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Give 'em Something to Talk About

Last updated Oct 17, 2003.

Is the site's purpose to entertain? To teach? To sell? Whatever the goal, gear the writing style to that goal to improve visitor stickiness. When the style is established, then it's a matter of formatting the content for online viewing.

The Internet has gotten a reputation for having poor quality content and Web personalities have made statements along the lines of no one wants to read long stories online. Reasons for poor quality content:

  • Failure to understand audience needs

  • Posting content for content's sake

  • Dull writing

  • Lack of using professional writers

When a business haphazardly sets up its own Web site, there's a tendency to put in filler content to give the site a robust look and eliminate the white space. Doing this without any audience research leads to disengaging content. It goes back to understanding the audience.

NOTE

Fray (http://www.fray.com) is a place where people share personal stories and experiences for others to read and add their own stories. These stories are several pages long accompanied with illustration that add and not take away from the story. Readers can't provide comments until they finish reading the entire story. Based on the large number of responses at the story's end tells a story of its own – that engaging content is valuable and cherished.