Today, there are nearly 2.8 billion Internet users. 81% of United States population is online. English accounts for 55% of the all the content on the web worldwide.
People read the news, shop for clothes, listen to music and talk to their friends over the Internet. It isn’t a “technical” thing anymore. It’s like the telephone–it’s just part of life.
If you have a business or idea that you want to tell others about, invariably a major part of your strategy will be online. Every large publication and major corporation is on there–even traditional print titans like The Wall Street Journal or The New York Times have significant online presences.
Being successful online takes a knowledge of the Internet–how it works and how to use it.
Writing For The Web
Writing for the web is different than traditional print media. There are different rules and different importances. You have to think with search engines and screen sizes. You’ve got to think about what device it will be viewed on: tablet, smart phone or traditional computer. You’ve also got to understand how everything works together: your website, social media and your blog.
Though writing for the web can include anything from tweaking a person’s LinkedIn profile to writing press releases, the most important avenues are websites, blogs, social media and email marketing.
Your website is like your storefront on the Internet–it’s where people go to find you; it’s what your reputation is based off of. If your website is good, people think you’re awesome. If it is unattractive or a turn-off, it’s kind of like bad breath: no one will tell you about it but they’ll definitely notice. Blogs are like your company newsletter. They’re the regular updates that keep people coming back to you for useful or interesting information. Social media and email marketing are your distribution points–they’re how you actually get your message out there.
Key Points About Writing For The Web
First of all you can’t have punctuation or spelling errors. If your website or blog has these, it is immediately noticeable and instantly communicates a negative to your customers or reader. One or two won’t matter, but if your site or blog is consistently poorly written, it is simply bad PR for your organization.
Next you have to understand how to use the different parts of the Internet together as part of an overall strategy. They are tools and have to be treated like that. If you don’t understand how they fit together you won’t take advantage of them and simply won’t get a result; you might even think web marketing doesn’t work.
You have to write coherently and clearly in order to really SAY something. Think about it like this: you’re going to spend a ton of time and effort with the mechanics of the web (graphic design, programming, etc.) or you’re going to spend a lot of money paying someone to do it. Make sure that it actually communicates to your customers and that they really get your message. Too often people get so swept up with the mechanics of websites, blogs and social media that they forget to actually formulate a message that achieves their goals and so don’t really communicate anything.
Lastly, you’ve got to keep it up. Having a long-term plan for what you’re doing is vital on the web. It isn’t an overnight process; it’s something you roll out over a period of months and requires that you have an understanding of your end game. You’ve got to know the ropes well enough to know where you are, where you’re going and how to get there.