Web Writing Secrets: Create Content That Captivates Your Audience | Isla McKetta | Skillshare

Web Writing Secrets: Create Content That Captivates Your Audience

Isla McKetta, Creative writer and head of content

Web Writing Secrets: Create Content That Captivates Your Audience

Isla McKetta, Creative writer and head of content

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9 Lessons (31m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Identifying Who You Are and What You Have to Offer

    • 3. Keyword Research: Speaking the Language of Search Engines

    • 4. Deep Empathy: Understanding What Your Audience Really Wants

    • 5. Building a Lexicon: Mirroring the Language of Your Audience

    • 6. Storytelling Secrets That Engage Readers

    • 7. Literary Devices That Make Your Writing Flow

    • 8. Editing Like a Writer

    • 9. Go Forth and Write!

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About This Class

There’s a lot of content on the internet. Learn how to make yours stand out for all the right reasons.

Building on best practices from SEO, content marketing and creative writing, master copywriter and novelist Isla McKetta will help you understand how to connect deeply with an audience by writing great content that speaks directly to their needs.

You’ll develop skills in:

  • audience research
  • keyword planning
  • storytelling structure
  • and simple literary techniques for making your writing flow

Designed to give beginners a solid foundation in writing for the web, this class should also introduce experienced content creators to new techniques to freshen up your copywriting skills. Come prepared with an idea of your audience, an interest in writing for their needs and an openness to learning broadly across disciplines. The only tools you’ll need are an internet connection and something to write with.

Ready to learn the secrets of writing content that people actually care about? Join the class today.

Meet Your Teacher

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Isla McKetta

Creative writer and head of content


Head of Content by day and creative writer by night, I'm an expert in how words make people feel. I've written for a wide variety of audiences including tech (Speedtest by Ookla), SEO (Moz), architecture (AIA Seattle), bridal, rideshare, academia, and accounting, and my voice is as versatile as my experience. Having worked on editorial, content strategy, localization, marketing, writing, and educational projects, I enjoy using a cross-disciplinary understanding to shape unconventional ideas into engaging outcomes.

I earned a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing at Goddard College in Port Townsend, Washington, and my creative work includes a novella (Polska, 1994 - Éditions Checkpointed) and a writing guide I co-authored with Rebecca Bridge (Clear Out the Static in... See full profile

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1. Introduction: If you've ever found yourself on the internet scrolling through article after article and realize that later in the day, none of it stuck to your brain. Chances are that the content you are reading is not very good, and you don't want to write that kind of content because there's plenty of it on the Internet already. Instead, I'm here to help you with tips and tricks to write content that's memorable. It's something that people might even want to share with their friends. My name is Aila, and as a web writer, I've worked with some of the biggest names on the Internet. Writing everything from tacos to Internet speeds to wedding dresses. I also have an MFA in creative writing, and I love words and writing. I'm really looking forward to sharing that with you here in this class. 2. Identifying Who You Are and What You Have to Offer: The first thing you want to do when you're writing for an audience is think about what you even have to offer that audience. You have to identify yourself and what your offerings might be. That seems kind of rudimentary, right? Because maybe you're a plumber and you're like, well, I'm a plumber, what do I have to offer? Or you're an accountant or you're a baker. But it's important because until you've stated I'm a plumber, I have advice for how to help people with minor plumbing emergencies, so maybe they'll come to me with major plumbing emergencies, then you don't know how much expertise already exists in your head. Also this works if you are a freelancer and you're working with a client, work with that client to identify what they are giving the world as part of their business model. They already know this on some level, but sometimes it can be hard to articulate it. So get the ideas out there about first identifying just that industry and then what they have to offer in the industry, and then help create an authentic voice by getting the information then that they possess that is rudimentary to them out and into the world. Make lists, write it down, distill it, it's not as hard as it seems, but it's very important for step to writing for an audience. You've identified your industry, that was easy. Well the hard part sometimes still be teasing out that information from your brain about what the topics are that you can write about. The best first place to start is to take the name of your industry and stick it in the top of a search bar on Google or DuckDuckGo or another search engine that has auto suggest. You'll start to see the words that pop up after those words that you've input into the search engine. Those are things people are asking about, and those can be really good first title ideas. If you want to get a little bit more creative, look for something like the Potter Title Generator. For full disclosure, this is something I worked on when I was working at Portent and I hereby apologize for all the Bachelor references. But it is a really good place to put in a keyword and just keeping it refresh until you find that thing that really excites you. Some of the ideas are ridiculously easy, some of the ideas are ridiculous, and that's fun too, because they help you loosen up and realize writing is fun and the things that you know are not that hard to translate. You just have to figure out what you already know and how you can share it with people. Now, that you've identified your industry, and had a little bit of time to think about how to put together that title information and some topic ideas and what you might be offering to an audience, go ahead and use the template that I provided to start your content plan. It'll give you a good first start on your final project. 3. Keyword Research: Speaking the Language of Search Engines: In our last lesson, we looked at search engines not just as a tool for people who are looking for things on the Internet, but as a resource that you can use to find out what people are looking for on the internet. Now let's dig a little deeper with a tool like Moz keyword explorer. This is a free tool, requires a sign-up, but you get a certain number of free searches per week. Just put in your industry or a keyword that you already know that you're looking for and you'll learn all kinds of interesting information about search volume, which is how many people who are looking for the keyword. You'll learn about search competition, which is how many people are also trying to rank for that keyword and then we'll also get some interesting suggested ideas. For example, when I used to write about wedding dresses, something that would pop up frequently was white lace wedding dresses. Well, now if you're a wedding dress company and you're just writing about wedding dress, and for some reason you don't know that this year's trend is white lace wedding dresses, you can completely miss out on an opportunity if you've never written any content that contains those words. The thing about keyword thinking though, is it's really easy to start writing content that has the words 'white lace wedding dress' in it. Now 47 times, which is awful to read. If it's not something that you enjoy reading, don't write it. Search engines are getting a lot more sophisticated. Thank goodness. Now we, as writers, have the opportunity to go in and use actual natural language. If you don't know what that means or it's hard to think about or get out of your keyword thinking, It's a really good time to get your thesaurus out. Let's start thinking about travel for a second. Like you're writing for a travel blog and you Google the synonyms for travel, you're going to come up with things like trip, journey, voyage. Now if people are looking for those words and you've never used those words, then you're less likely to rank for them. Also, if you are stuck in a travel rut and just keep saying travel in your blog posts, this is a really good chance to go back and write like a human. Now let's take a chance to go back and build on your content plan. Write down 3-5 keywords that you've discovered along the way that might be things you want to write about. They can be full-fledged topic ideas or they can just be some keywords that you want to come back and note later. Make sure that you create some content about. Just make sure that you note them because it makes your content plan a lot easier. 4. Deep Empathy: Understanding What Your Audience Really Wants: Now that you've identified who you are, what you have to offer an audience, and maybe even some keywords and topic of ideas about what you might be writing about. It's time to start thinking about that audience and what you really have to offer and what they really need and where those two things meet in the middle. I like to call this part deep empathy and it's thinking deeply about how you can help someone with what you already have and you know in the end, you might make a sale. One of the best tools for this is social media. You want to think about where your audience is going to be. Back when I used to write about prom dresses, I used to turn to Tumblr to see the language that people were using, and also what their needs were on the big day and that might tell you how long ago was it that I was writing about prom dresses. But these days I often turn to Twitter. Again, it's an audience thing. Let's see where people are at and then start to research what they're doing. Let's look really closely at as search I did recently when I was writing an article about working from home. Some of the words that I put into the Twitter search bar, were working from home, working remotely, digital nomad, those searches evolved as I did more and more because I started to understand the language that people were using. I explored a lot of interesting rabbit holes. I found people who were writing exclusively about working from home. I found sites that people use, I found articles that other people were writing. That gives me a good lay of the land of what's already out there, what I could add to the discussion, and what I want to avoid duplicating. But it also gives me a chance to look at some of the holes. So let's look at some of those tweets and what people might be looking for. Sometimes when someone says, all I do is eat all day. What they might be saying is I'm really struggling with balance and I could use some healthy lifestyle tips. Now if you're somebody who's business revolves around lifestyle tips, you might be able to help someone with that, but you already knew that because you search for working remotely, didn't you or if someone says all I want to do is play with the kids all day, you know that their biggest value is their family. So anything that you write, if you write business first, that's not going to connect with them because what they're really doing is getting the job done so they can go play with their kids or if you see somebody who's talking about how their dog interrupts all their video calls. Again, it's a good opportunity to sell them some good audio video equipment or to help them find some good tips and tricks for a video conference call and how to keep things quiet or even if you're in the pet industry, ways to sooth the dog while they're busy. This is a really good way to get started helping your audience. Digging into what they say they need, what they say they're upset about, and how you might be able to help them. Once you make that connection with somebody, it's hard to break it, and that can be a really good, long lasting customer relationship I highly recommend it. Remember that content plan that you're building. Now is a really good time to go in and flesh out the empathy audience need portion of your content plan. This is when you want to sit down and think about three places that your audience might go online, could they might be websites, they might be social media platforms, but these are going to help you figure out the language and environment and tone that your audience is used to and help you communicate to them in that way. You also want to then name three needs that you think that they might have based on the places that they've gone or content that you've seen in those places. Lastly, you want to think about five words that are specific to their lexicon. Does that not mean anything to you yet? Stay tuned for the next lesson. 5. Building a Lexicon: Mirroring the Language of Your Audience: Now that we have a deep understanding of what our audience needs, it's time to start thinking about their language and filling out that lexicon that I teased you about in that last lesson. A lexicon is simply a list of words used by a group of people. We can get really fancy about the definition. But if you're dealing with scientists, they're going to be using a lot of really complex science terms. If you're going to be dealing with writers, they're going to be using a lot of literary terms. Using words that connect with people, that is their own natural language, is a really good way to connect with your audience. So creating a lexicon is a really good way to communicate with people in the way that they understand and to feel like you're part of their in-group. I love doing this, it's something we do naturally. It's called mirroring. When you do it with your friends. If you notice a word comes around, like when everybody started using awesome or whenever everybody started using amazing. And then you start using those words without even realizing it to reflect what's going on in your group, you're actually becoming a part of that group. Let's look very quickly at a lexicon that I created when I was writing about prompt. Again, this is research that I did from Tumblr and I just went through different people's posts and saw words that were coming up that I saw really frequently. You know, glamour was a big deal. unexpected, classic, Hollywood. These are things that gelled with me along the way. And they were things I knew I could come back and frame something in line of. Sometimes they got a little more complex of my lexicon and I'd say what kind of part of speech it was. That was really just to make things easy for myself because, then I could go back later and go, I need a verb. I've been writing about prompt for eight hours. Please give me a verb, but that's not something you have to do right now and just think about. Pay attention to what you're reading and write down some of the words that gel with your audience. This is how you start to build the lexicon and this is how you start to connect with them. When I did the working from home lexicon, one of the words that I started to see pop up a lot where WFH, that's an acronym that people use when they're working from home. And it might not make sense to somebody who isn't working from home. But it's important to this audience. Again, digital nomad. I mentioned that last time, but that's something that came up during my research that I started to use more and more, because I realized that there was a certain type of person who was working for home that was really dedicated to remote work and to a certain lifestyle and that, that was a word that they used about themselves. It even became an important hashtag in my research. Bonus, squeeze in, accurate description. Some of these don't make any sense out of context, but they make sense in context. So if you can start to use those words that your audience is using, again, you build that connection. Now, you want to take all of the information that you've used, you've gathered together, and start to build a user story. What's a user story? It's not complicated. A user story, is simply creating a sentence that says, from the point of view of an audience, fill out, I want to know blank so that I can blank. This is something I put at the top of all of my content now because, first of all, by phrasing and in terms of, I want to, you're already inside the mind of the audience. That's really essential because then you are creating for them and not just for you. Some things I think about is; I want to know where my country ranks in world speeds, so that I can write stories about how awesome my local market is. That's something where I'm targeting a journalist on a global level who has an interest in internet speeds. Your user statements and user stories are going to be very specific and very unique, but they don't have to be complicated. And I promise you, once you start thinking in this way, combined with using a user's lexicon, you're going to connect a lot better with your audience. Now, it's time to go back to that content plan and write a user story. Remember, it's as simple as I want to blank so that I can blank. 6. Storytelling Secrets That Engage Readers: Congratulations, you've already made it all the way through the content marketing part of this class. Now we're going to focus on some literary devices that can help your writing, sing, and flow, and connect with an audience. These are some of my favorite things, of course, as a writer and I think that they are things that may seem like they're new and intimidating, but they're actually pretty. You've been using them all along and I think you're going to have a good time. First thing I want to focus on is point of view. Now, a lot of times when writing on the web, it's in the first-person point of view or I, I did this, I did that, I did this, I did that. This is common on recipe sites or parenting blogs where they go through and they narrate the story of all of the things. It can be a really easy place to write from. Well, you have to be careful because it can also be a little didactic and it can feel like I did this and then I did that, and then I'm telling you how to do this, because I know more than you do. So think about it. That's why point-of-view is an important thing to consider when you're writing. Second person point of view is you, as in, you are here in this class because you're trying to learn to write better. So you can make better content. Well, now that I've told you what your needs are, how do you feel about the things that I've told you? That's the danger with you. It can be a good way to engage with someone and say, I know many things about you. I can help you figure out what you need in life. But if you get it wrong, people go, "oh, no you don't, you don't know me at all. Bye. " So you've lost that audience. Then there is the third person, which is he, she or one. This can feel a little bit distant and you don't see it as much on the internet, although it depends on what you're writing about. For example, if you're working in the financial services industry, you might want something that's a little bit more reserved or removed because you're dealing with a different audience, with a different expectation. It can feel a little bit intimate if your financial planner's telling you all about their finances, or it can feel a little bit prickly if they're telling you exactly what to do. But if they describe a scenario in the third person talking about a character or a person that is neither I nor you, then you can talk about things that are a little bit scarier some times and get deep into what people need to know. They're all important, they're all tools and I just want you to think about them like that. Next time you write a blog post, stop and think, am I using the first person, the second person, or the third person? And is that the best point of view for what I'm writing about right now? Now let's look at another literary technique that can help your writing flow. Story order. This is something you don't think about quite as often. You've probably heard about point of view, I don't know, in the third or fourth grade, when you were learning about writing. But story order is something that we experience every day and it's not something we think about unless you have been actively doing creative writing. But it's really important because the order that you put your story in really deeply affects the audience's experience of that story. You can write three basic story orders. One is linear, where the story starts at the beginning of time and ends at the end of the time. There's no switching up or going backwards. Then there's a flashback, flashback is when you start in the middle of something and then go back to the beginning and then hit the end of the story. And then there is a reverse story order where you start at the end and then go to the middle and then go back to the beginning. If you remember the film Memento, it was filmed in this order. It can be a little tricky to use. Let's look at some of the different things that you can experience when you're doing different story orders. Linear story orders are easy to understand. But they can be a little boring to start, because it can be easy to pack a bunch of information in the intro, and then people don't even get to the middle because they don't care however that meat of things. I can tell you this has been my experience a lot of times when I'm on recipe sites, where you go through and you just want to know how much water goes in your chemo. But you now have had someone tell you a three-page story about chemo and you don't care anymore. So that's something to think about. Flashback is when you start right in the middle, this can be a good way to be exciting. Because usually the meat of your story is right in the middle. That's what's happening. That's what you're most enjoying, and then you can go back and fill in details later. I strongly recommend experimenting with flashback a little bit. It may not be the right story order for what you're doing, but you won't know until you've tried, at least once. Then reverse story order, this one's tricky. I actually would recommend it, I think for a recipe site because then you get that information right up front and somebody who cares is going to dig in and go deeper and you're not going to lose anybody because the people who didn't care about all those tiny little details like me aren't going to go back and read it, but they still read the thing at the top and are likely to come back to you as a resource because they got what they wanted when they needed it. So, story order, it's important. Play with it. You are going to learn a lot by doing so, and just think about it deep in your gut what feels right to you as you're writing it. Now, the next literary and storytelling secret, but I want to talk to you about is plot arc. Plot is the thing that keeps us involved in the story. We all know that from watching whatever thing we are streaming on Netflix this week. But something always cuts off right at the end when we need to know what's going to happen next. That's part of how they structured the plot. Plot generally starts with the ground situation, which is, say for example, if we're looking at the story of Cinderella, she's enslaved in her own home and she's cooking and cleaning for these people who are awful to her. That's her grounds situation. Well, we want her to encounter some opportunities to change along the way to make her fate better, and then ultimately we want to have a final resolution. So those are going to be some of the plot points along the way. For example, a plot point in Cinderella would be that one of her sisters is awful to her over a particular shoe. Then the next plot point that comes is the invitation arrives from the palace, and then another plot point is that Cinderella is ready to go, but then she's told by the family that she can't go. These are the things that she has opportunity to fight through and learn about and grow through. She doesn't necessarily win all of these different fights, but they take her farther along on her journey and it makes it that much more satisfying when we get there, and then you get to the final climax, which is when you have that final fight and learn all of the things you want to know. Okay, now, does this sound like I'm talking too much about a story and not enough about content writing? It's actually really related. What you just have to do is come back, bring yourself back a little bit, and realize that these story points can be used in regular writing, and the conflicts that we experience in day-to-day life can actually be placed out onto a plot arc and used as a way to engage your reader in something, and so you're going to tickle their heart strings. You're going to make them care deeply. You're going to speak to their needs and their wants and their desires, and then you're going to help them solve their problems. That is going to be everything. That's how you create that lasting relationship with someone. For example, if someone says, working from home can be lonely, maybe you have a solution for helping them connect with others, or if they are a parent and they are worried that their little league fills up too fast. Maybe you're a sports store and you can help them create a calendar of when the sports deadlines are for the year so that their kids can get in when they need to. Or they're worried that continuing education takes up too much time in their daily life. Well, maybe you're with a company that can create a monthly plan that will help them get those credits in early in the year so that they don't have to worry about them later. Do you see how we're helping identify their conflict, and then we're helping them resolve that conflict? It's that resolution, that gets them to the climax of the story and that makes everyone being able to breathe out that sigh of relief. So we're not waiting at the end of an episode to see what happens next. Now that you know a little bit more about storytelling secrets, it's time to go build on that content plan again and get your final project closer to done. First, I want you to think about what point of view you want to experiment. Remember this is just a sketch. You're experimenting, you're learning. This does not have to be the final right answer, but think about something you want to try that maybe you haven't tried before. Then think about the conflict that you're going to be identifying and solving, and then name the story order that you've chosen. Then describe three plot points that you're going to be covering along the way of the story. That's it. 7. Literary Devices That Make Your Writing Flow: Now that you've learned some storytelling secrets, it's time to learn about some literary devices that can really help your writing flow. The first thing we like to think about when I'm writing is rhythm. One of the easiest ways to incorporate rhythm into your writing or to really think about it, is to change up your sentence length. A lot of times you'll get advice on the web that you want to have very short direct sentences. Well, you can imagine that if someone was only using direct sentences at you, your life would feel a little bit like this. Hey buy this, I want something from you, quickly. Now, go do it, that wasn't very fun, wasn't I hated it. But if you instead write more naturally, use short sentences for emphasis like, hi John, and longer sentences like I saw your friend Tom yesterday, he's looking really well to convey more information, and to feel a little bit more conversational, you'll notice in that second sentence, there is no real emphasis in the sentence, and in the first one there is a strong emphasis, that's okay. You need both emphasis and information. Another thing you think about when you're doing rhythm is the rhythm on the page of how something looks, for example, paragraph length. I've been given advice before to write only sentences ever that our one line long. Now, if you think about scrolling through a page of lines, sentences that are only one line long, and you're on your phone, and then your finger moves, and then all of a sudden you're lost on the page, your eye can't track that, don't do that to yourself, don't do that to your later instead, by It's great to use one line sentences if you are trying to make a point, and then in your next paragraph, flash it out a little bit with some information, use two, three, four, maybe even five lines. We know people skim on the web, but we still want to give them the information they need, and give their eyes something to rest on and to know where they're at. That'll help you give a good rhythm for the sound of your words, and also for the way your words look on the page. The second thing, I like to think about when I'm writing is imagery. In everyday life, you experience all kinds of senses, you smell things, smell can actually be one of the most evocative smells. You see things, you hear things, you feel things. Think about how you can pull those into your writing, If you're writing a recipe, this is a really good thing, it's really easy to do because you're talking about the smells of the food, or the way that food looks, the plating, those kinds of things. It can be a little bit more difficult in other situations, but for example, if you were to write a blog post about a grandmother, and mentioned her perfume, and talk about the smell of a grandmother's perfume, that can be something that takes people back, it's very strong association. Think about what those images that you're creating are using all of the reader census, whenever you possibly can. You don't want to overdo it, a little bit goes a long way, but it's a great way to engage your reader. Another thing to think about, literary device wise, when your writing is to use metaphor. Now, sometimes you're going to be writing about things that are very complicated. For example, if you're thinking about the marketing cycle, you might think about how you have a whole lot of people that you're interested in attracting, and then you need to take care of them along the way, and then you're going to lose people along the way, and then you will at the end, convert a few customers, and you hope to keep them. Well, that was complex, unless you pair that image with a funnel. So you have a lot of customers up at the top of the funnel, it's a very wide part, and then the funnel narrows as people drop off, and you do different marketing activities, and then down at the very bottom of the funnel, you have a few customers, but they're the ones you've managed to keep, and they drop into the jar, or bottle, or whatever it is that you're funneling people into. That metaphor can help simplify things. The more you can break down your complex ideas by creating a simple metaphor, the more your audience can relate to what you're writing. It can be a little tricky at first, and it can be hard to find the right metaphor, but it's really, really worth it. Something else to think about is consonants, and the way that words sound, I didn't say consonants with the "t" I said consonants with the "c". Because consonants, is the repetition of the sound of consonants throughout a word, it can sound very cacophonous, can sound cacophonous. See how they did there. The sound of those sentences, even when people are reading them with their eyes, or something that you pick up in your brain, it creates a staccato effect when you're using the cs, which is [inaudible] bouncing thing, is that how you want your writing to flow today? It might be good, if you want something to catch somebody's attention, it might be bad, if you're trying to sooth somebody into buying something. So think about that as a tool, that you can use at different times. Related to consonants is assonance, which is repeating different vowel sounds throughout a sentence. This is a lot more soothing, it's something that you'll see in poetry. Again, probably not something you want to use to get somebody's attention, but it might be a good way to seduce somebody along the way. See how those two play against each other, and if you're really thinking carefully about what you're writing and how your writing, you can do better. It's worth it to go back on a draft, and try and incorporate some of these literary techniques. They're probably not something you want to do at first blush, on that first rough draft, because you'll be driving yourself crazy trying to edit. One of my favorite teachers ever taught me, she said you take your editor, and you tell him he can come back later because he can. But when you go back, and you start looking at the word choices you've made at the sentence length, at the metaphors, the ideas that you can simplify, that's a really good opportunity to clean up your writing, and make the most of the language that you're using. Now, you're going to build on your content plan, now is a really good time to pick two literary techniques that you'd like to use, and think about how you might incorporate them in your final draft. You don't have to write anything yet, you're not there, and you don't even have to incorporate them until you're editing, we're just going to name them right now, decide what you're excited about. 8. Editing Like a Writer: Now that you have a solid understanding of the storytelling techniques and literary devices that can help you improve your writing immediately. It's time to think about editing your work like a writer, not a writer? You are a writer. You've been writing all this time and you've been getting better at it. Now it's time to put that final polish on. One of the first things you need to do is to use spell check. I know it sounds like rookie suggestion and you're probably like, okay, I'm done. It's important to use spell check and just turn it on a few affined sometimes you're in a document where all the words are underlined and you're like, "This isn't working, go and fix the language settings", but make sure that spellcheck is working for you because it is your friend. It's not infallible, things will go wrong, you're going to run into problems with homonyms if you only use spell check and not your brain. But you better try and use it otherwise, your work will be a mess. Mine would be for sure. The second thing is, I always read my work aloud. The things that you find when reading your work aloud are astounding. You'll find words where you've used double and spell check hasn't caught it. You'll find those little homonyms that you are worried about, spellcheck missing, you'll find all kinds of things. Sometimes I often find that I have repeated myself several times, and that's a really good opportunity to go through as you're reading it aloud and cross it out. Reading aloud lets you figure out what you would have said if you are saying it aloud naturally and this is a really good tone to use when you're on the web for writing. Just go through, cross it out willy-nilly, red pen, purple, I don't care, but make sure it sounds natural to you and your voice. The third thing I like to think about when I'm editing like a writer is concision. You want to make sure that you're not unnecessarily repeating yourself as you're writing. Reading aloud is going to help you find some of these spots, but you want to go through after you've really gotten intimate with this piece of writing and figure out are there spots where you're repeating yourself. Are there places where you've said something better then in one place than another? Sometimes when you repeat yourself, you can emphasize a point and sometimes you're just being redundant. When people are reading on the web, they don't have time for redundancies. Make sure that you're cleaning up anything that doesn't actually need to be said or anything that's repeated. One of the best ways to edit for concision, is to go through and cut up your document. This is my fourth tip. Cut it into paragraphs or sentences. I once did this to an entire novel. It was 30,000 words, I cut it down sentence by sentence and rearranged it. That might be a little obsessive. I'm not suggesting you go to that level, but I will tell you that when you rearrange your writing, either sentence by sentence or paragraph by paragraph, you really have an opportunity to spot redundancies, places where you'd be repeated yourself, and again, typos and other things that you wouldn't want to see when you normally edited it. Sometimes I even go and change the font on a document. Just so it seems a little unfamiliar to me because I feel like I've read it too many times. Anything you can do to defamiliarize yourself with that work, get it all into the right places and paste it back together again into one good document, is a really good thing to do when you're editing. Then once you've done that, read it aloud one more time, just for good measure. That's it. You now know much of what you need to know to edit like a writer. If you want to know more, I've written a book on the subject, Clear Out the Static in your Attic. This book is full of prompts that will help you as ideation and also editing. It's lots of fun exercises. I think you might enjoy it. As far as this class goes, it's time to go and write that final blog post, 300 to 700 words, using some of the techniques that you've learned in this class. I can't wait to read it. 9. Go Forth and Write!: Thank you for coming with me on this journey and for learning how to write content that deeply engages an audience. Because you're not just a writer for the web, you're also a reader for the web, you're doing yourself a favor as well by putting better content on the Internet. Speaking of putting content on the Internet, it's time to post that final project. If you would, please take some time, to give some constructive feedback to fellow students. The creative community is a very generous one and there's a lot of power in helping people be better. Peer editing is one of my favorite things about being a writer. Take some time to give your fellow students feedback like, "I think this isn't working in this spot, or I think maybe this order would work better or this might be a good spot for a metaphor. See how those are all I statements? You don't want to tell a writer how to write. Non-constructive feedback is pointing out problems and then telling someone how to fix it. The trouble is that every writer has an individual voice and you don't want to trample on their voice. Chances are they have a better fix that would sound more natural to them, but they just don't know what the problem is yet to help them see the problem in a nice, gentle way, and maybe they can help you with your writing as well. That's it for the class, I hope that you will post those projects like I said, I'll be reading them. I'll be looking for the feedback that you're giving to others and I look forward to seeing what you've made and seeing your work elsewhere on the Internet after today. Thank you and good luck.