Writing for the Web: 10 Guidelines for Strengthening Your Site’s Copy

December 2002
by Robin Quinn, Quinn’s Word for Word

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Are you a publisher or business owner with a Web site that isn’t generating the results you’d like? Current thinking about writing for the Web offers lessons you don’t have to learn the hard way. Some of the most interesting points being made in books, articles, and Internet copy in the Web writing debate are variations on the following:

“Web creators need to put money into the writing of their sites, not just the design.”“Much of the text that’s on Web sites today is not serving the mission or audience of the sites very well.”“Traditional copy, such as print brochure text, just doesn’t work on the Web.”“What makes the Web different is that it’s a shared space in which the audience is an active participant.”

So how should you approach writing for this exciting medium? If it’s unlike writing for print (and let’s assume that it is in many ways), what are the major differences in creating Web copy that you’ll want a writer to keep in mind? Since every type of writing has its own rules, which writing rules rule on the Internet?

Here are 10 basic guidelines that will come in handy the next time you get a scribe spinning new copy for your Web site.

#1: Leave the generic “business speak” behind. This is a major point of the current debate on Web writing and it makes a lot of sense. The problem is that straight “business speak&q…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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