In this blog post series team members tell you about their experiences in writing web content. Read on to see what Steve had to say.

In this blog post I’d like to show you what I learned so far about content writing.

In the past few months I have been involved in a lot of writing related tasks at work. I have had to write newsletters, blog posts and content for different websites. As I’m a freelance journalist and critic, I thought creating content for the web wouldn’t be so hard. I was wrong. Writing content for the web is a whole other story with different rules compared to journalism.

3 Main Challenges

At the start I already faced the following:

  • People don’t read on the web: At least not with the same method as they read printed text. They just skim the page, hunting for the useful information they need.
  • Even the sight of solid text makes the user “bounce”: The writer’s medium is the text. What should a writer do if even looking at the text will scare the reader away?
  • Creative and clever phrasing is rarely good: What seems great and beautiful on paper does simply not work on screen or even annoys the reader.

It seemed I lost all of my tools as a writer. In fact, I just never had the proper ones. So, I had to re-learn writing and get the right tools.

Methods

I compiled the list below from what I learned and now use it as a support tool to keep my focus while writing.

  • Structure the content: Readers are scanning the text for the information they are looking for. Well-structured content helps them find the desired information quickly. If you separate the topics into different chapters in a logical way, you can direct the readers to the right piece of content. The most important information should come first. Use bullet points to make the message more clear, and highlights to emphasize the important parts of your copy.
  • Write as clear and simple as possible: Simple statements are the best. The content on a web page should be easy-to-follow and easy-to-understand. Don’t show off your extensive vocabulary. Wordiness is wasting the reader’s time, unfamiliar words make the message harder to understand.
  • Use images in the text: The visual appeal of the content impacts readability. Nobody wants to read a wall of text. Relevant images grab readers’ attention and help to structure your content, too.
  • Be consistent: Keep your copy consistent. It makes understanding easier. Every word should be obvious and self-evident, so avoid using synonyms when they are not necessary.

This general list represents only the first mile of my learning process. It covers the surface of the topic and could be useful for other newcomers to keep the focus.

And the list is continuously growing.

About the author

István Zoltán Szabó

Senior Technical Writer

Steve is involved in the work of the content team of Pronovix: writing and editing blog posts, articles, web copies and technical documents. He is responsible for social media campaigns and content strategy.

Besides this, he's translating books from English to Hungarian for a publishing company. Steve has a journalist/writer background, his works are frequently published in various online and printed journals.