Writing for the Web

Write for the WebWriting for the Web is a great way for new authors to get started on their writing careers. Although the Internet has not replaced print media the way some expected, eventually we may see Web publications eclipse their print brethren. The Web is rapidly becoming the media of choice for the next generation and is changing the way we get information. As an author, you can write content for organizations you care about, or to promote a book, or to make your work more accessible to readers.

Tips for Writing for the Web

In order to write for the Web, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, readers of Web sites have different needs than readers of print material. For example, people tend to read computer screens somewhat more slowly than they do hard copy. As a good rule of thumb, write about half as much as you would usually write for a print article. If you need to provide more content, use hyperlinks to other pages.

As is true for print publications, headers and subheaders help readers scan information and find what they need. Headers also visually break up a page and encourage the reader to keep reading. Bullet points are also helpful for readers who may be looking for specific information, as are lists and pull-out quotes. You can also summarize a page’s content at the top of each page to help readers determine whether they want to keep reading.

As for style, similar rules apply to both online content and to print. Write in a conversational tone, using an active voice. Present only one idea in each paragraph, and realize that paragraphs may be read out of order depending on where readers land after searching for specific information. Finally, remember that your readers are from all over the world. English is the official language of high-tech. But there are substantial differences in how English is used in different countries.

Lastly, write about topics you enjoy and find interesting. Bored writers often produce boring prose. Your articles have the potential to reach millions of readers. Make them something that you would want to read. And have fun!

Kathleen Kendall-Tackett

Kathleen Kendall-Tackett

Dr. Kendall-Tackett is a health psychologist and International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, and the Owner and Editor-in-Chief of Praeclarus Press, a small press specializing in women's health. Dr. Kendall-Tackett is Editor-in-Chief of Clinical Lactation, Fellow of the American Psychological Association in Health and Trauma Psychology, President of the APA Division of Trauma Psychology, and Editor-in-Chief-elect of Psychological Trauma. She is a Clinical Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the Texas Tech University School of Medicine in Amarillo, Texas and Research Associate at the Crimes against Children Research Center at the University of New Hampshire.

Dr. Kendall-Tackett specializes in women's-health research including breastfeeding, depression, trauma, and health psychology. Her research interests include the psychoneuroimmunology of maternal depression and the lifetime health effects of trauma.
Kathleen Kendall-Tackett

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