Using the same kind of writing style for the web as you would for a traditional medium would be a lot like producing a radio program for the Big Screen. Or recreating a movie on an etch-a-sketch. Or painting a QR code on the back of a bus. Or setting up a Skype account for your cat.
Well, you get the idea.
Different mediums have different strengths. And the web is a medium where you can be more informal and have some fun. What’s not to love about that?
So here, in no particular order, are just 10 of the things web writers should appreciate:
- You can be funny, have a little verve, show a little leg. It may not be appropriate every time, but some personality can work wonders, especially with a dry subject.
- Not only can you use a conversational tone, you can switch into direct dialogue. Yeah, that means you can make smart little side comments like this. Brilliant, eh?
- Short works.
- As do numbered lists. Or bullets.
- And you aren’t limited to words and graphics. Got a podcast or a video? Want to ask a question? You can do it with multimedia. Like this:
- Your audience can talk back to you. They can share your stuff, “like” you, subscribe, flame you or use your comments section to try to sell soap. (Please, don’t do those last two though.) Whatever the case, you get some feedback. With a little testing that can mean better engagement with your audience.
- Make a mistake? Well, at least you can change it the minute you find out.
- You get instant metrics! You can know how many people looked at something, and for how long, whether they clicked through and etc. It really is a marketing paradise.
- Get a great new idea? You can add new content as it comes to light.
- All this and its free! Well, sort of. You’ve got to have a computer, electricity and a connection. Graphic content and a photography budget is nice. Of course you probably want to get paid. But a lot of the production costs may be already bought and paid for.
What did I miss? What do you love about writing for the web?