Writing for the web

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Chris Snider's presentation about writing for the web.

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Writing for the web

  1. 1. WRITING FOR THE WEB by Chris Snider
  2. 2. PRINT JOURNALISM ≠ ONLINE JOURNALISM
  3. 3. The way that people use the internet and, in particular, search engines to find and consume content is very different to the way that they find it in print publications.
  4. 4. How people read online They don’t read every word They scan (quickly), looking for information they want If they don’t find it fast, they click on something else They jump from site to site (now that we have faster internet connections) They avoid ads (and anything that looks like an ad) They read across the top, then down, then across, then down, like an F... They don’t scroll
  5. 5. The overwhelming odds are that people will not read your entire post – or even close to it. Make sure they will get something valuable, even if they only read one or two paragraphs.
  6. 6. HOW DO WE KNOW?
  7. 7. Eyetrack research:
  8. 8. Newspaper home pages
  9. 9. Battle of the sexes:
  10. 10. What gets read online Short paragraphs Bulleted lists Occasional use of bold to prevent skimming Short sentence fragments Explanatory subheads No pun headlines
  11. 11. Which of these is easier to read?
  12. 12. The web is very literal. No metaphors. No puns. Use plain english.
  13. 13. Print headlines don’t work online
  14. 14. Put your most important information at the top. Avoid feature lead-ins.
  15. 15. Use links. Reader expect you to help them find more valuable info. Links also offer good will (more on that later).
  16. 16. Don’t create things that look like ads. People try to avoid ads online.
  17. 17. Blame the monkey for ruining online advertising
  18. 18. Take advantage of online’s capabilities: A writer/publisher has many more tools available online than in print. So mix things up.
  19. 19. Alternative forms of stories List Photo – or photo gallery Video Thought post (ask a question and get responses) Interview Live chat Live video Slideshow
  20. 20. Chris Brogan’s most-linked-to posts
  21. 21. Set up a series of posts (even if you don’t call it a series). Use new posts in the series to link to older posts in the series. This helps reinforce the original content. It also gets your RSS readers and e-mail subscribers to actually come to your site.
  22. 22. Comment back to people who leave comments. This builds community and keeps people coming back.
  23. 23. Know your metrics. What stories are popular? What isn’t popular? When do your readers come to your site? How do they get to your site (twitter, google, etc.)?
  24. 24. end

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