As I cried into my beer recently about the passing of Google Reader, I thought about what I’m going to miss most. (Quick initiation for those who don’t know: Google Reader was an RSS feed reader; it pulled only the content of articles from chosen websites – i.e. just the text and media – and [...]
Confession time. I work with website content every day but I don’t think I’ve ever stuffed a keyword. Sure, I’ve added the odd one to the final copy if the subject doesn’t quite speak for itself, but in the main, a website is about what it’s about. I’ve been relying on Google to lead people who are searching for that subject to the site.
And, in nearly all cases, that’s been happening.
According to Google’s recent update, my faith in this simple approach will now be rewarded even more.
Admit it. Every now and then you want to read ‘how-to’s in a dirty long list. And every now and then I want to write them.
So here you go. 40 tips for writing well, on the web especially. Happy Christmas.
Writers love George Orwell. He wrote this:
1. Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.
2. Never use a long word where a short one will do.
3. If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.
4. Never use the passive where you can use the active.
5. Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.
6. Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.
Legend. If discovering or being reminded of these rules is what you take away from this post – then my work here is done. However, if you want to know what Orwell was really getting at, read on.
Getting a web site for your business is a challenge. You know that you should have a site, because increasingly your customers and market are online. But you don’t know much about web technology and you don’t want to be taken for a ride.
All this talk about SEO and social media strategy and domain names and information architecture … can’t you just have a basic site that works?
Of course you can.
What businesses are beginning to realise though, is that content strategy is part of the basic package.
Blogging is consistent publishing, online. It demands long-term commitment, creative inspiration and a combination of writing, marketing and web skills.
Not surprisingly, some people appreciate a little help with all that. Not someone to write their blog for them, but to get alongside to inspire new ideas, guide the tone and style, give online writing and editing tips and motivate them to keep on publishing.
Have no mercy. Cast them out of your copy. Now. These are vital corrections to make when you edit your writing before publication, otherwise you will look like an amateur.
I know the second one is controversial. Get over it. Straighten up and fly right.