May 01 2013

The Art of Writing and Formatting Web Content

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If you are into web content writing, you must have realized by now that writing for the web is markedly different from writing a school essay or college paper. You may have to unlearn a few things in order to write effective and meaningful content for the web. Most importantly, you need to know how to format your content. If you are not aware of it, read on to find out how:

Excessively Long Sentences

You may have been taught in school that it is okay to write long sentences separated by commas and other punctuation marks but you should refrain from doing so while writing for the web. Too long sentences do nothing but confuse and irritate readers. Always remember that most web users do not read content line by line but only skim through it. Therefore, if you use long sentences, it will only result in driving them away. A sentence should never be stretched beyond 40 words.

Too Long Paragraphs

Are you in the habit of breaking a write-up into three parts namely introduction, body and conclusion? Well, nothing wrong with that! You just have to make sure each of it does not extend beyond 3 to 5 lines. It is common for most of us to write a lengthy introduction before coming to the point. However, in web content writing, you have to keep it really short. What is more, you cannot dedicate 6-7 lines for each of the body paragraphs. They too have to be brought down to the standard 3 to 5 which amounts to 50 to 100 words roughly. Of course, you can extend one or two paragraphs beyond that but it should not reign supreme. The effort should always be to explain a point as briefly as possible or break it into multiple paragraphs.

Too Complex Sentences

Complex sentences may look beautiful and elegant if expressed comprehensibly but they lessen reader patience and grasp especially when you are writing for the web. Please understand that the web is accessed by a wide range of people, all of whom may not have the same literary ability to understand content written in a slightly verbose manner. Ideally, you should not use more than 2 independent clauses in a single sentence. Abnormal punctuation should be used sparingly.

Active Headlines

Writing for the net is all about drawing readers and headlines have a very crucial role to play in this. Make a conscious effort to make your headlines active and interesting by making use of numbers (5 qualities of a web designer), energetic adjectives (the world’s scariest places) and clear suggestions of the use of information (expressions like ‘how to’ and ‘ways to’).

Too Long Headlines

An active headline does not mean an endless one. It should not take up more than one line of text. Ideally, it should be within 50 characters, which mean it must not contain more than 6 to 8 words, depending on the length of the words used by you.

If you want to excel in the field of web content writing, abiding by these rules is a must. Apply these and success will be yours.


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