7 April 2011

The 10 Don'ts of Web Content Writting

Writing is not everyone’s cup of tea. If I say that even writing is a form of art, it won’t be wrong. In order to be a developer or a designer, one needs to get proper training even if he or she is naturally gifted. Same goes for writers as you might have the spark of writing but without proper training, you cannot write perfect articles. It doesn’t matter how informative you are in your writing, if you are not aware of communicating things in a proper way, your target readership is not going to take it as a call-to-action. So, if you want to take writing as a profession, you need to learn a few techniques and avoid a few bad writing habits.

No body is perfect and even as a writer, I would be making a lot of mistakes and at times it gets difficult to understand the reason behind why your articles are not being liked as they are perfect according to you. Writing website content is similar to writing copy for brochures, you need to sell your brand.

Following are a few faults that we as writers commit on regular basis and they need to be avoided on order to become a good writer.

1. Don’t go for an Old Writing Style

Your writing style is the most important thing in making you a successful writer. Obviously, everyone has a different writing style, but you need to make sure that you write according to the latest writing style.

You should pay heed to the fact that you are addressing the people of today so you cannot write in a way old writers used to do so. If you are not sure of how to write, you can read latest authors to understand the correct style of writing. As a writer, you should always read other writers in order to improve your own writing style.

2. Don’t Write Lengthy Paragraphs

I personally do not like to read long paragraphs. As a reader, if I see long and never ending paragraphs, it kills my interest in reading completely. Same goes for other readers as well. Reading on internet is a lot different from reading novels.

A web reader will mostly scan through your article and would see if it interests him or not. Internet readers are mostly looking for short but well informed paragraphs. So, you need to keep the paragraphs short and simple for the readers to understand.

3. Don’t Create Puzzles

Some writers are in the habit of dramatic narration of things. It sounds appealing but only if it is in a novel. For normal articles, you need to keep the writing style simple and acceptable for the users.

Creating difficult and tough scenarios for no good reason will not develop the interest of the reader. In fact, you will end up annoying the reader and he will leave reading your article. Such scenarios are created by writers to grab users attention but in most cases, users are least interested in dramatic narrations and solving puzzles. Keep it simple for them.

4. Don’t Put up Monotonous Content

Your content keeps the reader coming to you again and again. However, if the reader finds the same content every time, then you’ll certainly loose a good number of them. Innovation has become a necessary part of our lifestyle.

As a writer, you should always try to bring some sort of innovation in your writing style. Writing in same old method will bore the readers and they will look for some other writers. If you see a person in same hairstyle, same kind of dressing everyday, you will get bored right? Sam is the case with writing. Be innovative and try to bring some creativity and innovation in your every article.

5. Don’t Try to Copy Others

If you are working for someone, obviously your employer would tell you to write in a specific style. However, as a writer I know that every writer is comfortable if he is given the space to write in his own writing style. As a writer, you will only be able to write an article if you are writing it according to your inner voice. You should know what and how to write. Even if you have to change your writing style every now and then, it should be according to what you are comfortable with as a writer.

6. Don’t De-track Your Mind

As I have mentioned earlier that you need to bring innovation in your writing style. However, if you are not very comfortable with changing your writing style, then it is better that you stick to your old practices. In order to bring in innovation and newness to your content, don’t de-track your mind and creativity. The reason is that if you want to go a long way, playing safe is the most important thing. You might end up messing things by trying new every time. So, play safe and stick to originality in writing style.

7. Don’t be too Complicated in Language

Always put yourself in readers’ shoes while you are writing. You might have the best vocabulary in this world but not everyone does. You need to write in a simple and easy language so that everyone can understand it. Complex language would make you look a very good writer but what’s the point if no one will understand it and you will have fewer readers. So do not use long titles and try to keep things simple yet classy.

8. Don’t Underestimate the Importance of Feedback

I have seen a lot of writers who tend to ignore what readers have to say once they have published the article. Also, they refuse to make any changes according to the readers, which is not a very wise thing to do. The comment box given on your website is important and if people are commenting on it, you need to address their feedback and tell them that you are open for others opinion about your work.

If you will continue to ignore your readers’ feedback, they will stop reading your articles and losing out on your readers means gradually loosing the business.

9. Don’t Let Your Ego Interfere Your Creativity

Even if you are the best writer in the town, you need to keep your feet on ground. Staying grounded can take you a long way. Give your clients and readers the amount of respect they deserve because you are what you are because of these people. So, even if your ego is working for you in the beginning, it will let you down in no time. Stay down to earth and do not let your success affect you and your writing.

10. Don’t take Grammar for Granted

Last but not the least is avoiding any sort of grammatical mistakes because this is one thing which will completely ruin your article even if it contains the best of information on the topic. If you think you might have grammatical issues, you can simply check things online and improve your grammar.

Spelling mistakes and grammatical mistakes should be a big NO for you in the article. There are many common grammatical mistakes that almost every writer makes. You need to understand the difference between its and its, Affect and effect, there and their, etc.

Concluding Thoughts

Writing means to communicate with words and communication has its certain etiquette’s. If you have the flair of writing in you, improving your writing skills is never a hard thing. Brochure, flyer, poster or a website’s content, which ever medium of promotion you are using, the communication through the content matters a lot.

If you consider the above mentioned points next time you write web content, you can actually see the great amount of improvement in the way you write and they way readers respond to you. Writing is a great way to express your thoughts but it is important that you do it in the right way.

The above article was originally published at: http://www.smashingbuzz.com/2011/04/the-10-donts-of-web-content-writing/

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