Aliens Wrote This

Writing copy for your website can be a daunting task! Whether you’re a writer by trade or simply tasked with coming up with copy for your company’s website, the web can be a challenging medium. Below are three quick tips to help you write effectively online.

1. Know your audience

This knowledge guides everything you write. Will your audience understand industry-specific jargon? Do they appreciate in-depth articles, or quick, humorous posts? It’s easy to write reams of copy about your organization, but research shows the average user reads very, very little on corporate websites. On the other hand, studies also show that users will stay for a long time on a page with in-depth content they are truly interested in. Moral of the story? Know who you’re talking to before you start writing, then write as if you’re having a conversation with them.

2. Craft interesting titles

Sometimes, all that stands between a user and your content is a simple title. Pique a reader’s interest by writing a title that makes them want to click to read more. Granted, this will depend on what’s actually in your copy. However, spending a few extra minutes wordsmithing the title to your new blog post can go a long way in getting your content out there. Also, your graphic designer will love you as this provides fodder for interesting imagery!

3. Avoid “blah-blah-blah” introductory text

Readers often skip over the introductory paragraphs. Typically, users will move straight to actionable content (lists, headings, buttons, or features). However, well written introductory text does play a important role: tell the user what the page is about. While they may skip over this section initially, users may jump back to it, and if it’s written in a compelling manner can keep them interested. One idea: write the intro paragraph last, after you have parsed out the details of the article. Front-load your article so that the most important information is first.

Further reading

There are many great resources about writing for the web, so keep a look out! Here are some more in-depth articles to get you started.

10 Principles for Writing for the Web

Website Reading: It (Sometimes) Does Happen

How Users Read on the Web

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Nathan is passionate about using design and creativity to bring about meaningful experiences, and believes design should communicate, inspire, and motivate change.
November 13th, 2013 // // , ,
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