Wednesday, July 12, 2023

The Basics of Writing and Blogging for the Digital Audience

Edie here and I'm super excited to give you a sneak peek at my new blogging book, Blogging for Today's Writer! I'm headed to a conference this week to teach, but next week we'll be flooding the Internet with the launch of this latest book in the Writer's Bookshelf series. It is already live on Amazon, so I'll leave the link below and I'd love for you to take a look and if you purchase the book, be sure to leave a review!

The Basics of Writing & Blogging for the Digital Audience
by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

Writing to an online audience takes some specific skills and considerations. They're not difficult things, but here are some

Specific Things to Remember When Blogging

  • Digital readers read differently. Most of the time they’re looking for take-away. The application they’re seeking can range from how to have a healthy marriage to how to write an effective blog post. But almost always they’re seeking something to make their lives richer. 
  • Digital readers are reading on very small devices. Over 66% of the readers of your posts will look at them on a mobile device—usually a phone. This means that formatting matters.
  • Digital readers skim first, read second. Think about the way you approach reading on the internet. It’s very likely that you do several things without evening thinking about them.
    • You consider the title and whether or not the subject is something you need or are interested in
    • You read the first sentence or two.
    • You skim the piece, looking for bold headings and possible lists (numbered or bulleted) 
    • And only then do you invest in reading the entire post. 
  • Digital readers are suspicious and skeptical. All it takes for my skeptic radar to click on is for someone to claim they have the next best, biggest thing. Unless the post I’m reading can prove it has something useful to say in the first sentence—maybe the first paragraph—then I’m done and on to the next post.
  • Digital readers have lots of choices. They can find literally thousands of posts on almost any subject you may choose to write about. This means you have to make sure you’re writing in such a way they want to return. AND you must make certain it’s easy for them to return. That’s why sidebar gadgets and widgets are so important. If you don’t have a way for them to sign up for updates when a new post goes live, you’ll lose them to other sites.

Back to the Beginning
Beginnings and endings are critical to your success as a blogger. These are some of the things you need to consider to make sure your readers engages.

1. Start with the title of your post. Your title will make or break your post’s visibility. With a good title, the post will rank higher in the search engines, it will have context on social media, and it will give your reader a way to evaluate whether or not the post is relative to them (more specifics about titles in the next chapter).

Yeah, it’s that important. And I spend at least as much time and energy on composing an effective title as I do writing the entire post.
  • Make sure your post contains a phrase that is something a reader would type into a search engine to find the information within your post. Originally the information in this section was a blog post titled, The Importance of Beginnings and Endings. Yes, that’s what that post was about, but that’s not something many people would be searching for and it’s a little vague. So instead I moved to Writing Blog Posts People Will Read. But even that could be improved upon. Readers love tips and takeaways, so I finally settled on Tips For Writing Blog Posts People Will Read. Not very exciting, but super effective.
  • Choose a title that will have relevance if it's read somewhere other than on your site. For example, suppose the title and link are shared on social media without an accompanying image. Does the person reading it have enough context to know what the title pertains to. Here's what I mean, let's go back to the original title I was considering, The Importance of Beginnings and Endings. That title is not good because that title has no context. We have no way of knowing whether that refers to life, marriage, blogging or writing a novel. 

2. Front load the information contained within the post. This is just a fancy way of saying that we need to share the takeaway first. In my opening paragraphs I told you what I’d share in this post. Sum up what you’re going to share before you get into the details. 

3. Write your post using bold headings, lists and lots of white space. Reading on a mobile device, or even a computer is harder on our eyes than reading a physical magazine or book. That’s why we have to format for an audience that’s using those mediums.
  • Choose a sans serif font for readability. This means something without those extra flourishes (called serifs). I recommend Ariel, Verdana, or Helvetica. Times New Roman is never a good choice for online readability. My site, The Write Conversation, uses Verdana.
  • Use block formatting. This means no indented paragraphs and an extra blank line between paragraphs.
  • Use shorter sentences and shorter paragraphs. Sentences shouldn’t be over twelve words in length. A block of text (paragraph) shouldn’t exceed six lines.

4. Choose a header image (called a feature image in WordPress) that illustrates the focus of your post. For extra click-throughs on social media, make sure you make it into a meme with the title of your post embedded in the image. 

5. Include a Click to Tweet. This is an embedded link that makes it easier for readers to share your post on social media. By including this one thing, your posts will be shared approximately sixty percent more on social media. 

6. Wrap it up with a call to action. No, this doesn’t mean you should try to sell them something. Instead, it’s up to you to get the conversational ball rolling. We all want to engage with those who read our posts. And we have to spell out how to do it. So end each post with one of these options:
  • An open-ended question. A yes or no question stops the conversation. Instead use something that leads to discussion or sharing of opinions.
  • A challenge. Sometimes an open-ended question just doesn’t fit (like with some devotions). Instead issue a challenge, maybe something like this: “Today I’ve decided to make a difference by looking for ways to reach out to others, will you join me?”
  • A specific set of instructions of what to do. Often I end my posts with something like: “Now it’s your turn . . . be sure to share your thoughts in the comments section below.”

All of these tips will help you build an audience that’s loyal, engaged, and willing to share your posts with their friends and family.


by Edie Melson

Is blogging still relevant for connecting with readers? Yes! Find out why and take a pragmatic and practical look at the how-to’s, including:
  • how to find your blog’s focus
  • how to write for the mobile and internet audiences
  • maneuvering the SEO, keyword basics, and titles
And many more keys to successful blogging.

Edie Melson is a woman of faith with ink-stained fingers observing life through her camera lens. She’s a writer who feels lost without that device & an unexpected speaker who loves to encourage an audience. She also embraces the ultimate contradiction of being an organized creative. She knows the necessity of Soul Care and leads retreats, conferences & workshops around the world on staying connected to God. Her numerous books, including the award-winning Soul Cares eries & reflect her passion to help others develop the strength of their God-given gifts. Her blog, The Write Conversation is recognized as one of the top 101 industry resources. 

She and husband Kirk have been married 40+ years and raised three sons. They live in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and can often be found hiking—with Edie clinging to the edge of a precipice for the perfect camera angle and Kirk patiently carrying her camera bag and tripod. Connect with her on her website, WWW.EDIEMELSON.COM and through social media.

Featured Image: Photo by Fikret tozak on Unsplash


  1. I can always use help with blogging, (and, yes, I'm reading this on my phone). I'm looking forward to reading this informative book. Thanks for sharing with us!

  2. Great suggestions!

  3. Thank you for the great information. :-)

  4. Excellent information, Edie; things I need to remember when I write posts.

  5. Great tips, Edie. I look forward to reading the book.

  6. I ordered a copy of this book and look forward to more great instruction.

  7. Thanks, Edie. Great reminder. And I’m definitely going to order your book. I need to resurrect mine, but I’m thinking I just need to start over with a new platform. I used to use Blogger, switched to Weebly several years ago and I’m not happy with it at all.