The Medium Matters

For the most part, the rules of writing are timeless. But effective communication depends on a writer’s ability to adapt to the delivery method. Here’s a quick list of considerations when evaluating content written for the web.

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A good writer is a good writer. Right? Well sort of. We all know how the internet has changed our lives, but the internet has also “disrupted” (to use the oh-so-popular buzzword of the moment) how we read. In fact, a study conducted by the Nielsen Norman Group found that 79 percent of people only SCAN what they read online.

So if you are looking for a quality agency or freelancer to help you with your web content you have to be concerned about more than proper punctuation and subject-verb agreement these days. Here’s what else you want a good web content writer to demonstrate:

Scannable content
There are multiple ways to make text easier for people to read and absorb such as bulleted lists and highlighting of key words. This is how people read on the web, so accept it and adapt.

Tight focus
You want content that is easily digestible. Subheads should provide meaning and not just be clever. Each paragraph should focus on one additional idea. And finally, it has to be concise, using half the words you would find in a non-web piece.

Get to the point
Teachers may have taught you to build to your conclusion, but in web writing you have to buck that education. Begin with your conclusion and then work backwards. That way you are assured that your reader sees the most important detail.

Be credible
Today’s readers associate credible content with straight facts (no exaggerations), high-quality graphics and links to outside sources. When vetting a writer or an agency check their work for these elements.

You have to adjust your web content to today’s reader, they won’t adjust to you.