Writing for the Web
Web writing is an art of understanding a new age reader’s mindset about any given topic and putting it down in words. It completely differs from print writing as you can download loads of information from your research onto the internet in comparison to a couple of pages on print. The most critical aspect of web writing is the introduction of an article as the reader has plenty of choice and limited time. If the article does not intrigue the user in the first minute then in most cases they would look for more informative or relevant content. Also, the user will tend to skip words and move quickly over a lengthy article. This would require the author to make sure that every sentence is relevant, informative and understandable. It’s also very important to use simple language, however, employing relevant terminology would make the user confident of reading good material.
Getting the reader’s attention
It is also important to understand and study the topic. Let’s take the example of writing the benefits of a cell phone, a reader would generally skip the introductory paragraph and directly look into the technical details. Here the introduction can be made short and crisp, highlighting the best features of the phone. We can begin by saying "what stands out in this phone...”. This would surely catch the reader’s eye. The first three words of a sentence can provoke the reader to read on.
Writing for the web is no longer the same
On the web, users usually look for actionable content more than narrative content. Although today narrative content seems to be on the rise with first person travelogues becoming ever so popular. An internet user today prefers to read first person reviews than just a general review of a travel destination, resort or restaurant. Earlier if the user was looking for a holiday he would be interested in the exact facilities available rather than the description of an experience. The sentences would have to be short giving all the necessary bits of information. It would require condensing multiple experiences to provide information that specifically meets the user’s needs.
With blogs and social networking becoming commonplace, readers are ready to spend time reading and sharing on the internet. Writing for the web has evolved from just pieces of information to a more personalized experience. The fact still remains that users detest any hyped marketing content or clichéd information and prefer to scan through such content.
Web content is a knowledge center for most users and should be like the answers our economics teacher would expect in college more than the answers most of us used to write.
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