Tips for Writing for the Web

Writing for the web can be different than writing for print. Part of the issue is how people read online. They surf, skim and click. While the web has room for all styles of writing, these tips might help you

1. Write shorter. If you are going to write long, you must give people a reason to read.

2. Be specific and concrete.

3. Use active voice and strong verbs.

4. Omit needless words and phrases. Start reading the blog Unnecessary Journalism Phrases.

5. Attribute your sources with hyperlinks. Give credit to ideas, text, photos, etc.

6. Use sub-headings, lists, key words and boldface type.

7. Be specific with headlines. Be clear. Use key words. Avoid puns.

8. Learn to be your own editor. Write. Save. Wait 15 minutes. Come back. Read it again. Then publish. Then read it again.

9. Mistakes, errors, typos and misspellings undermine your credibility. Run spell and grammar check.

10. Link. “Do what you do best and link to the rest.” – Jeff Jarvis.

How People Read the Web
How To Write for the Web (Online Journalism Review)
Tips for Writing for Online Media (Mindy McAdams)

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