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Writing for the Web
 

Writing for the Web

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Workshop presentation for aspiring web writers. Focuses on assessing audience needs and expectations, developing a writing style and process, generating ideas for content and dos and don'ts of web ...

Workshop presentation for aspiring web writers. Focuses on assessing audience needs and expectations, developing a writing style and process, generating ideas for content and dos and don'ts of web writing.

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  • Process: Getting creativity out isn’t easy. It takes time and practice to develop a process. Use young designer analogy.
  • Dominant, Influencer, Steady Relator, Cautious Thinker
  • Fishing analogy: When you’re going fishing do you gently set the hook and hope it takes or give it a good secure tug?
  • Don’t underestimate the importance of your title.
  • Don’t underestimate the importance of your title.
  • Don’t underestimate the importance of your title.
  • Don’t underestimate the importance of your title.
  • Don’t underestimate the importance of your title.
  • Don’t underestimate the importance of your title.
  • Don’t underestimate the importance of your title.
  • Don’t underestimate the importance of your title.
  • Fishing analogy: When you’re going fishing do you gently set the hook and hope it takes or give it a good secure tug?
  • Fishing analogy: When you’re going fishing do you gently set the hook and hope it takes or give it a good secure tug?
  • Fishing analogy: When you’re going fishing do you gently set the hook and hope it takes or give it a good secure tug?
  • Fishing analogy: When you’re going fishing do you gently set the hook and hope it takes or give it a good secure tug?
  • Fishing analogy: When you’re going fishing do you gently set the hook and hope it takes or give it a good secure tug?
  • Fishing analogy: When you’re going fishing do you gently set the hook and hope it takes or give it a good secure tug?

Writing for the Web Writing for the Web Presentation Transcript

  • Writing for the Web.
  • Writing for the Web. KNOW YOUR PURPOSE SPEAK TO YOUR AUDIENCE POLISH YOUR STYLE PERFECTING YOUR PROCESS
  • Know your purpose.All marketing content is essentially composed toachieve the same goal: To get people to read it.
  • Know your purpose. Why do we want them to read?  To educate  To build rapport To SELL! To build credibility ( Generate Revenue)   To develop a relationship
  • Know your purpose. Before you start: Get your head on straight. Don’t assume viewers  Make an adequate will read what you’ve timeline to achieve written simply because your process you wrote it  Know your support Writing is selling, it is group not meant to meet your  Hold true to your emotional needs process Forgive yourself
  • Know your purpose. Before you start: Set goals. What do you want your viewers to do or learn? Knowledge Action Your agenda Their agenda To foster an interest in the Click on the link to visit theEXAMPLE home buying process. website for more information. HOW? Share the number of houses A big link button leading to a currently on the market and page on the website with more buying incentives. stats and a call to action to contact an agent.
  • What’s your goal?
  • Know your purpose. Before you start: Set deadlines. When do you need to:  send your email  publish your post  finalize your content Create a timeline working from end to beginning
  • What will your timeline look like?Allow for wiggle room.Two days for revisions.How MayeCreate works as a group.
  • Know your purpose. Before you start: Brainstorm keywords. What are keywords and why are they important?  Search terms or phrases  Resonate terms or phrases that evoke emotion and/or action What are key words or phrases you need to include for SEO or to relate to your audience? Make a list to use during editing.
  • What keywords do people use to searchfor your business online?What keywords resonate with youraudience?
  • Speak to your audience.When trying to reach to everyone you end uptouching to no one at all.
  • Speak to your audience.Who are you Incomespeaking to? Relationship GenderWill these factorsimpact effective Education Location Interestsdelivery of your Levelmessage? Communication Age Style Life Style
  • Who are you talking to?
  • Where are they?How to build a bridge.
  • Sometimes in the process this is a goodstopping point. Let your thoughtssimmer and come back in a day or two tostart writing.Now…What to write?
  • Speak to your audience. Goal: Get people to read it…but what to write? You don’t just have to write about what you do. You do have to write about topics that interest your audience. Subscribe to RSS feed of other  Check out your competition popular blogs in your industry. and those you admire. Keep a list of FAQ from clients  Summaries explaining current & prospects. events or technological Share photos, video, events and advances in your industry. event summaries.  Featured clients Testimonials  Industry specific controversy
  • Speak to your audience.When writing about a specific product or service placeyourself in the shoes of your audience:? What information would they expect to find?  Read competitor sites to see how much information they provide.  Will you share pricing? (Does your competition?)  What questions are you commonly asked in a first meetings or phone conversations? Should those be addressed or left open to encourage viewers to contact?? What will tip the scales in your favor?  Example: Brag about your competitive advantages using video, testimonials, pricing and most importantly your personality!
  • Speak to your audience.When writing for social media:? Are you promoting or conversing?  Social media is about building a relationship, selling constantly and never bonding does not build relationships? Are you contributing too little or over contributing?  Everyone likes a chuckle or a helpful hit but steer clear of continually talking about mundane tasks? Are you keeping true to company culture?  If you’re formal everywhere else keep your conversation formal yet inviting in social media, don’t change your persona. ! Stay positive, no one likes a whiner.
  • What is your communication style?
  • Speak to your audience. Communication Style: DISCD I S C Strong-Willed  Sociable  Steady  Precise Competitive  Talkative  Laid Back  Exact Demanding  Open  Modest  Analytical Independent  Enthusiastic  Trustworthy  Systematic Direct  Energetic  Family Oriented  Follows Rules Self-Centered  Persuasive  Sincere  Quiet Decisive  Spontaneous  Patient  Careful Tough  Emotional  Careful  Formal Impatient  Impulsive  Calm  Disciplined
  • What communication style are your readers?It’s okay if they’re not the same.Get mentally prepared…
  • Speak to your audience. Communication Style: DISCD I S C Brief and to  Positive and  Take your  Go into the point conversational time details Results  Quirky and  Do what you  Keep it oriented friendly say you’ll do formal Focus on the  Ask for  Remember  Explain why future feedback the little  Reflect on Get to  Get personal things the past business  Be excited!  Human (working interest results) Doesn’t matter what style you are, everyone loves to see their own name!
  • Polish your style.Tonality: What personality do you want to portray?  Conservative  Distinct  Clinical  Brave  Traditional  Courageous  Professional  Heavy  Resonate  Steady  Powerful
  • Polish your style.Tonality: What personality do you want to portray?  Agreeable  Innocent  Fair  Warm  Friendly  Calm  Pleasant  Easy going  Helpful  Gentle  Tender  Laid back  Kind  Neutral  Quaint
  • Polish your style.Tonality: What personality do you want to portray?  Lively  Comfortable  Light  Open  Charming  Encouraging  Curious  Energetic  Thoughtful  Enthusiastic  Cheerful  Witty
  • Polish your style.Tonality: What personality do you want to portray?  Trendy  Unusual  Youthful  Wild  Clever  Funny  Alive  Different  Outrageous  Noisy  Bold
  • Polish your style. Tonality: What personality do you want to portray?When we do website design When we do website designfor others we make sure for others we keep them onthey don’t stray too far from track ensuring they reachthe yellow brick road. Now -VS- their goals. Now we needwe need your help to keep your help to make sure weus from being attacked by don’t stray from ourthose darn flying monkeys. original objectives.
  • What tonality will you use?
  • Polish your style.Format for success: Textbook meets inverted pyramid. website navigation A textbook organizes information with a table of contents, easily identifiable chapters, sub-titles and page titles captions on images.
  • Polish your style.Format for success: Textbook meets inverted pyramid. Vocal story telling  Inverted pyramid  Build interest  Bang!  This is so funny  If you don’t get past this  That reminds me of this statement it’s OK, the one time when… reader still got the  You won’t believe this information they needed.  Supporting details  Supporting details  Bang!  Less important information You only have 3-5 seconds to hook your reader.
  • Polish your style.Format for success: Textbook meets inverted pyramid. Create visual hierarchy with text sizing and colors Bold key information Break apart information into bulleted lists Place captions with graphics to emphasize key elements Use meaningful original graphics instead of clip art or stock photos whenever possible
  • Polish your style. How long is too long?Blog Posts Keep entries around 250-300 words, less than 500  300 words not enough? Breakdown your article into logical parts and make a series of entries. Keep paragraphs short, 3-5 sentences Break up every few paragraphs with a sub heading to help viewers skim for content Remove all content that is not needed
  • Polish your style. How long is too long?Twitter Email Newsletter  Max is 140 characters  Take the very best content  This includes links names  Put that in your newsletter and all! So shoot for 124.  Link to everything else on your websiteFacebook  Try for 500 characters or  Ideal length is 100 to 119 less characters  Max 63,206
  • Polish your style. E-Newsletter StylesMagazine-style Hybrid Single-TopicShort copy Medium-length copy Long copyYour newsletter is Both inform readers Include all theprimarily used as a and promote a information readersportal to content on product or service — want into the emailyour website. one large excerpt itself. No links with link to site for necessary unless more. needed.
  • Polish your style.How often is too often?  Facebook  1 time every two days  Twitter  As many times as you want  Blog  At least 1 time every two weeks  Email Marketing  1 per month is effective, effectiveness drops until 5 then holds steady
  • Polish your style. Tasty title writing tips. Short and sweet is best, keep it 50 characters or less Pack a punch, make it interesting, the subject is the first thing viewers see and maybe the only thing if it’s not intriguing Capitalize Letters of Each Word for Easy Recognition. Consider starting emails with the business name so they know who the email is coming from AVOID: help, percent off and reminder, special, ALL CAPS, !!!!!!!, free Create urgency and the must read feeling
  • Polish your style. Tasty title writing tips. Examples from Bnet.com  Shut Up! Why Your Company Needs Quiet Time.  What Cleaning Toilets Taught One Exec.  Is Someone Stealing Your Ideas? Let Them.  Why you should go home early.  Stop the Whining: How to End Corrosive Complaining.
  • Polish your style. Test your call to action. Close your eyes and open them, what do you see first? Put yourself in the shoes of a viewer, be objective. Do you know where to click instinctively? Did you ask your viewers to take action? Is it front and center? Look for consistent punctuation and capitalization of bulleted lists and subtitles Don’t forget your contact information!
  • Polish your style.
  • Polish your style.
  • Polish your style.
  • Polish your style. The final edit. Plug in additional key words (web content only) SPELL CHECK!!! Read it out loud Skim it backwards Send to the proofing authorities in your process
  • Polish your style. The final edit: Grammar check. Grammar  Consider composing in Word to easily recognize spelling and grammar errors. Note: Writing in Word doesn’t negate reading proofing your grammar and spelling upon completion!  Look for consistent punctuation and capitalization of bulleted lists and subtitles  Check for correct comma, semicolon and colon usage
  • Perfecting Your Process.Put your new found knowledge to work!
  • GOAL: Knowledge Action Your agenda Their agenda To let readers know about the Tell them how to donate Joplin situation. supplies. HOW? Tell our story about Home Highlight needs list and how Depot and share a picture. to contact for pick up.TIMELINE: Sooner the better, supplies are needed. No approval needed fromsuperiors, I’m the boss of my own blog!AUDIENCE: Followers of the task force blog. Friends, family, fellow search andrescue professionals. Varied communication styles and backgrounds.KEYWORDS: Joplin, MO, Needs List, Search and Rescue, Task Force
  • OUTLINE: • Explain the mission • Share the GPS story • Street sign not right • What Home Depot? • Share Nancy’s contact info • Needs list
  • Our experience in Joplin.Our taskforce was deployed to Joplin, MO to search for missing persons. Wewere assigned to search the Home Depot area. We piled in the car and drovetoward the corner of Main and 20th Street. We drove in circles around the fallen19th Street sign a few times in search of 20th Street, looking for Home Depot butdidn’t see the store anywhere in sight. Finally we consulted our GPS navigationsystem and searched for the Home Depot. Turns out we were on the corner ofMain and 20th Street all along! The street sign from 19th Street had been torn outof the ground by the tornado and thrown a full city block to the corner of Mainand 20th were it lay impaled in the ground. All that was left of Home Depot was abunch of shelves sticking out of a bunch of concrete that looked like a parking lot.The people of Joplin would greatly appreciate all supplies and donations you canprovide. Much needed items are water, bandages, blankets and canned food.Please contact Nancy with the Red Cross at nancy@theredcross.org to coordinatesupply pick up.Get it all out.
  • First impression? Be a critic!What information is the most important?What makes you think, “Wow I’m glad I read that?”
  • Our experience in Joplin.Our taskforce was deployed to Joplin, MO to search for missing persons. Wewere assigned to search the Home Depot area. We piled in the car and drovetoward the corner of Main and 20th Street. We drove in circles around the fallen19th Street sign a few times in search of 20th Street, looking for Home Depot butdidn’t see the store anywhere in sight. Finally we consulted our GPS navigationsystem and searched for the Home Depot. Turns out we were on the corner ofMain and 20th Street all along! The street sign from 19th Street had been torn outof the ground by the tornado and thrown a full city block to the corner of Mainand 20th were it lay impaled in the ground. All that was left of Home Depot was abunch of shelves sticking out of a bunch of concrete that looked like a parking lot.The people of Joplin would greatly appreciate all supplies and donations you canprovide. Much needed items are water, bandages, blankets and canned food.Please contact Nancy with the Red Cross at nancy@theredcross.org to coordinatesupply pick up.Get it all out.
  • Our experience in Joplin.Our taskforce was deployed to Joplin, MO to search for missing persons. Wewere assigned to search the Home Depot area. We piled in the car and drovetoward the corner of Main and 20th Street. We drove in circles around the fallen19th Street sign a few times in search of 20th Street, looking for Home Depot butdidn’t see the store anywhere in sight. Finally we consulted our GPS navigationsystem and searched for the Home Depot. Turns out we were on the corner ofMain and 20th Street all along! The street sign from 19th Street had been torn outof the ground by the tornado and thrown a full city block to the corner of Mainand 20th were it lay impaled in the ground. All that was left of Home Depot was abunch of shelves sticking out of a bunch of concrete that looked like a parking lot.The people of Joplin would greatly appreciate all supplies and donations you canprovide. Much needed items are water, bandages, blankets and canned food.Please contact Nancy with the Red Cross at nancy@theredcross.org to coordinatesupply pick up.What else can be done to improve this piece?Revise for style.
  • Our experience in Joplin.Our mission was to locate missing persons but first had to locate the missingHome Depot store formerly located on the corner of Main and 20th Street. Thelandscape in Joplin was so unrecognizable we needed a GPS to find our task forcelocation, the Home DepotMy task force circled the impaled 19th Street sign near Main Street for 15 minbefore we thought to use our GPS. We then discovered we’d already reached ourdestination; the street sign had flown a full city block to reach its new location.What was once Home Depot is now shelving standing in a parking lot.Help this city in need.Email Nancy with the Red Cross at nancy@theredcorss.org to coordinate supplypickups. Items needed include:  Bottled water  Bandages  Blankets  Canned FoodRevise for style.
  • Joplin: Shelving , Street Signs & Needed Supplies.Our mission was to locate missing persons but first had to locate the missingHome Depot store formerly located on the corner of Main and 20th Street. Thelandscape in Joplin was so unrecognizable we needed a GPS to find our task forcelocation, the Home Depot.My task force circled the impaled 19th Street sign near Main Street for 15 minbefore we thought to use our GPS. We then discovered we’d already reached ourdestination; the street sign had flown a full city block to reach its new location.What was once Home Depot is now shelving standing in a parking lot.Help this city in need.Email Nancy with the Red Cross at nancy@theredcorss.org to coordinate supplypickups. Items needed include: I find I tend to write the most  Bottled water important information last in my paragraphs. I often move the  Bandages last sentence to the beginning.  Blankets  Canned FoodRevise for style. Write title. Test call to action.
  • Joplin: Shelving , StreetSigns & Needed Supplies.The landscape in Joplin was sounrecognizable we needed a GPS to find ourtask force location, the Home Depot. Ourmission was to locate missing persons butfirst had to locate the missing Home Depotstore formerly located on the corner of Main Joplin, MO Home Depot wreckage.and 20th Street. Help this city in need. Email Nancy with the RedWhat was once Home Depot is now Cross atshelving standing in a parking lot. nancy@theredcorss.org toMy task force circled the impaled 19th Street coordinate supply pickups.sign near Main Street for 15 min before we Items needed include:thought to use our GPS. We then discoveredwe’d already reached our destination; the • Bottled waterstreet sign had flown a full city block to • Bandagesreach its new location. • Blankets • Canned Food
  • Writing for the Web. KNOW YOUR PURPOSE SPEAK TO YOUR AUDIENCE POLISH YOUR STYLE PERFECTING YOUR PROCESS