Writing for the Web

Google is the new grammar teacher and writing for the web is different from traditional writing. The key to good web copy is the Three Second Rule – grab your reader’s attention in the first 3 seconds and you’re gold.

A relevant title is like a good movie trailer.
Tell your readers what your copy is all about in a way that is interesting and exciting. Build anticipation, then deliver.

No time for long rambling expositions on a topic.
Keep talking in short sentences with a friendly tone, and keep it simple.

You’re a unique little snowflake, just like everyone else.
Nine times out of ten, what you have to say has already been said on the web. By someone else. This is not a problem though, it just means you’ll have to make it very clear why your content is different from the rest.

It’s web copy, not a 19th century novel!
Internet readers don’t wade through long winding paragraphs, hoping that they’ll find what they’re looking for. Give them the answer to their question first, and then explain the ‘whats’, ‘whys’, ‘whos’ etc.

Why don’t they want to play with me?
On the playground that is the web, no one will like you if your copy is grammatically incorrect or has typos. Also, use appropriate fonts. (Forget that Comic Sans ever existed. It was a mistake, blame the nineties. )

Like your mother said, eat your food in little bites!
Smaller bites make it easier to chew. Similarly, copy is easier to understand when it is presented in small paragraphs, preferably with subheadings.

The truth and nothing but the truth.
Whatever the nature of your content, if you want readers to give any value to your content, then be genuine. Users don’t like it when you insult their intelligence with copy that is plagiarised, offensive or just plain incorrect.

Don’t forget to Leverage reader interest.
Once you’ve got their attention, tell them want them to do. Ensure that you write an appropriate ‘call to action’ in the conclusion of your article.

That’s it, now get out there and write some good copy!


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