Adapting to Web Writing

Web Writing vs. Print Writing

Print writing is beginning to become a way of the past and it is important to realize this to use it in your writing. You may be used to writing for print, or writing essays for school, but web writing is a different story. There are different techniques used in web writing that differ from the traditional ways of print.

A picture of a laptop with a writing notebook next to it Courtesy of LinkedIn

Length is key.

People want to get the main point of an article as quick and efficiently as possible. A slate.com article states that 38% of people click on a webpage and immediately click off. People who read print may be willing to read more and get some background information, but that has changed with this generation and how they read stories. People tend to skim regardless of how long the article, so the longer it is, the less attention they will pay to it. Your writing should have different sections with a heading that gives readers an idea of what the chunk of text is about.

Tone needs to match that of the audience.

Web readers tend to pay more attention the specific style of the writer as it changes for every writer and audience. Print readers tend to expect a certain, formal tone while web readers expect a variety of different styles and tend to enjoy informal tone. Although you should factor in the audience that you are writing for, your writing should still have your own uniqueness to it.

Don’t forget about SEO.

Search Engine Optimization is something that isn’t available for writing for print. It is a key factor when writing for the web as it allows you to control where your article appears when people search for it. It is important to use this to your benefit but make sure it is after you have written your article. Optimizing the article and title for SEO would include putting some key words talked about in your article directly in the title. The article and writing itself is still more important!

Links are your best friend.

Links are very beneficial to getting our article out in the big world of the internet. Using links in your article will give readers more information if they want to know more while still keeping your article short and precise. This also opens the world of people linking your article in their own work, allowing more people to see and visit your page.

Titles really matter

As stated above, 38% of people will click off of a page before even really reading he main text. It is important that you have headings and a main title that draw people into your page and make them want to read more. This is also beneficial in relation to SEO because headings that will draw people in often contain keywords that can be used in SEO.

The world of web writing is still relatively new but it the way that people read now and it is important to know the in’s and out’s of the business. Most web writers are used to print but those techniques don’t necessarily work as effectively with web readers as the have different preferences. Identifying these differences is key to writing effectively for a web audience.

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