#12 How to Write Successfully for the web

Episode: #12
Running time - 5:10 mins

Important content first

  • Inverted pyramid of content
  • The summary of the what the page is about at the top and not the bottom
  • Start with the conclusion!
  • Why? People are distracted, busy and lazy and are not a captivated audience reading word for word. They could leave at any point and you must get their attention
  • Comes from a situation in war when the line could get cut off at any point and the most important information had to go first. Just like readers that could get distracted at any point

Know your audience

  • You need to know who you are talking to
  • Doctors are going to talk to surgeons differently than they are going to talk to patients
  • You need to know what they are looking for and looking to learn from that page

Reduce and delete

  • It’s been said to half your writing and half it again
  • You want to make it a short and to the point as possible
  • People don’t have time to waste
  • Make every word earn its place

Short sentences / One topic per paragraph

  • Short sentences not long ones! If in any doubt for a comma, use a full stop. Move on!
  • One clear, concise topic per paragraph
  • Not many convoluted different tones and points
  • Are you just looking to sound clever?

Highlight

  • Remember most readers will be scanning looking for the most important points to take away and get away as soon as possible
  • Highlight keywords, you can use bold, links or imagery to do so
  • You also use typeface variation but beware of using more than 3 different font per page

Break it up

  • Use bullet points, paragraph breaks, images and quotes to break up long pages and paragraphs. Makes the writing much easier to scan
  • Headings should describe the content that follows and be as impactful as possible
  • Look easy to read - if on first glance a reader sees huge blocks of winding text they will be put off in the effort required to read it
  • Visually and literally lead them through the page

Further tips

  • Check your facts and figures
  • Make sure your destination is a good reading experience -black text on a white background is said to be easier to read
  • Get others to check your work and then more eyeballs
  • Writing a good headline - very important, will follow in further video

Questions to ask?

  • Is this useful?
  • What is this and why should i care?
  • 5 W’s and 1 H - Who, what, where, how, when and why? Always answer these questions in that order
  • Is this is as short and concise as possible?