Maybe the top Web writing tip anyone can give busy bloggers and contents writers is to make sure their copy is clean and error-free.
It isn’t always easy to eliminate all mistakes and typos, but bloggers and content writers can take a few basic steps to improve the “cleanness” of their copy.
BY KAREN LOTTER
Web Writing Tips:
- Always use a word processor to write your blog post or article. Never write it directly into the text box. If you are using something like MS Word you can adjust the programme very finely for spelling and grammar that will not only ensure accuracy, but also consistency in your writing.
- Do a bit of planning. Before you write an article or blogpost think about your keywords. Take a look at Google’s Adword Keyword Tool and write down a handful of good keywords that you might use. Also think about writing content hubs – groups of linked articles around a theme.
- It’s practically impossible to write, edit and proof in one sitting. While ideally you should write one day and edit the next, busy bloggers and content writers rarely have time to do this. So try to write something, spell and grammar check it and then leave it alone for an hour or so. Then go back and edit it. For some people it works better if they print it out and edit on paper. Then go back and don’t forget to spell check again before you post.
- Proof reading is something that some people do much better than others. And we all know that it is much easier to spot mistakes in another person’s writing. You know when you look at a menu in a restaurant how those typos scream out at you? A friend of mine believes that proof reading out of sequence works. He highlights the portions as he reads them. Another friend proof reads out loud. Another proof reads from the end backwards. Do whatever works for you; just make sure you cover all the bases.
- As unforgiving as the Web is, it also gives us the opportunity to fix our mistakes, so make a point to read over your article or blogpost once it appears on the web, and also maybe the next day when you have a bit more distance. Then you can fix any mistakes. New readers come along all the time, and every error fixed makes a better impression.
These simple tips on writing, editing and proofing will greatly increase the number of errors you catch – and go a long way towards making your copy letter perfect and having the impact you desire.
About the Author:
Karen Lotter is a journalist and writer based in Durban, South Africa. She runs a company (http://www.ethekwiniweb.co.za/) specializing in creating websites, writing creative and interesting content and optimizing sites for search engines.
She has written profiles, features, advertising copy, obituaries, press releases, and columns in magazines, company newsletters and newspapers, and written and produced corporate scripts.
Since she stopped writing political speeches (after 13 years in the trenches), she has focused on writing for the web and presenting workshops on communications-related issues. She is a Feature Writer at Suite 101.com (http://www.suite101.com/profile.cfm/ethekwinigirl).
Karen tutors the Writing for the Web Course and the Writing for Social Media Course at the Writers’ College.