Writing For Websites: Tips For Effective Communication

 

You know a good website when you see it, but do you understand what makes it good? Writing for a website is a bit different from writing articles or books. No matter how successfully you write offline, when it comes to presenting information on a website, writing an ezine (newsletter) or blog, most people need a few pointers to set them off on the right track. The tips you’ll find on this website will help you write more effectively, discover valuable additions to your website (like polls), and even learn a bit about the importance of carrier class Web hosting.

 

Writing for Websites

 

The most important information you find on any website is still presented in writing. Although the value in websites also lies in their ability to present information in a variety of forms – video clips, pictures, images, audio clips – the Internet is still predominantly based on writing.

 

(For more ideas on presentation techniques and programming languages like JavaScript, HTML, and Cascading Style Sheets, check the Resources page for helpful links.)

 

When people search for information they search by keyword, and when search engines catalog your website, they rank it according to keyword. Therefore, if you want to have a successful website, you must focus your writing around keywords. There are more differences than just that between website writing and traditional writing including layout, order of information, and word choice. To read more tips about how to write for a website, click here. 

 

Ezines 

 

An ezine is a magazine or newsletter delivered by email. Because there are no costs for printing or postage, ezines are a popular way for businesses and charities to stay in touch with customers and members. Ezines are also a great way for new writers to get published. Because ezine editors are always looking for content, and new writers are often looking for ways to get exposure, there is an obvious opportunity for the two to work together. You can find a list of ezine writing websites dedicated to helping writers and ezine editors find each other on this site.

 

The best formats and styles of writing for ezines are different from what you’re used to seeing in newsletters printed on paper. To read more about what kind of information to put in an ezine, how to develop a list, and how to find fresh content, click here.

 

Blogs

 

A blog, short for weblog, is an online journal or web diary. They became popular with people who had opinions on things, and wanted to express them. Bloggers are often critics or editorialists (professional or hobbyist), who want to make their opinions known.

 

Many starting and established writers blog to practice writing and to find an audience. A lot of companies now include blogs in their public relations strategies, or just to keep their customers up-to-date with what's going on in terms of product development.

 

Blogs can include anything from articles, editorials, and reviews, to links, multimedia, and more. New blogging software is incredibly user friendly, and often free, so just about anyone can become a blogger.

 

For a list of blog software providers so you can start a blog of your own, and for more tips about what to blog about (and who the other bloggers are), click here.

 

Polls

 

A poll is a great way to add a bit of interactivity to your website. A poll is an online survey that you can use to collect the opinions of visitors to your site.

 

Online polls can be serious or fun. You can poll your customers to see what they like about your products, and what you should change to improve your business. You can also set up weekly "What's your opinion?" polls to find out what your website visitors think about movies, politics, sports, or whatever would be of interest. Online polls are a way to make your site "stickier" -- to get visitors to return to see what were the results of the last survey.

 

If you are launching a new website, try to find a website builder or provider who includes a polling feature, standard. If you have a website already, you can find a list of polling platform providers who will let you download a poll feature to your site, for free or for a fee.  

 

 

Web Hosting

A Web host is a company who stores your website on a server (a computer set up for the purpose) so it can be viewed on the Web. It's a necessary part of having a website. If your website isn't hosted on the Internet, no one will be able to read your website writing. Click here for a list of web hosts.