write as if they were speaking to someone. Imagine a friend asked a question about your topic. How would you respond? Try recording yourself while you talk about your subject, then transcribe the recording. Notice how your conversational speech is casual and flows naturally. Strive for this same tone and flow in your writing.

Developing your writing skills won’t happen overnight, but with time and practice, your expertise will grow steadily. Remember, practice makes perfect!