Writing for the Web

Writing for the Web

Writing is a human technology that’s been around for thousands of years. And in that time, it has gone through many variations, variations in form, style, and technique. Originally, for instance, storytelling was an oral tradition that was only later written down. Then the printing press came along, and things shifted significantly. The impact of the internet is comparable to the impact of the printing press. It has revolutionised the way we communicate and caused another shift in the way we think about writing. Use the tips and techniques below to tailor your writing for the web so that it’s functional and conforms to modern expectations. 

Writing for the Web: Use Short Paragraphs 

When writing for the web, you need to consider your reader and what frame of mind they are in when reading your text. Most likely, they are between tasks. They will have discovered your post through a series of links and most likely do not expect to be reading it. For this reason, and others, keep your paragraphs short, snappy, and contain only one idea. Doing so will mean that your reader can easily scan the page and not be put off by a massive text block. 

Use Inverted Pyramid Style

The Inverted Pyramid Style was invented for print journalism to ensure that readers got the article’s main point first, and supporting information followed. It is a style that is devised for scan reading and is excellent for web writing where readers have short attention spans. Zero in on the main idea of the piece or the paragraph and begin with a first-line describing it. Give the reader the most important information first, then back it up with supporting points. 

Writing for the Web: Make a Stellar Headline 

The internet is a place where everyone is competing for attention. Your headline is what grabs that attention and makes people want to stay on your page and read. It can help to start your piece with a headline to give you a core idea of what you’re writing about, but you can always improve it at the end when your concept is more solid. A good headline might be: get a high pressure solenoid valve. Beware of click-bait (creating a headline unrelated to the content); your headline should be relevant and enticing. 

Use Conversational Tone 

Communication on the web is more direct and informal than writing in other mediums, such as newspapers, white papers, and novels. Different forms carry different reader expectations that should be adhered to In general. There is more variation on the web, but typically a conversational tone and use of personal pronouns are widely used and accepted. Different posts, however, may require different styles, so use your best judgment. 

Write for a Specific Audience When Writing for the Web

A specific audience can mean one person in particular who you ‘write for,’ a target audience, as in the users of a certain product, or a broader demographic, people who exist within a social and economic context. Identify your specific audience and keep them in mind as you organize your ideas and construct your sentences; it will make your writing clear, concise, and credible. 

 

It’s That Nutty Time of Year Again

Between the beginning of November and my last day of work before Christmas (19th December) work cranks up in such a way that it makes my head spin. I love getting my teeth stuck in and ticking item after item off the to-do list, only for it to be replaced with two additional ones, but jeez are these 7 weeks full on!

Thankfully Roy and the boys are utterly fabulous about it. The kids come first obviously but they know that if I need to sneak off on a Saturday to work that it’s because it’s that busy time again and besides, they have great fun with Daddy.

Roy is a superman. He works a minimum of 45 hours a week himself (usually many more) and yet he knows my 70hr+ weeks are fierce and so he does everything he can to smooth things around me. Believe me, when you are drowning in words and can’t remember the last time you slept for more than four hours in a run a surprise cuppa, cuddle and a few words of encouragement are like sunshine on a miserable day.

So why do I do it? Every year I take off three weeks for Christmas. I adore Christmas, it is a magical time and to be honest the promise of those three weeks pretty much gets me through the rest of the busy year. Work is steady all year however winter is a naturally busy (nuts) time work-wise for me though I have to say that those three magical weeks are all the sweeter for it. I work like a daft thing during this period so that I can finish everything, so I can clear the diary and enjoy a wonderful break knowing that my clients are taken care of and everything is in place for the new year.

Why am I writing this post? To explain (not apologise) that I’ll be AWOL for the next few weeks. I won’t be able to meet up for coffee, enjoy long chatty telephone calls with pals, and I might be ever so slightly grumpy on and off.  The free time I do have will be family time and sleeping time.

Don’t get me wrong, I love what I do and wouldn’t change a thing; people just need to know that I’ll be tapping into my inner bitch a little more in the near future 🙂

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