Stylistically, copywriting for the web is different from writing for just about any other medium. While you can borrow techniques from other writing venues, it’s important to understand what makes web writing unique and to develop an online writing style that people want to read.
Article Writer: Style Tips for Online Writing
- Talk to people, not at them. Use first and second person, as if you were writing to a friend. Most people approach reading online like browsing through a magazine. They just skim along until something catches their interest. One way you can draw them in is to speak conversationally rather than academically.
- Keep wording informal. Avoid using industry jargon and technical language if you’re writing to a general audience. Writing over your readers’ heads won’t make you sound smart; it will just make you sound stuffy and boring.
- It’s okay to break the rules—sometimes. Depending on the type of article, breaking accepted rules can sometimes help you sound more conversational and human. It can also help you make a point more effectively. For instance, in a blog post, it’s okay to use sentence fragments. Just like people do when they speak. Or when they email. However, it’s never okay to use comma splices, bad grammar, misspellings, or slang. If you’re writing a more serious article or your client prefers a more academic style, avoid taking liberties with sentence fragments. When in doubt, follow the rules. Remember, you have to know the rules before you can break them appropriately.
- Make your writing readable. Readability isn’t just about the words you use. An experienced article writer makes it a point to break posts up into bite-sized chunks that can be skimmed and digested easily. Use bullet points, subheadings, and bolding to highlight main points and keep paragraphs short and concise.
- Don’t forget the search engine. Every article writer must understand what search engines look for in written content. Keywords, keyword placement, keyword density, and unique content all count toward SEO. If the search engine doesn’t think you’re relevant or can’t see you, neither will your target audience.
Article Writer: Develop Your Online Style
Great web content depends heavily on the ability of the writer to understand and implement the stylistic considerations that make online writing unique. As you begin to develop your own personal online style, make sure every article writer you work with understands what you’re looking for and can tailor his or her writing to your needs.