Writing For The Web vs. How To Write Correct Copy For Content on the InternetSeptember 14, 2008
One of the things I love most about my role as content copywriter here at PMX is writing for the web. Why? Simple: it is (99% of the time) SO MUCH MORE LAID BACK THAN PRINT!
Take my title for instance - on a blog, article, whitepaper, etc it can easily just be called “Writing for the Web”. But if I were writing a technical document, or research paper or whatever that would wind up in a study or book somewhere, it would wind up with the latter half of the title. Screw that!
Give me shortened, concise wording. Give me slang, and bullet points and headers and subheaders. Give me paragraphs that are only 2-3 sentences long and a medium where my personality can really come through. GIVE ME WRITING FOR THE WEB!
Ok, ok, don’t get it twisted - I’m a nerd through and through. I LOVE reading (trashy fic is my fav) and I was the girl in college that LOVED her lit classes and righting (or maybe writing?) 15-20 page literary analysis papers. I can write “technically” with the best of them. But if I had to do it every day, I’d probably shoot myself.
Lucky for me, the Web opens wordsmiths like myself up to a whole new style of writing. A style where it’s okay to use slang, and okay to write casually, even for a business website! A style where one day you feel like writing something long, technical and professional and that’s okay! But it’s even better when the next day you write a humorous piece about why doing SEO is like dating the fat chick in high school. (No, I haven’t written that piece yet, but I surely am tempted to).
But for real, writing on the web is always an experience and your style of writing should always depend on your audience. THAT’S the important thing to keep in mind as a copywriter for websites. It’s all about your AUDIENCE. What moves and motivates them? What interests them? What bores them or pisses them off?
And most importantly - what’s going to catch their attention and keep ’em reading? Sometimes you hit it dead on…and sometimes you miss…then again, that’s what makes it all the more interesting.
I came across a study on reading and writing on the web - it’s pretty old, but it’s still got some oldie but goodie points. Check it out if you want a quick refresher on how to write for web stuff. I may not agree with every single bit of it, but it’s definitely got some good stuff.
So c’mon, copywriters, can I get an Amen or what?