How to write for the internet

How many seconds did it take you to read the headline to this story? That is how short you should be writing for the internet. Below are some of the basic guidelines on internet writing.

Writing for the audience and not your boss is a cardinal rule while writing for the web. It is important to know that in the internet the reader has more say than you.

Keep you sentence short. KISS.  And the paragraph too. Short paragraphs attract readers more than long ones. The paragraph should be the size of an sms 160 words maximum.

Use punchy but short headlines. Maximum of 8 words  is good for an internet headline. The headline is the first thing the reader see so work on it.

Write summary descriptions of the story. Like the teaser at the begging of this story. And use page breakers. Page breakers can include sub headlines, bullets like below or quotes. Bellow is what people look in an online story.

  • Heads- so make it good
  • Briefs(summary)
  • Captions;like the photo appearing here a reader will look at the headline,the brief and the the photo and caption.

Use visual elements to illustrate you story and a good caption too.See what the photo below does to your reading of this story?

A face book user shows a webpage,pictures are part of multimedia story telling technique in online journalism

Write  short stories, 250 to 5oo words.Motivation to read news for internet users is very low. Unlike manuals where you have to read to know how something works an internet users scan pages.

The top left hand side of the webpage  is very important according to eye tracking research. So make sure the headline and the most important things  appear on the headline and start of a paragraph.


About Kenya Reporter

The other side of the news.

Posted on June 20, 2011, in General News. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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