Read these 7 Online Writing: The Differences From Print Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Freelance Writing tips and hundreds of other topics.
When you consider that the single most important element of a direct mail campaign is the list (followed closely by the offer, THEN the copy), it becomes painfully apparent that a sloppy list is a liability indeed!
How do you go about creating a solid list of quality prospects that you can mine for years to come? There are some methods you can use and sources you can tap, however, it always boils down to looking in the right places for your particular specialty. Try research prospect building tips online.
The daily experience of your visitors online is at a very personal level – sharing their personal news and opinions through discussion lists, forums and email. Write at a much more personal level than you would in print or broadcast media.
You can't pretend your company is a person but you can add a more personal tone to your company's voice by improving your writing style.
When you write for print you can make all kinds of claims, you can even stretch the truth. You shouldn't, but you can. Write like that online and you'll be found out and punished in a heartbeat. The web is a shared space. All your readers, customers, and prospects are connected.
If they have an experience they don't like, they will share their displeasure through forums, lists and shopping comparison sites.
*This approach to writing online is essential when writing for the internet.
Writing on the Internet can be tricky. Before you put pen to paper, understand that the web is unlike any other medium. Unlike TV, radio, and print, this is a shared space. The people we reach through our web sites are also writers and publishers online (through email, chat, discussion lists, weblogs and more).
This changes everything. When you are in a shared space, you are writing to your peers—not to some anonymous ‘prospect' or couch potato. This means when you write for the Web, you need to write with respect.
All too often online writers try to be too ‘clever' and try to be copywriters in the offline tradition. Your web site is not an ad! It is a place where you help people find what they want. In other words, don't stress about ‘how' to say something.
Focus on ‘what' to say when writing for the web. Be clear about the purpose of your web site and each page within it and understand what it is your visitors want. Only then are you in a position to write a clear, simple headline or body of text that says exactly the right thing.
In the early days of the internet, too many people thought that the emphasis should be placed on design and techno-gimmicks—they made a mistake. When people first arrive at your site, it's the text that draws their attention. They read the words, the copy. They want to find out what your site is about, whether it meets their expectations.
*Keep text in mind when writing for the internet.
Do not fall into the trap suffered by so many web sites out there, both large and small. Do not take text from your print materials and simply paste it into your site. It won't work!
People come to the web with very different expectations compared to when they read print. They are much more task oriented and they are usually looking and hoping for something in particular. They haven't come to your site to be ‘sold to' or view pretty pictures. They have arrived with a task in mind.
When you are writing for the internet, write every web site headline and every line of text with the intention of HELPING your readers find what they want. Focus on usability and the business will follow.
|Sheri Ann Richerson|