How NOT to write for the web

Writing for your digital channels is different to writing for print. I think we all know that by now? We should do - the internet is bursting with advice on how to write well for web (yawn). So, to mix things up a bit, here are a few tips on what NOT to do. Ignore them all completely and you’ll do just fine.

1 Forget your audience

Writing in your audience’s language will just bring you down to their level and encourage them to engage with your content. It’s much better to pretend they don’t exist at all and write at length about whatever you feel like talking about on a given day. Remember, it’s YOUR website. So who cares if other people find what you have to say interesting.

2 Long sentences rule

Endless sentences of elongated words are perfect for demonstrating to everyone what remarkable intelligence you have and thus make worthwhile all those years ensconced in a darkened room imbibing the delicious intricacies of the English tongue. They may take a bit of unpicking but everyone has a brain and time on their hands, right? The longer the message the more weight it will carry. And boring people is a great way to lull them into a semi-conscious state through which to inspire them to take action.

3 Avoid headings and subheadings

Let’s face it, your writing is so impressive everyone who stumbles across it will be hooked and read every. last. word. So there’s no need to help them navigate your great work. Just present your content as a single continuous block of rolling text and they’ll figure it out eventually. (Bless them.)

4 Forget accessibility

Everyone who matters can read and write just like you, so ignore anyone who needs more support. In the UK, only 7 million people have dyslexia, so making your writing accessible is a complete waste of time.

5 Embrace jargon

Ah, jargon! It makes you feel smart doesn’t it. Part of a small, elite club that gets it. The handful of readers who understand it will have a little chuckle to themselves about how smart they are too. It’s a really great way of making your writing totally impenetrable to the unwashed general public. And let's face it, who wants to interact with them!

So there you have it. 5 fool’s gold nuggets of really bad advice to avoid at all costs. Now go and find one of those useful writing for web guides instead.


Originally published by Digital Drum.