How to write for digital newspapers (5 key points)

How to write for digital newspapers

Writing for the Internet is not the same. Today we talk about five key points to do not replicate newspaper writing in its online version (avoiding a common mistake).


The digital version of a newspaper does not always leads to expected success. Not only in terms of design, but also because the writing models that come from the paper are wrongly replicated in the digital versions.

Today we want to talk about these common mistakes and give five key points for avoiding them.

1. Writing for the internet is NOT the same:

The language used in the paper is not the same as the language used in a digital context. The Internet is an interactive channel, where the user is not a mere passive receiver. We don’t read in the same way when we read online than when we read from a newspaper.

escanear con los ojos

According to a study published by Nielsen Norman, Internet users do not read linearly.

The reading is done with a brief tour that “scans” the entire screen. You read the first two lines and then you will look down into the left area, stopping in the center.

It is what is known as “reading in F.” If we apply this logic to this article it means that, at this point, the only thing you have read is the headline, the intro (perhaps), and the point number three.

All this before delving into the text, which you may not do … What do you think?

Jakob Nielsen, an Internet usability expert, explains it very clearly “On average, users read 28% of the text in a single visit to the web, maybe even 20%”.

2. To the point.

Considering how difficult it is to keep the reader’s attention when reading online, it is absolutely essential to get to the point

There is nothing worse than punishing the reader with infinite paragraphs that go round and round without reaching the main idea that you want to tell.

We must expose the main idea at the beginning, develop it as clearly as possible and finishing with the conclusions. And everything straightforward

There are many techniques for creating content. But in general, the key is to address the reader in a colloquial tone and as if we were telling a story.

Storytelling is the most popular.


3. No to long texts.

Very long texts do not work.

Think that the information is “digested” in computers, mobiles, tablets, on the bus, at home, running, or in even stranger situations …

Facilitating reading is key. When you start writing an article, use formats such as:

  • The quotation marks,
  • bullets or numbered lists
  • the highlights
  • words in bold
  • links within the text


periodico dig

4. Think in headlines for the Internet:

Use titles that make sense, with keywords that people might be searching in Google so search engines understand what your text is about.

You surely want to get visits or some type of conversion. So positioning is necessary. In short, your articles must comply with SEO rules.


5. Connect with the reader.

Try to take the reader to your side, getting them involved with you, through active participation. How? with comments and/or emails,  to let readers express their opinions or points of view. As well as leaving links on different social networks to encourage participation.

Online content has an advantage without a winner: the impact can be measured. Take advantage of online tools to measure audiences, page views, interactions, clicks …

There are many programs to show you in a comprehensive way how your site performs, which topics work best and which ones do not generate interest.

All these tools would are not accessible for a traditional newspaper so take advantage of them!

So, now that you know more about content for digital media, what are you waiting for experimenting with your own site?

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