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Writing For The Web
Writing For The Web
Writing For The Web
Writing For The Web
Writing For The Web
Writing For The Web
Writing For The Web
Writing For The Web
Writing For The Web
Writing For The Web
Writing For The Web
Writing For The Web
Writing For The Web
Writing For The Web
Writing For The Web
Writing For The Web
Writing For The Web
Writing For The Web
Writing For The Web
Writing For The Web
Writing For The Web
Writing For The Web
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Writing For The Web


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Presentation on writing for the web

Presentation on writing for the web

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  • 1. Writing for the Web Keidra Chaney May 31, 2009
  • 2. Overview
    • Print writing vs. Web writing
    • What Journalists should know
    • How Web users read
    • Content and Style
    • Formatting
    • Headlines
    • SEO and Keywords
    • Blogs
    • Measurement
    • Questions
  • 3. Print writing vs. Web writing What’s similar:
    • Basic skills are still required.
    • Research/attribution is still crucial.
    • You must still grab and hold a reader’s attention.
    • Great writing is still valued!
  • 4. Print writing vs. Web writing What’s different:
    • It’s harder for people to read text on a computer screen.
    • Web audiences are global and more diverse.
    • Web audiences tend to expect more than just text (i.e, multimedia/interactivity.)
  • 5. What Journalists Should know
    • You’re at a professional advantage!
    • Inverted Pyramid
    • Research/interview skills
    • Fact-checking
  • 6. What Journalists Should Know
    • You will need new skills:
    • HTML/CSS
    • Social Media
    • Video/audio production
    • SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
    • Web usability
  • 7. How web users read
    • Web users read 25% slower
    • Web users scan text , not read
    • Web readers are selfish ; they want to get to the point quick.
    • Web readers are restless , they tend to multitask online.
    from Jakob Nielsen the “guru of Web usability ”
  • 8. How web users read
    • When confronted with lots of text, web users often:
    • Get eye strain
    • Become intimidated
    • Lose their place
  • 9. Web writing: Content and Style
    • Simplicity saves attention!
    • Put key terms first.
    • Be specific: avoid jargon and in-jokes. (mostly for headline/news)
    • Don’t overload with fluff words.
    • Provide context by attributing sources.
    • Link! Link! Link!
    Since readers scan, make your copy scannable!
  • 10. Web writing: Formatting
    • Write in Layers
    • Break long form writing in sections.
    • Use headings and subheadings.
    • Highlight key text
    • block quotes
    • lists with bullet points
    • use italics (NOT ALL CAPS) for emphasis
  • 11. Web writing: Headlines Web and print headlines should differ considerably. Why?
    • Web headlines are often viewed out of context
    • They are read by a variety of people - and non people (search engines)
    • Not as much space constraint
  • 12. Web writing: Headlines Write to be found by people using search engines!
    • Avoid puns, don’t try to be clever; it may not translate for readers
    • Include appropriate keywords at front of the headline (what would readers search for?)
    • Be clear and concise. People browse/scan quickly. Make it easy to digest.
    • Keep it short. Under 65 characters for RSS, Google search results.
    • Don’t abbreviate. Spell out keywords that reflect how people search.
  • 13. SEO & keywords
    • A final thought:
    Write for people, not search engines!
  • 14. SEO & keywords
    • SEO – Search Engine Optimization
    • It’s about making it easier for people to find you via search engines.
    • Find out what keywords people use to find content like yours.
    • Google Search-Based keyword tool:
  • 15. Popular Blogs
    • CTA Tattler (news)
    • HuffPo (politics)
    • Mashable (tech)
    Gawker Media (Gawker, Lifehacker, Jezebel, Idolator) The –ists (Gothamist, Chicagoist, LAist, etc.)
  • 16. What makes a blog work?
    • They’ve got personality and “voice.”
    • They speak to their audience. (not afraid of in-jokes or slang, when it works)
    • They’re informational and entertaining.
    • They’re relevant and current.
  • 17. **Writing with “personality.” A caveat:
    • Some critics conflate blogging with being crude, sophomoric or offensive.
    • You don’t have to be a jerk about it!
    • .
  • 18. Before you start blogging, first ask yourself:
    • Who’s my audience? (hint: it’s not “everyone”)
    • What’s my focus?
    • Is anyone else offering this kind of news/information online?
    • What unique perspective and insight can my blog offer than no one else can?
  • 19. Your audience is your best friend! Know them, love them.
    • Blogging is a niche medium by its nature.
    • Speak to your audience in their language (academic, tech-geek, snarky, earnest)
    • Find out what content they want to read - and keep giving it to them.
  • 20. Measurement Analytics! A great way to get to know your audience! Where they come from, what they like to read. Google Analytics Can use for blogger,, others
  • 21. Final Thoughts
    • Writing for the web isn’t so much about technology but about how people use it.
    • New ways of doing the same old stuff.
    • Don’t be fearful, be thoughtful!
    • Thanks!
  • 22. Questions? Keidra Chaney [email_address] @kdc (twitter)