Web writing or blogging means you must write tight
Web writing is different from writing for magazines or writing a novel – especially different from NANOWRIMO. We web readers are in a desperate hurry and very impatient. We dive in, look for the gold and jump out. If you want to compete and would like attention to your blog, you simply must learn how to write for the web. It’s not like writing for print pubs.
In a blog I read this morning, it took six long paragraphs to figure out what the blog entry was about and then a long time of more text to get the gold. The writer is an outstanding fiction writer but has no clue about the web. She wrote engagingly of her background, how she got into writing, and why she chose her topic, which was building sexual tension.
I suggested to this writer that she create titles that say exactly what the story is about so search engines can pick them up. She titled her entry something about chemistry lessons. You can see this might bring a lot of academic types to the table, but wouldn’t do much to attract fiction writers. Me, I would have gone for the meat – Building Sexual Tension – the word sexual will get tons of interest.
Next, I suggested she write tight. Tune up the prose and remove all the non-essential background, backstory, and human interest – well, most of it. If I want to know about sexual tension or about novel writing, I’m not terribly concerned at the moment with personal anecdote, even though they may be charming. And they were. I don’t mean strip the writing down to class notes, but we do have to keep it on track. Get to the core of the topic in the first graff.
Use bullets, subheadings, and short paragraphs to break up the text. We readers want to skim and scan articles. It isn’t likely we’ll read word by word if the topic isn’t targeted toward our needs. Readers who get frustrated with too much verbiage online will click away and move on. It’s that simple.
Women Day by Day – the blog for today’s intelligent women
Poynter Institute on writing tight
No offense is intended here. I want to read your blog. I just don’t have time to do it the way it’s currently constructed.
Looking forward to more!