Quick tips on writing for the web

Ruen Govinder | Hashtag Nonprofit

Web writing has its own style. It’s direct, visual, and to the point. Here are a few simple tips to help you optimise your writing for the web.

  • Keep your intro short! Few people will read long intro text. They glance through the article and try to find the main points in a few seconds.
  • Start with the conclusion. People are impatient online – get to the point in the first paragraph and then expand on it.
  • Write only one idea per paragraph. This makes it easy to scan the page for main points.
  • Keep your paragraphs between 20 and 30 words. Use short sentences.
  • Try using bulleted lists instead of paragraphs. Lists are easier to scan than paragraphs, especially if you keep them short.
  • Give a call to action – tell your readers what to do.
  • Use action words. Avoid the passive voice.
  • Use simple language and avoid jargon wherever possible.
  • Break up the text and organize content with headings so that it is easy to scan the page.
  • Use bold text to highlight key points in a list.
  • Keep your list items short. Studies have shown that people can only reliably remember seven to 10 items at a time.

Ruen Govinder | Hashtag Nonprofit

Ruen is the founder and director of Hashtag Nonprofit. She has over 20 years of experience in consulting and managing online communications and technology for the development sector. She produced a series of e-books on communications strategies for nonprofits, and has worked with clients across Africa and in the United States.http://www.interiority.co.za

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