“YAAAAASSSS. I finally bounced from Adulting. On my way to a music festival so lit, my bae @slaylauv can’t even. OOTD is on fleek, too! My life right now is Goals FTW. FB for more updates! #summerOOTD” How’s that for a writing challenge? Were you able to understand it? If you did, congratulations, you’re not far off from breaking the internet, just not in the literal way. As millennials and gen Z’ers become your target market, you must understand their language. This is the writing challenge both veteran and newbie content marketing writers face: writing for social media-digital style.
Writing Challenge in the Digital Age: the FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) You Should Care About
Have you ever noticed how writing has evolved through the years? From formal writings, such as when one reads Shakespeare sonnets or recites Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s How Do I Love Thee. Yet in the 21st century, what used to be acceptable in writing is changing. For example, don’t say here lies a writing challenge. Instead, it’s now better to say, here’s what you should know of writing in the digital age.
If there’s one thing you should fear on missing out on digital media, it’s digital content writing. As we live in the modern world, writing remains important; for it has the power to add touches to where video cannot.
In order for you to have a successful digital content writing style, you must recognize these writing challenges. When you put your writing skills to test in social media, readers won’t say, “Bye Felicia!”
Among the basics that you have learned in school are the rules of grammar. However, as writing transferred from paper to screen, did you know there are changes you should consider in your content writing?
An example is the use of periods for every acronym you use. In social media, instead of writing U.S.A., you can just write USA. They have the same meaning, and yet, you cut back the space you allot for your articles.
Which is more comfortable to read among the two: To whom should I speak; or whom should I talk to? Sometimes, a writing challenge you can encounter in writing in the digital age is starting your sentences with a conjunction, and ending it with prepositions. While it is discouraged in professional or business content writing, you must find the balance of having a conversational voice, too. Since our normal speaking language usually starts with conjunctions and ends with prepositions, you may consider using this style to your heart’s content.
When was the last time you went online to read? There might be a time or two but few can say they do it daily. Therefore, when you write, you must remember the readers. What interests them? What do they need? When you choose words, make sure you hit these three criteria:
Make your article skim-ready so it can be read from start to finish as readers love to skim. Have you read the first sentence then skipped to the last one? Yes, you’re guilty of skimming.
In school, teachers showed us that paragraphs must be three to five sentences. However, because of the limited attention online readers can give, as well as the skim culture in place, try forming paragraphs with three to four sentences only.
c. Clear and interesting headlines
As writers, it’s necessary to know that the headline is the hook that lures the readers to read. So you must already reveal what you would discuss.
If you have the passion to read, you’ll recognize that every article shows off the writer’s personality, or the persona they want it to become. Before deciding on which hat to wear as you write the article, determine your target audience. If they are millennials, I’m sure they would understand when you say, “A certain person’s life is Goals FTW.”
Distinguish between tone and voice. Your voice is the way you choose your words–you may have a love affair with adjectives; but the tone of your voice differs with the emotion you have when you say it. So check the tone when you choose words, because, duh. Not everyone would understand.
When was the last time you read a post twice just for you to understand it? You don’t even get it fully; you just search for a hint to let you know what it might mean. That’s because the vocabulary of the internet constantly changes. A writing challenge you must update yourself is keeping up with these changes.
Remember, LOL is already used mainstream. IRL, it’s annoying to use it at every sentence. SMH. But, what can you do? Social media can offer other options, make sure you convince them that your content is worth the read. How will you do it? You must adapt the vocab of your readers.
5. Abundance of Content Types
Twitter limits you to 280 characters. LinkedIn encourages you to post natively post. Instagram allows you to micro blog through the captions. Article submission sites such as Medium exist, as well. This is the major writing challenge you will experience today. With the varied content types you may encounter in social media, it pays to be familiar with their quirks, especially which instances you should use them. Did you know GIFs, videos, 3D animation, infographics, reviews, online games, and even memes use writing? After all, before you create one, you must first write down or type it out on a notepad before you make one.
Writing Challenge: Time to Spill the Tea
If you think you need more help in creating that script that reaches out to your target audience, why don’t you let us at Allied Writers make it for you?
There’s nothing sus (suspicious) around here. Don’t worry about that writing challenge, we gotchu, fam!
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