To learn how to write on a website, try doing some of it! Assuming you have basic writing skills, you will soon see that web writing is not that much more challenging than other forms of writing you’ve already done. Now, I like it better than writing books.
There are a few differences that grow out of online reading methods. You want a scannable page layout because a lot of the time, people are scanning or skimming, looking for something that will interest them. For the same reason, concise writing is helpful. And get your main point into the top of the page.
One key difference between writing for the web and writing for print is that you need a lot more white space on a blog post or other article. This helps makes the meaning stand out.
By the same token, images are increasingly important. I like to put a horizontal space between any image and the text running along its side. For example, here I have this large infographic called The Keys to Content Creation, so in WordPress’ advanced settings for this image (accessed while writing by clicking on the image), I go to advanced settings and put a number in the range of 6 to 8 in the little box for horizontal space. Normally I would have started a new paragraph here, to have more white space, but I’m going to risk losing you by running this paragraph on for quite a ways so you can look at the difference between this one long paragraph and the shorter ones. Gee, I feel like I am at a party and talking nonstop… and that reminds me of a couple of other points about writing online: write like you talk, or at least develop your own unique and informal style. Also, don’t be afraid to let your personality show. That is part of what will make your site memorable.
Okay, I don’t ALWAYS do this, but it’s a huge help when I do. Once your article seems to you to be about ready to go, take a few moments and read it out loud. Your ears will catch incomplete thoughts, grammatical errors, and other mistakes that slipped by your eyes.
If you are in a place where others are nearby, you can whisper to yourself, but I find it’s really best when I can speak softly.
Here’s a link to open the infographic: The Keys to Content Creation – I have set it to open in a new tab or window. I agree with most of it.
In Section 1, “What is Content?” there is a list of types of content. I’m focusing on writing here, because first and foremost I am a writer, but I’ve noticed graphics getting more and more important. Recently I redid an old website of mine that goes back to 2003, and I could see how I added graphics more as time went on. Video is very valuable too, but beyond the scope of this article. Hmm…. maybe I will do my own infographic on it sometime! But I have never done animations, never will. Just not my thing.
I have a couple of points to make about Section 3, “What You Need to Create Great Content.” I don’t agree with the idea that you shouldn’t get up for drinks and snacks. Many writers spend a lot of time glued to their computers, and they might well be better off if they got up and stretched more often. Our Rottweiler loves to go out into the yard, and she can be quite insistent about being let in or out though a door that is near my desk. So I use those as times to do a few stretches.
Also, no distractions are great if you can get it but if you can’t, you can learn to write through them.
I don’t have any more thoughts related to the rest of the image. Good information! And that is probably plenty on how to write a website.