From CEOs of Fortune 500 companies to the Average Joe from the Starbucks down the street, more and more people nowadays are finding their voices online through the use of blogs. This post is dedicated specifically to the authors of the world, but also provides useful information for everyone else writing for the web. Without any more introductions, here we go.
Balance the lengths of your articles. Not every post to your website/blog needs to be a chapter of a book. There are certain lengths of articles that are more acceptable for about 75% of the articles you’ll produce; most of these are less than a standard typed page. You will have some longer articles, but for the most part, know that even the most dedicated of audiences aren’t willing to read pages and pages of the same article on the web. For me, if the website doesn’t offer a “view entire article” option and has more than say 3 pages, I will skip the article altogether. When writing for the web, keep in mind the attention span of your audience. Shorter, concise, and straight to the point articles keep audiences happier and make you look like a better author.
Write it like you mean it. Everything that you post to your site should have intention to it. Whether it’s intended to promote an upcoming event where you’ll be at, a press release detailing a new product or simply a light-hearted post about something intriguing that happened this week to you, have a purpose for everything that you post online. If you want people to take you seriously as an author, show that you know what you’re doing. I’m not saying that you can’t write rants or show your personality online, you need to do that to set yourself apart from the rest, but what I am saying is have a purpose behind everything that you publish online.
The last thing to keep in mind when writing for the web is making sure to write it well. Whether or not you have journalism training, keep in mind that a poorly written article can kill your credibility even amidst a sea of well written articles. The simple techniques and practices to writing that you learned back in school still apply today and should be used effectively in your writing. It doesn’t matter if you’re Stephen King with thousands of followers hanging on your every word, to a random journalist with a free blog and a handful of friends who sometimes follow your posts. Well written articles sell your credibility.
In conclusion, keep it short, make it meaningful and write well. Writing for the web is different than writing in print. Sure, there are overlapping features in both settings, but in general they are different and need to be treated that way.