Back to Basics

I’m in the midst of preparing a CDG seminar about Writing for the Web. As I start to compile little nuggets of insight, I’m reminded that most of the guidelines for good web writing are the same as those for good writing. Period.

Sure, there are things that you need to take into consideration when you’re writing for an online environment—search engine optimization is a perfect example. Ultimately, though, the qualities of good writing supersede the medium.

Writing instructors frequently evaluate their students on six key traits of writing, and when you’re writing for the web (or a print brochure, or a newsletter, etc.) it’s helpful to take a step back and see how well your writing is measuring up to each of these:

  • Ideas
    • Do you have a clear purpose for writing?
    • Are you conveying your message in an interesting way?
  • Organization
    • Does each thought flow in a logical way?
  • Voice
    • Is your tone consistent and compelling?
    • Is it appropriate for your audience?
  • Sentence fluency
    • Do you vary the structure and pace of your sentences?
  • Word choice
    • Are you using powerful, specific words (especially nouns and verbs)?
  • Conventions
    • Are you following basic grammatical rules?

The next time you need to produce a piece of writing, channel your inner English teacher and assess how well you’re wielding the six traits. And if you’re interested in sharpening up your writing, I’d love to see you at our seminar. Contact us for more information.

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