Your step-by-step guide to
writing for the web
Do you need to write for the web
? Are you writing for your company’s website or online portal?
When you write for the web, there are certain rules you need to follow so that your writing is clear, concise and compliant
People read websites in a very different way to print publications, so
you need to understand their behaviour and write in a way that’s going
to capture their attention
and get your message across.
If you’re not already familiar with web writing conventions and
guidelines, this is a great place to start. In your Blueprint in a Box,
- the difference between print and online writing
- good content versus poor content
- how your readers engage with web content
- golden rules of information design
- writing for scannability
- guidelines for concise writing
- do you need contextual links?
- using keywords for search engine optimisation
- writing for accessibility and usability
- why you need a style guide
- and much more
It's ideal for:
- anyone who writes web copy
- public relations or marketing professionals who write for online media
- business owners who want to promote their message online
- employees who contribute to company intranets
- experienced print writers who want to hone their online writing skills
- IT professionals/consultants who have been given the responsibility of writing web pages.
What's in your FAST TRACK Blueprint in a Box?
Your FAST TRACK VERSION Writing for the Web Blueprint in a Box
distills the essential skills you need to learn effective online writing and is based on our popular face-to-face seminar Writing for the Web.
This FAST TRACK VERSION is a condensed - yet still very comprehensive - version of the exact content you would learn in our popular seminar Writing for the Web, held at the Sydney Writers' Centre.
The beauty is that you can study at your own pace. So you can FAST TRACK your learning - or take your time.
- 5 audio modules
- 9 instructional videos
- 100+ page workbook/transcript
You may already be a confident writer, but this Blueprint will take the guesswork out of your online writing by giving you a clear framework to follow. This is all you need to know to ensure you write content that is scannable and succinct. You’ll learn the golden rules for writing for the web and equip yourself with the skills to write effectively for the web.
Here’s what you’ll learn:
1. Introduction – Objectives, learning and outcomes
- Knowing your audience – arguably more crucial online than in any other medium
- How do people engage with web content? How user behaviour drives author response
- Identifying the content’s business objectives allows authors to define the content’s purpose. Ask yourself: “What must this content help users do and/or know?”
- Assessing the value of good content vs the costs of poor content
- “But the marketing manager says it has to be written this way.” Not if they don’t know what you’ll soon know!
- Should you nominate performance goals for your content (yes, with the web, your content can be measured)
- How to discern the difference between killer and filler content – the value of objective text
- Becoming a champion for web writing.
2. Techniques and devices
The golden rules
of online information design:
- Why you should make scannability and web-specific formatting your new best friend
- What structure should you use? Like a news writing, the inverted pyramid model has merit
- The importance of well thought-out <h1> headings and subheadings </h1>
- Learn why less is more - the art of concise writing
- What are contextual links? And why Click here is forever banned
- How to determine the vocabulary of your audience - plain language can enhance the effectiveness of any communication for the simple fact it's easier to read
- Active vs passive voice – when to use and why
- What is the personal pronouns rule? This contributes to a more informal tone, which is easier to read and generally more engaging for an online audience
- Do you need to use metadata (or information such as keywords and a description about your content) – tools and skills to help optimise your site for external and internal search engines
There are always rules and regulations authors must attempt to adhere to. Apart from English basics, your web content often needs to encompass:
A house style
- Its own writing conventions
- Company guidelines
- Legislative requirements
- Governing standards
– what is it, why it’s important and how to abide by it?
Search engine optimisation (SEO)
– whether your content is destined for a worldwide or internal (intranet) audience, making it ‘findable’ contributes to an enhanced user experience. Optimised content might also help make that sale or alleviate a disgruntled call to a Help desk. Either way, it’s a time saving or money generating element. So know about SEO, use it and watch your audience beat the quickest path to your page/s.
WC3 (World Wide Web Consortium) and accessibility
– should you care? Oh yeah! Web accessibility is about helping people with a range of disabilities (visual, auditory, physical, speech, cognitive and neurological) to understand, perceive, navigate and interact with a web site.
Companies and sites that fail to incorporate accessibility guidelines can be in breach of Federal Disability Discrimination Act 1992
Gone are the days of writing and forgetting about what you’ve written; online content has a use-by date. Take advantage of several practices and tools
to firstly evaluate the web-effectiveness of your content, and then monitor traffic to your content to assess the success or otherwise of its purpose.
You’ll learn to make the most of:
- Self and peer review practices
- Review tools like Gunning Fog, Flesch-Kincaid and MS Word Readability
– utilise and leverage the vast data goldmine of analytics to better monitor and maintain your content.
An experienced copywriter, content manager and web editor. Grant's background is as a print journalist and author. He has spent the last 11 years in web writing and has been contracting or consulting to major corporations in various online content capacities since then. Grant continues to initiate and teach many in-house web writing programs in addition to developing corporate web writing style guides. ...more
What past students say
"I have gained more confidence to go forward and write content for the web without the doubt as to whether I am writing correctly."
"I'm excited! I've got the inside scoop on the all the crazy stuff that makes writing for the web so different to the printed word. Work just got easier. And way more fun - in a word nerdy kind of way."