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Writing for the Web

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Ever get the feeling that nobody is reading your library’s website? Trust your gut on this one; unfortunately, this is the case for much of the content posted on library sites. Learn how to make your …

Ever get the feeling that nobody is reading your library’s website? Trust your gut on this one; unfortunately, this is the case for much of the content posted on library sites. Learn how to make your content not only attractive, but also palatable to today’s online reader. Some simple guidelines will make all the difference.


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  • “ Get rid of half the words on each page, then get rid of half of what's left."
  • Less scrolling
  • No all-caps
  • No exclamation points
  • No “click here”
  • Keep it conversational
  • Write in the active voice
  • Transcript

    • 1. Laura Solomon Library Services ManagerWriting for OPLIN laura@oplin.org the Web (A.K.A. “Trying to getpeople to give a darn”)
    • 2. You can:• Keep their attention• Not turn them off• Write more convincingly
    • 3. From Aaron Schmidt, walkingpaper.org
    • 4. L E N GT H
    • 5. On average, webusers read almost 100% of a page’scontent only if it is 25 words or less.
    • 6. Krug’s Third Law of Usability
    • 7. http://mrs.oshimbo.com/2010/10/10thingsidontlike.html
    • 8. “…bullets are like flashing Christmas lights”
    • 9. LESS NOISE
    • 10. MOREPROMINENCE
    • 11. LessPageLength
    • 12. http://www.yourlibrary.org/node/11452?ddbox00=429&ddbox01=464&x=73&y=13 http://www.yourlibrary.org/reference
    • 13. QUALITY
    • 14. PLEASE STOPSCREAMING AT ME.Please?
    • 15. Harry Potter Party at theMain Library Thursday,July 14, at 3 p.m.!!!!!!!!
    • 16. Clickhere
    • 17. Click here to access your account Access your account
    • 18. http://www.scribendi.com/advice/the_correct_use_of_acronyms.en.html
    • 19. Don’t bury the lead• “Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, wouldn’t say Sunday whether he’d repeal President Barack Obama’s decision to stop deporting certain young illegal immigrants. “• “In an interview, Romney would say only that his administration would seek longer-term solutions to the problem of illegal immigration, and that Obama’s new directive, announced Friday, was temporary fix. “
    • 20. • 84% are more likely to trust you• 60% + are more likely to be interested in what you are selling/saying
    • 21. Content Write in the should not activebe written by voice. passive- voiced staff members.
    • 22. Selling yourcontent
    • 23. HOW or WHYand BENEFIT=WIN ** ($how||$why)+$benefit=$win
    • 24. Learn more about the library’s research databases
    • 25. How to makeyour researchfaster & more productive
    • 26. Feature BenefitExperience
    • 27. • Feature: New database• Benefit: Higher quality information• Experience: Blow away your teachers or professors. Credible, professional sources add information to your research not available via Google and make you look like a more committed student .
    • 28. WHY?
    • 29. Where’s your CTA?
    • 30. Four kinds of CTAs• Place an order;• Enroll, subscribe, enter;• Get a quote;• Learn more.
    • 31. Make ‘emstronger!
    • 32. “The goal of the copy is to connect with the reader, and guide them towards an action. “ Peep Laja, owner of Markitekt.com
    • 33. Making headlines
    • 34. Headlines do 3 things
    • 35. 1. Communicate importance
    • 36. 2. Succinctly convey story essence MAN BITES DOG, DOG THREATENS LAWSUIT
    • 37. 3. Grab attention
    • 38. Write the headline FIRST
    • 39. Include locationBranch gets new checkout machine versusBelpre branch library gets new checkout machine
    • 40. Think keywordsLocal man wins summer reading contest versus Belpre man wins stuffed monkey in library’s 2012 summer reading contest
    • 41. Why do list posts work? “If there’s one thing that turns online readers off, it is the 17-line, multi-idea, complex paragraph” Chris Lake, eConsultancy, Digital Marketers United
    • 42. Practice
    • 43. Rewrite this!A patron must have a library card in goodstanding to use the public computersmanaged by the Library’s reservationsoftware.
    • 44. (Absolutely shameless plug)
    • 45. http://www.twitter.com/laurasolomon http://www.facebook.com/laurasolomon http://www.linkedin.com/in/laurasolomon laura@oplin.org http://www.meanlaura.com http://www.slideshare.net/laurasolomonThank you!

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