Surfers don’t read, they scan. That’s why it’s very important to keep you writing style up to date. As we all know, communicating for the web is totally different from communicating IRL. What I noticed is that websites keep publishing magazine articles from the written press identical to what is in the periodical. Don’t do this!
Here are a few pointers for webwriting.
- Use highlighted keywords. Since the people visiting your site do not read, they will focus on the most prominent words in your text. Make the choice of the words you want them to see yourself. Make them read what you want them to read.
- Use short sentences. Your readers have the attention span of a humming bird so make sure they don’t get lost in a grammatical riddle.
- Write “inverse pyramid”. Important things should come first and opinions or elaborate text later.
- Use bullet points. This is easier to read. The easier it is, the less chance the reader will click away.
- Don’t be afraid to edit. Do not write too much but make sure the information is there if the reader wants it. You can do this by linking to other sites of earlier articles you have written.
- Be credible. As in the last point, don’t be afraid to link to other sites. If they have more credibility than yours, it will rub off on you. You might even get some readers from them too.
- Focus on the message and not the medium. The message is always more important. It’s like a Christmas present: no matter how pretty the wrapping is, people really only want to see what’s in the box.
- Don’t avoid humour. The web is social. You want people to like you and humour is a good tool for this.
These are some things you can do when writing for the web.
Writing push emails is a whole other thing. You can pretty much copy most of these “rules” but there are more points to keep into account. More on that perhaps later in an other post.
One last thing: don’t write articles that are too long.
So on that note: thanks for reading and don’t be afraid to comment!