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An Overview of Writing for the Internet

3/20/2013 8:20:23 AM | by Anonymous

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Writing content meant for an online audience differs from traditional styles of literature. For example, online content is usually shorter and more concise. Programs like Twitter encourage 140 character tweets to maximize the value of the content; in this same vein, long-winded blog posts tend to draw less traffic. The way to keep people reading your work across all mediums is to write interesting, timely content, but writing for the Internet does require a bit of additional fine-tuning.


Typically, pieces that do well online include a catchy and descriptive title, an attention-grabbing introduction, and several sub-headers to make skimming a document easier and informative. You want your content to be visually appealing, so avoid messy fonts or light colors, and keep the page simple and distraction-free. The best writing is usually accompanied by a funny or relevant image. It’s also a good idea to make the text easy to share across the web so always include the social sharing widgets. This will increase traffic across a variety of sites and make it more likely for your piece to go viral.


Though writing for the Internet can be slightly more casual than other platforms, grammar rules and the general flow of the piece should still uphold to traditional values.


Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and other social media sites are a primary means of communication among young adults, but these networks also play a role in the world of business. These days, social media is a major form of marketing and most companies have accounts set up to promote the brand. Users demand a quality of writing on social media that is as good if not better than print; however, the rules are slightly more lax in that deliberate misspellings and culturally accepted slang is often permitted.


With the current state of the written word being what it is, mediocre tools (like spell check on Word)are often a poor defense against egregious spelling mistakes. Even if the content is incredible, poor writing tends to disappoint an intelligent audience and can negatively affect site traffic. Spelling and grammar mistakes can also make your website look less credible and put a business at risk for losses.


There are an increasing number of resources to check text before submission. While a good editor is always the best way to ensure quality, error-free content, there are sites like Grammarly that provide a thorough overview of any text before it goes live. Everything from 1,000 word case studies to ten-word tweets can benefit from a quick check. Authors are often surprised at the grammar mistakes they overlook when writing articles, but a good spell checker or editing tool can help people avoid mistakes before publication.


When it comes to writing for the Internet, readers are as judgmental and demanding as a printaudience, but the rules are slightly different. Follow basic grammar rules and produce high quality work, and the feedback will likely be positive.


Author Bio: Kyle Haze is an online marketing expert, writing on topics such as social media, search engine optimization, and reputation management.

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