A Professional Web Design Service

Writing for the Web

The web requires a specific writing style:

  • Simple and easy to skim
  • Low on fluff
  • Crafted with customer service in mind
  • Uses bullet points to break out important elements
  • Uses links to make the text more usable
  • Incorporates calls to action

Combine those with some creativity and you have a valuable resource for your website visitors.

In my own writing, I stay true to a specific feel and write for a specific audience.

Writing for the web is tricky for newcomers and usually requires tailoring to remove or reduce industry-specific terminology, break out content into separate pages when necessary, and stick to usability principles to keep web surfers happy.

Why you should forget about blogging

I do not usually suggest blogging because most blogs fail at satisfying business purposes. Writing for the web should be done with a specific goal in mind.

If blogging is getting you great results, wonderful. But most websites are best served by some combination of the following:

  • Holding a monthly meeting to determine what you will write during the next month, when you’ll write it, why you’ll write it, and to which audience
  • Breaking out writing into specific sections of interest (examples: Grant Writing Services, Event Organization Services)
  • Frequently revising past articles to bring them up to date, add links to newer articles, etc.
  • Discovering which content is popular, and finding ways to help that content bring in referrals.
  • Developing new, free content and resources that will make visitors want to look around for more.

If you do only one of these, do the last one. I don’t believe it’s necessary to give everything away for free, but again and again I see free resources giving huge advantages to businesses on (and off) the web.

I used to work for a multi-million dollar business that started its sales process by sending out a package of free stuff. Are you doing something like that?

What is an example of a free resource?

  • Free (Your Subject Here) Planner
  • Free (Your Subject Here) Guide
  • Free (Your Subject Here) Cheat Sheet
  • Free physical items (stickers, stationery, pens…usually nothing terribly expensive)

But what happens after I give my stuff away?

Free things should be “sticky”. They should connect people to your business through more than just a printed logo.

Free items should come with a follow-up phone call and/or email, and suggest, by themselves, ways in which your paid service or product is a natural follow-on.

For example, if you deal with workplace organization and are sending out a pack of stickers, they should probably be stickers that help people organize things, and you get bonus points if they come with a creative guide for using stickers to organize, which then refers people back to the website for a list of other simple tools that solve problems.

Do you see how important marketing is? This is a chain of events you are setting into motion, not a single “read an article” event. This is why blogging gives so many people the wrong idea—that writing about “new stuff” itself is worth something to every business. It’s not.

The web is littered with vacant business blogs, and you can almost see the tumbleweeds roll by.

Writing is most effective when tied into a master strategy.

So what do I give away for free? A website planner, for one. Check it out!

(P.S. if you read this far, my writing was successful.)