I’ve been writing all my life, but writing blog posts is very different than writing papers.
I needed a refresher course on some rules of how to write for the web, and I thought I ‘d share my findings.
The most important rules of writing for the web
- Use simple language
- Use lists (pat on back here)
- Use lots of headings and subheadings
- Clarify your audience
- Bold important points
- Use short sentences
- Avoid complex sentences with excessive punctuation
- Make paragraphs short (several sentences)
- Make all important text scannable
- Use hyperlinks and images to enhance your posts
Use Simple Language
People don’t read the web. They scan it. Write simple and easy to understand text.
Lists are great for sharing information quickly. They are perfect for the web.
Use Lots Of Headings And Subheadings
Use headings to break up your text. Many people will only scan headings. Make them count.
Clarify Your Audience
Who are you writing for? What information might they be searching for? Ask yourself questions about your audience before writing so that you establish the right tone.
Bold Important Points
Make important sentences or passages of text bold. This helps scan text.
Use Short Sentences.
Avoid Complex Sentences with Excessive Punctuation
Don’t use lots of commas, colons or semicolons. Replace excessive punctuation with periods. This helps keep sentences short.
Make Paragraphs Short
Short paragraphs create whitespace and make your text more inviting. Long paragraphs create big blocks of text that can overwhelm people. When a paragraph goes on for more than a couple of sentences, odds are, you’re repeating yourself. Don’t make the mistake that I just did. Keep your paragraphs short.
Make All Important Text Scannable
Headings, lists, and bold text…you get it.
Use Hyperlinks and Images to Enhance Your Posts
Hyperlinks and images help make your posts more dynamic and interesting. I almost broke another one of the rules, but here’s a great collection of posts about ￼How To Write Great Blog Content￼.
Images break up text and add visual interest.
Writing is Editing
Use less words. Edit. Simplify. These are reminders for myself. Hopefully they help you too.
Any tricks when writing for the web? Please share in the comments…