Writing for the web

Writing for the web

Writing for a blog or website is different to writing for a Pulitzer Prize. At least, it should be.

If you want people to read what you write online, then you should take a look at these great tips from Janice Redish’s book, ‘Letting Go of the Words: Writing Web Content that Works’:

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“Use your web users’ words. Some writers try to sound impressive by using big words. If those big words aren’t the ones readers know, they won’t be impressed. They’ll give up on your web site and go to someone else who speaks their language.”

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“As you write: Ask yourself: What would people ask me about this topic on the phone? Reply to them as if you were on the phone.”

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“Most Web users are very busy people who want to read only as much as they need to satisfy the goal that brought them to the web. Good web writing is like a conversation; it answers people’s questions; and it lets people grab and go.”
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• “Think of your web content as your part of a conversation—not a rambling dialogue, but a focused conversation started by a very busy person.”

• “Writing informally is not dumbing down. It’s communicating clearly. It’s writing so that busy people can understand what you are saying the first time that they read it.”

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“Make the link meaningful . . .Links that just say Click here, Here, More, or Answer give no clue about what will come up if we click on them. They don’t allow us to separate one link from another. And they draw attention away from the meaningful information.”
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“Show that you are a person and that your organisation includes people. If you are writing your own articles, ‘I’ is fine. When writing for an organisation, use ‘we,’ ‘us,’ and ‘our.’ The more you do to make your site visitors feel that you are in the conversation with them on all your web pages, the more comfortable most people feel.”
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How has your writing style changed over the years? Who do you think does it well?


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