Trans4mind Home Page
~ Making the Human Heart Visible ~

Looking for a better life?

Our online, interactive video workshops present the most effective methods of holistic personal development, combined with personal support from expert life coaches.

Explore Article Library


Battling Internet ADD: Ten Tips for Writing for the Web

By David Beveridge

1. Write for a reason

Get to the point. One of the basic references for Web design is Steve Krug's, Don't Make Me Think. My book for Web writers (not yet available in stores) will be called, Don't Make Me Yawn. The Great Democracy that is the Web has spawned far more spam and yammer than thoughtful prose. Don't fall in love with your own voice. Make sure every word supports the message.

2. Write for "scanners

The five-second rule applies, only make it shorter.

Visitors look at a Web page, then they read it. Think of your page as the cover of a magazine. A visitor will first absorb the total picture, then kick into reading mode and skip tra-la from headline to headline until they find, a) what they're looking for, or, b) something better. Don't lose the scanners with deathless prose.

3. Get engaged

Lively writing will draw visitors to your message.

I know you're trying to be precise. I know you're trying to be complete. I know you need to get the whole message across. I know. Believe me. I'm reading it and trying to...zzzz.

4. Compartmentalize

Give long content a good home.

Okay, sometimes content gets long. Sometimes it is supposed to be long. Sometimes it even has to be long. Understood. When that is the case, tease it up front, and put the long content where the long content goes. People who want to read it will follow the trail, and the rest of us will be spared.

5. Above the fold

Sorry, guys, page length matters.

Newspaper page, Web site, or on the street, real estate is real estate. And in real estate, location rules. If I have to scroll down the page to find your content, I know it's not the good stuff, because you told me so. Most of the time, I won't even bother. So keep your key messages Top, Center.

6. Grammar kind of counts

Complete thoughts...less important...key words...phrases. Just kidding, ha ha. The point is, this may not be advertising writing, it may not be headline writing, and it had better not be bad writing. But in most cases it also is not pure narrative. Sentences, loaded with subordinate clauses, clogged with interesting but unnecessary detail, need not begin slowly, gain traction, and rise to a crescendo before a graceful, gradual, inevitable descent to a complete, satisfying end.

Just say it, and get out.

7. Hyper about links

Use them as aids to navigation, but do not overuse.

Hyperlinks are the fundaments of the Web, after all. They are the codex, why it's a web, so that you can follow links from place to place to place to place, all interwoven. Okay. Just don't overdo it. Too many links are like too much caffeine. You get the jitters, it's hard to keep your mind on point, and all that bouncing makes your stomach a little woozy. Use links to enhance, not scatter, the experience.

8. Smooth or Extra Chunky

Just enough information makes visitors feel refreshed!

Chunk your content into easily digestible portions. My brother-in-law-the-restaurateur talks about "plate coverage," making sure the beans and the catfish and the French fries coexist in harmony and balance. Portion control for your visitors comes from teasers and intro paragraphs and "Learn more" and "Read article". Chunking your content gives visitors a taste, rather than a force-feeding.

9. Think with your eyes

Use visual cues and graphical elements to strengthen content. Graphics happen. White space happens. It's okay. Work with your designers to bring (even more) life to your words. And as important, make sure that your words fit with the other elements of the page. You're not writing your novel here. A Web page is a collaborative effort.

10. Tighten it up

When I was in grade school, my newspaper editor father reviewed my papers for me. He never understood why I cried when my three-page report on Chile became a two-paragraph brief under the machete slash of his red pencil. But he was right. I didn't need that word. I didn't need that paragraph. I had said the same thing on the previous page. I did need to revise and rewrite and cut and cut some more. I did, and I still do, and so do you. Writer, edit thyself.

About The Author

David Beveridge is the Managing Director of Brook Group (http://www.brookgroup.com), a Web development firm near Washington, DC. More articles by this author can be found at http://www.brookgroup.com/resources and http://www.usabilityandbranding.com.

kari@brookgroup.com


AND EXPLORE...

Addictions
Astrology
Careers & Employment
Communication
Creativity
Dating
Depression
Diabetes
Diets
Divorce
Education
Environment
Ethics
Exercise
Family
Goal-Setting
Grief & Loss
Happiness
Health
Kids & Teens
Leadership
Love
Marriage
Meditation
Nutrition
Organizing
Parenting
Psychology
Public Speaking
Relationships
Schools
Self Help
Self Improvement & Motivation
Sexual Relations
Spirituality
Stress Management
Travel and Leisure
Women
Writing


From our extensive site, you'll find good info on many topics using this search:

Support your personal development with these popular and effective hypnosis downloads...

  • Public Speaking Fear ~ Banish speaking anxiety and nerves with hypnosis.
  • Motivate Yourself to Exercise ~ Build a powerful exercise habit that you can't break.
  • Get Rid of Fear & Anxiety ~ Stop worry and apprehension wrecking your life.
  • Self Esteem ~ Break the negative trance of low self esteem and give yourself a chance in life.
  • Create Your Own Reality ~ Use the power of your unconscious mind to transform your life.
  • Deeper Self Respect ~ Use hypnosis to connect with your true inner worth.
  • Detach From Fear ~ Tune out nervousness and anxiety with hypnosis.
  • Improving Concentration and Focus ~ Learn how to discipline, direct and command your mind to improve your performance.
  • Exercise Motivation ~ Give you powerful keys to getting back on track with your exercise - and staying there.
  • Overcoming Shyness ~ Provides an invisible security blanket allowing you to develop social ease and overcome shyness.
  • Quick Confidence Booster ~ An audio hypnosis session that's specifically designed to get you (quickly!) back on track.
  • Stop Negative Thoughts ~ Learn powerful hypnotic techniques to stop negative thoughts before they start.
  • Overcoming Procrastination ~ Let hypnosis help you get on with what you need to do, when you need to do it. Let nothing hold you back.
  • Think Thin ~ Use hypnosis to re-train your brain and lose weight naturally... that's how to get and stay slim.
  • Fall Asleep Fast ~ Relearn how to fall asleep fast and enjoy a good night's sleep.
  • The Next Level ~ Designed to radically boost your performance in any field. It's based on a technique used by top athletes and other successful people to help them make a big stride forward.
This is our selection of favorites, but there's a session for every need! Choose from over 800 Hypnosis Downloads...
Search now on an issue that interests or concerns you...
 
Get a free Hypnosis Download at Facebook
Copyright © 1997-2016 Trans4mind Ltd