IS THERE A DIFFERENCE WHEN WRITING FOR THE INTERNET?
As a writer for a multitude of projects from web site content to detailed business plans
all the way to press releases and promotional material, I've noticed one major
difference in writing for the Internet versus writing for other channels of communication.
Primarily writing good copy is essentially the same no matter where it's presented but
writing for the Internet requires one important distinction. That distinction is less
verbiage with more impact!
While you have free rein to put as much information on your web site or within your
article when presenting it on the Internet, material on the web must grab the reader's
attention very quickly. Becoming verbose and redundant may be satisfying to your ego
but it won't attract the attention of your reader.
Those who are searching for meaningful information on the net are either visiting web
sites or reading online publications because they want bottom-line information rapidly.
One of the perks of using the Internet is the ability to sift through as many web sites
as required from the privacy of your home until you find what draws your attention.
Material for most readers if too wordy or intellectual is a deterrent. Personally, if I'm
seeking information from the web, I want it to be informative and interesting without
being long-winded. Having a creative eye, of course I require the site to be somewhat
appealing in layout and design but I want the information to meet my needs. More
than likely most readers don't want to pore over a lot of jargon before reaching the
main point. If an individual wants to read a novel they'll buy a book or borrow it from the
library but when reading it on the net, the data should be a source of information.
WHAT ARE YOU TRYING TO SELL?
One of the key points to remember when writing for the Internet is that overall you are
selling knowledge and therefore should consider that your article or web site are
merely tools to provide appropriate information. If you write regularly or have an
on-going group of individuals visiting your site, you may find after a while that you've
developed a following. By that I mean that a number of individuals have become
familiar with your writing style and relate to your views and opinions. They may now
become interested in what you have to say not just in what you are selling. It's at that
point that your audience is interested in you personally but that may take some time
to achieve. First prove your consistency, professionalism and appeal and before long
people will begin wondering what you have to say.
TOO MUCH INFORMATION
Bear in mind that you may have the most beautiful site ever created but without
excellent content your site will have no meaning. People pay a fortune to have sites
created boasting loud music, flashy flash presentations and all the other hype so
common on web sites these days. In truth all that extra stuff can be of very little
significance without meaningful content. Most people are seeking information, not
flamboyant pictures. I do believe the layout, style and design of a web site is critical to
its success but all the overdone, heavy-duty sites have become boring.
We grow impatient if the site loads slowly and even more impatient if each subsequent
page takes forever to appear. No matter how beautiful your site, if it takes forever to
load, you'll lose your viewers before they've had a chance to read the first word on your
site. Additionally, if there are too many visuals and auditory sounds on your site it can
be disturbing to the majority who come to visit. Keep it simple.
If your goal is to have people come back to your site or to continuously read your
articles, take the time to provide practical, interesting content minus the hype. The
best suggestion is to write honestly, plainly and concisely.
About the Author
Charlene Rashkow is a Writing Stylist who has successfully written outstanding
business material for companies and individuals for more than 15 years. You may visit Charlene Rashkow at www.allyourwritingneeds.com or
write her at Crwriting@aol.com. You can also call her directly at (310) 514-4844