Sheldon Nesdale offers five tips to help newcomers to web writing.
Nesdale is a marketing consultant. So his approach to web writing differs from mine.
When I wrote Writing for the web in 300 words I called on the lessons I first learnt as a newspaper journalist almost 30 years ago.
Nesdale’s How to write for the web attacks the same subject from a marketing and sales point of view.
The two approaches overlap. We both prefer snappy, well sign-posted text. We both pay attention to the organisation of words on a page.
There’s only one piece of Nesdale’s advice I disagree with. And then only partly. He starts by telling readers to write long descriptive headlines to help skimmers find their way to the story.
I say skilled writers should do the same job with tight, smartly written headlines.
If you’re not a skilled writer, then by all means use long descriptive headlines. But think how you can compact the same meaning into fewer words.