Writing for the Web

Website content & usability is an extremely useful article on writing for the web. The author gives eight guidelines:

1. Use clear and simple language – the KISS principle.
2. Limit each paragraph to one idea – Believe it or not, you learned this in high school english class. Really. And it still applies today.
3. Front-load content – if anyone took a newspaper writing class… this is the inverted pyramid writing style.
4. Use descriptive sub-headings – this is also useful when writing magazine articles.
5. Bolden important words – “bolden” – is that really a word? Ick. Good point, though. It’s another way to visually break up text into easy-to-read snippets. But you can do his in other ways – color can do the same thing.
6. Use descriptive link text – no “click here” language.
7. Use lists – like this one… :-)
8. Left-align text – his point is that left-aligned text is easier to read than justified text. Not sure if I completely agree with that one, but whatever.

This list (and the actual article) can be summed up this way: make your content easy to read! You worked hard creating it, buying it, and transforming it into something useful for your customers. Now make it easy for those customers to digest it – and learning how to write for the web is one way to do that.