Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Basics of Web Content Writing

Writing for the World Wide Web is simply different! If you want to write high quality articles for an Internet audience there are things you need to be aware of at all times. This is why we do need to discuss The Basics of Web Content Writing. Let us take a look at the modifications you do need to have in your style.

! Short is Better in Content Writing !

First of, you need shorter sentences, paragraphs and even words. You should only have one main idea per paragraph and your text really needs to be concise (unless you are getting paid to write extra but we will discuss this in the future). A simple rule of thumb is that the text on a web page needs to be around HALF in word count when compared to print writing. Always use simple words and do not exaggerate with your claims. Using words like "tremendous"or "great" is not really recommended, even if it does sound right to use them!

! Formatting Counts !

Talking about formatting, you should try to use bullet lists as often as possible (if it is justified). Highlight the important phrases or words by using BOLD text or COLOR text. Headlines and sub-headlines are also very important so make sure that you BOLD them and make them stand out as much as possible. Try to start your articles with an important piece of information or even the conclusion. For instance, if you are writing about a low carb diet, you should start by pointing out that it does not work and not state this at the end. Start with "Low Carb Diets Do Not Work" instead of more conventional writing beginnings like "People have been trying to lose weight through low carb diets".

! Web Readers do not Read !

It is a very well known fact that reading documents on a computer will tire your eyes. This is why people usually read 25% slower on web sites when compared to regular print. Content Writing for the Internet NEEDS to be around 50% shorter than regular print versions. Web users are inclined to first scan the text and not read word by word. This basically means that a lot of your article will not be read. Using highlighted text like BOLD or Hyperlinks will aid in making this scan process easier and will captivate the attention of the reader!

! It is all about Attention !

Studies have shown that an average user will have its attention drawn to the web page in the first 10 seconds. If you do not hook him then he will leave. If you succeed you then have around 55 seconds to properly explain what the article is about. If he does not understand he will leave. We are dealing with a lot of competition and content writing on the Internet needs to take this into account. Always put the most important information you have to offer at the start and always use text that is concise and clear. Do not overdue it with information as Readers Are Not Impressed and they will leave if there is too much info offered that is not linked to the point of the article. Let us take the Low Carb Diet example above. If the reader wants to know about the low carb diet then he/she will not be interested in the history of low carb diets. They will want to know if it works and if it does what to do and how they should start. You basically need to point out the strict information linked to low carb diets as fast as possible and avoid talking about other diets or any other subject. Stay right on the point! This will aid you a lot!

These are just the Basics of Web Content Writing! There are a lot of tips and tricks that you need to know but first you really need to master the basics. It is just like in boxing. You can not learn to lean properly or punch combinations until you learn how to throw a right hook properly or a direct jab. You can not write well for the Internet if you do not properly understand what is written above!

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