Have you ever read some website content and found yourself saying “Huh?” Maybe you couldn’t figure out the point that the writer was trying to make.
Or you couldn’t find the information you were searching for.
Sometimes the problem with the writing is the content and at other times it is format (I’ll address that in another post). Whether writing for web or for print, there are a few tried and true techniques that will ensure that your writing will be great communication every time.
Web Writing Tips
Avoid unnecessary words or phrases in your sentences
Adding extra phrases makes your communication less clear. Unnecessary words and phrases make it harder for your reader to find your main thought or point.
Energize your writing by selecting action verbs
Verbs provide the action in your sentences. Instead of using verb phrases, use the finite verbs. Don’t say, “The focus of this class is writing.” Do say “This class focuses on writing.”
Don’t use negatives (oh the irony)
Instead of saying, “she didn’t go”, use, “she stayed.” Avoiding negatives makes your writing more succinct.
Keep sentences short – no longer than 2 lines
The odd long sentence is acceptable. Too many thoughts or too many phrases modifying a sentence can cause you (the writer) to lose clarity. If you have lost it, then certainly your reader will.
Focus your sentences on one thought
Again, by focusing your sentences on one thought, you are helping your reader to stay focused.
Keep your paragraphs short
A one-sentence-paragraph gets the point across, but use those one-liners sparingly. Any paragraph that is 5-6 sentences long, turn into two paragraphs.
Try inverting your text
Find your most compelling paragraph and move it to the beginning. Then, reorganize your other paragraphs around it. You’ll grip people’s attention.
What are your tried and true writing tips? Have I missed anything? Tell me!