The Basics Of Writing For Web Readers
by Debra Simpson, www.magicinwords.com, guest author
We’ve all written before, for school, work and maybe even for a print publication. But writing for your online audience is somewhat different than writing for print. While some of these differences are readily apparent, some aren’t.
Here are some basic, basic guidelines to follow when writing for your web site readers:
• Keep your words simple. Do not use technical jargons. The point is to make your piece as accessible to as many people as possible. You are not writing for a select audience. You are writing for everyone. And people have differing levels of reading comprehension. As such, you need to use words that will be understandable to everybody.
• Keep your sentences and paragraphs short. When writing for print publications you tend to write in compact and lengthy paragraphs. On the web we don’t have that luxury. Our readers will read from their monitors, which is more stressful on the eyes. If you keep your sentences and paragraphs short, you’ll be making good use of negative space – the empty space in between characters – which will allow your readers’ eyes to rest.
• The first paragraph is important. Our readers are impatient and easily distracted by what’s offered on the Web. They can move to another website very easily, so it is essential that you keep them interested from the very first words of your piece.
• Do not write in all caps like TYPING THIS WAY. Not only is it tough on the eyes, but for many readers it’s the same as shouting at them.
• Use numberings and bullets as much as possible. They make your piece easier to scan. A lot of online readers would usually skip your words to go to the gist of your piece. Make sure that your gist will become apparent during their scans.
Adjustment Is Important
Don’t worry, you’re not expected to write like Shakespeare. But you’ll want to write compelling and effective copy. Remember that writing for print is different. Keep that in mind as your construct your copy.
Versatility is an important characteristic of a good copywriter, and there’s no better place to develop the same than in practicing how to write for an online audience. So, learn how to be flexible and the world will be yours to conquer.
About the author:
Debra Simpson, Magic In Words, has been in the publishing industry for over 20 years. She works with small business owners to add “stickiness”; to their website, and create passive income by creating digital, downloadable products. Visit www.magicinwords.com and see how you can make your site more “sticky.”