John Puz’s Writing for the Internet Guide

Hello ladies, gentlemen, internet users everywhere. I’m here to talk to you about how people should write for the internet. I’ve spent so much time looking for great tips on doing so and also heard from people who’ve been blogging for some time. I hope the info I give you all can help you in creating your own blog for the world to enjoy.

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I should make it clear that there is no one correct way to write and not everyone is going to get the same results with their effort. Some bloggers have gone on to become professionals in the field, while others have been stranded in the dark cornrs of the internet, or have just vanished from the web completely.

A lot of writers have found it best to use simple words and short sentences. This can help your work stick to people with short attention spans. It’s also good to have words in bold so it can draw attention to anything important. It’s also been effective to keep any headlines straight to the point and to make sure they relate to the topic (https://econsultancy.com).

It’s also a good idea to never assume your readers know what/who you’re talking about. Lists and pictures are also a nice way to break up the info into chunks instead of a mile of lines of sentences (news.bbc.co.uk). Be sure that if you use lists that you describe each item in the list in few words; people online mostly skim instead of read. Even though people skim most of the time, you should still keep the most important info at the beginning to really hook the readers (webdesign.about.com).

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Other helpful ways to begin your online writing include:

  1. Use an active voice in your writing; passive voice can be a real drag sometimes.
  2. You don’t to get too detailed when blogging; people want things short, sweet, and to the point (queensu.ca).
  3. Don’t fill the body of your article with keywords; it clutters the work and can be annoying.
  4. Always hyperlink any sources you use; it shows your gratitude and could help save you from a lawsuit (contentfac.com).
  5. Show your personality when you write; Your flowing is even more authentic if readers can relate to you more as a person than as a computer (https://www.youtube.com).
  6. Unfortunately, almost every style has already been developed, which is why you should try to find a different angle or approach to the style you choose.
  7. Once you’ve found a style you like, stick with it. Don’t try to experiment with so many different techniques when you’ve found one that works (write.com).
  8. Don’t depend too much on the spellcheck feature; it doesn’t catch everything. It also helps to read your drafts out loud to catch small mistakes.
  9. If you want to use pictures or quotes, be sure that they have to do with what you’re writing (http://www.bbc.co.uk).
  10. One last tip about getting started, put out as many posts as possible when you do start. Blogger Laura Smith found this helped her adapt to this new habit (howtheyblog.com).

Depending on the kind of blog one hopes to create, it is best to develop a strategy for attracting readers and followers and being active online to make them want to keep following your content (https://www.youtube.com).

Another thing to keep in mind is how to really start to commit to taking on this kind of ambition. When blogger Sarah MacKenzie started her online career, she scheduled her first interview and then went to figure out the technical aspects of pulling this task off (howtheyblog.com). This sort of method can show that you know what you’re going to do and then can turn it into a learning experience.

MacKenzie also found success through releasing a few different resources to assist her online work such as a book and an audio companion. Additional materials like these can really add more to your content than one can really say online and can reinforce your followers’ loyalty (howtheyblog.com).

A Few Last Words

I just have a few last things to leave you all with

  1. Not everyone is going to appreciate what you’re going to write. Everyone is entitled to their opinions. But don’t take the negative things people write in the comments sections to heart. Just know that you’re hearing more viewpoints (matadornetwork.com) (Hazlitt.net).
  2. “Twitter activism” can be an effective method of spreading the word about particular issues you take very seriously. A lot of people online could also be activists in the real world (Hazlit.net).
  3. Be mindful what you do put out on the internet and show some caution in how you word particular phrases (https://pchiusano.github.io). Even though we’re all entitled to the 1st Amendment, it is not an absolute right.
  4. Writing on the internet can be a lot different than writing a paper for a class (how ironic is it that this very blog itself is for a class?). But you don’t need fancy degrees from prestigious schools to be a successful writer on the internet. If the internet is where this generation is going, let’s try to reach them where we’ll get their attention (blog.penelopetrunk.com).

 I hope my guide on writing for the internet was helpful to you all. If you’re feeling confident in what you want to put out there, go on and blog away.

References

  1. https://econsultancy.com/blog/6771-how-to-write-for-the-web-23-useful-rules/
  2. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/school_report/resources_for_teachers/9600548.stm
  3. http://www.contentfac.com/even-more-web-content-writing-tips/
  4. http://matadornetwork.com/notebook/6-tips-write-internet-audience/
  5. http://webdesign.about.com/od/writing/a/aa031405.htm
  6. http://hazlitt.net/blog/golden-age-how-write-internet-2014
  7. http://sass.queensu.ca/writingcentre/blog-writing-for-the-web-how-to-write-effectively-for-the-internet/
  8. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mgoSkxB2rFQ
  9. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgnUkvMRFsI
  10. http://www.bbc.co.uk/academy/journalism/article/art20130702112133610
  11. http://www.write.com/writing-guides/writing-for-the-web/how-to-write-personalized-compelling-content-when-writing-for-the-web/
  12. http://howtheyblog.com/htb-31-the-art-and-power-of-taking-action-with-laura-smith/
  13. http://howtheyblog.com/htb36-strategic-blogging-how-sarah-mackenzie-took-her-blog-from-hobby-to-pro/
  14. https://pchiusano.github.io/2014-10-11/defensive-writing.html
  15. http://blog.penelopetrunk.com/2009/10/19/the-internet-creates-an-era-of-great-writing/
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