Writing for the Web
Writing for the web is not the same as writing for print. Keep these points in mind when writing for the web:
- People scan web pages. Take advantage of ways to highlight important points by using bold, header tags, subheads, or by using bulleted or numbered lists. Web readers often skip long paragraphs of text.
- People do not read web material page by page. Readers jump around, following links. You can't control where they'll enter your site. This means each page of text has to stand alone.
- Say your main point first. You can always make a link to a lengthier, more in-depth treatment of your subject.
- Skip the promotional language. In general, keep your text objective, factual and concise.
- Embedding links in the middle of a sentence can cause your reader to jump ship prematurely. Consider saving links for the end, and using them for non-crucial but related material.
- Cut your text in half. The general rule of thumb for web writing is to cut your text by 50%.
- Spelling and grammar count on the web too! Nothing will discredit your web page faster than typos and grammatical errors. Just because the medium isn't static like a print publication doesn't mean it's okay to publish writing that no one has proof read.
- Keep it interesting! Okay, so we said keep it objective and factual, but that doesn't mean boring. By objective we mean "Uninfluenced by emotions or personal prejudices." By factual we mean "Of or containing facts." By boring we mean "Uninteresting and tiresome; dull."