Writing for the Web

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  • From a presentation by Aaron Schmidt of the blog Walking Paper
  • From Jakob Neilsen On the average Web page, users have time to read at most 28% of the words during an average visit; 20% is more likely. http://www.useit.com/alertbox/percent-text-read.html
  • “ Get rid of half the words on each page, then get rid of half of what's left."
  • Look at the back of the book
  • They flash because of their ability to create curiosity. And not just a little bit of curiosity, but a massive amount of curiosity. Sean D'Souza (marketer) writing for CopyBlogger.com (http://www.copyblogger.com/irresistible-bullet-points/)
  • Take your product/service. Split it into five or seven parts and pull out the most important highlights or benefits. (http://www.copyblogger.com/irresistible-bullet-points/)
  • Less scrolling
  • Can also be applied to URLs
  • No all-caps
  • No exclamation points
  • No “click here”
  • Spell out library acronyms.  Customers do not know what OPLIN is; only librarians do.
  • Write clearly! Extra words and jargon can really hurt your organizational image. Siegel+Gale recently completed a year long study of 1,214 American homeowners and investors that shows huge demand for simple, plainEnglish communications .  A few interesting quotes: Fully 84% of all consumers say they are more likely to trust a company that uses jargon-free, plain English in communications. http://www.commoncraft.com/study-americans-overwhelmingly-demand-simple-communications
  • Keep it conversational
  • Write in the active voice
  • What’s in it for them? What’s the payoff?
  • Take those highlights or benefits and put a “why” or “how” before each one. (http://www.copyblogger.com/irresistible-bullet-points/)
  • Writing for the Web

    1. 1. Writing for the Web (A.K.A. “Trying to get people to give a darn”) Laura Solomon Library Services Manager OPLIN [email_address]
    2. 2. You can: <ul><li>Keep their attention </li></ul><ul><li>Not turn them off </li></ul><ul><li>Write more convincingly </li></ul>
    3. 3. From Aaron Schmidt, walkingpaper.org
    4. 4. L E N G T H
    5. 6. <ul><li>On average, web users read almost 100% of a page’s content only if it is 25 words or less . </li></ul>
    6. 7. Krug’s Third Law of Usability
    7. 10. http://mrs.oshimbo.com/2010/10/10thingsidontlike.html
    8. 12. “… bullets are like flashing Christmas lights”
    9. 14. LESS NOISE
    10. 15. MORE PROMINENCE
    11. 16. <ul><li>Less </li></ul><ul><li>Page </li></ul><ul><li>Length </li></ul>
    12. 17. <ul><li>http://www.yourlibrary.org/node/11452?ddbox00=429&ddbox01=464&x=73&y=13 </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.yourlibrary.org/reference </li></ul>
    13. 18. Q U A L I T Y
    14. 19. PLEASE STOP SCREAMING AT ME. Please?
    15. 20. <ul><li>Harry Potter Party at the Main Library Thursday, July 14, at 3 p.m.!!!!!!!! </li></ul>
    16. 21. <ul><li>Click here </li></ul>
    17. 22. <ul><li>Click here to access your account </li></ul><ul><li>Access your account </li></ul>
    18. 23. http://www.scribendi.com/advice/the_correct_use_of_acronyms.en.html
    19. 24. <ul><li>84% are more likely to trust you </li></ul><ul><li>60% + are more likely to be interested in what you are selling/saying </li></ul>
    20. 26. <ul><li>Content should not be written by passive-voiced staff members. </li></ul><ul><li>Write in the active voice. </li></ul>
    21. 27. Selling your content
    22. 30. <ul><li>Learn more about the library’s research databases </li></ul><ul><li>How to make your research faster & more productive </li></ul>
    23. 31. <ul><li>HOW or WHY </li></ul><ul><li>and BENEFIT </li></ul><ul><li>= WIN* </li></ul><ul><li>* ($how||$why)+$benefit=$win </li></ul>
    24. 32. (Get specific, too) <ul><li>The library has storytime </li></ul><ul><li>Why your child needs storytime </li></ul><ul><li>How to increase your child’s literacy </li></ul>
    25. 33. Practice

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