So you want to write for the Web? There are some major differences between writing for internet blogs or publications and writing for print markets. Here are some suggestions for meeting the demands of web publication.
By all means, write a blog. But keep it interesting. Write about your passions, but don’t be self-indulgent. Nobody, but nobody, really wants to hear your morning routine, your musings over the bitchiness of your landlady, or what your cat horked up last night. Make frequent posts and stick to the meat of the matter.
The main thing. Get to the point, get there fast, and keep it clear and concise. If you have five or six single-spaced pages of material that you’d like to convert to web writing, break it into several short sub-topics and write separate articles or entries on each. If you’re adapting something you’ve written for print media to digital markets, concentrate on bite-sizing your points. Keep your paragraphs short, use lots of visual enhancement, and don’t run on and on.
Write what you know, write what you love. This isn’t a term paper. Write what you know and focus on your passions. People catch your excitement and it shows in the flair with which you write. The beautiful thing about the internet is that any slant on any topic is fair game. You’re into French dollhouses? Write about it, you have an audience. You’re into obscure translations of Eastern European dead languages? Someone, somewhere wants to know more.
Have fun with it. Take chances. Play a little. Try something just a little out of your comfort zone. Put some humor into it. Imagine you’re talking to a room full of buddies after a few drinks at the local dive bar. Enjoy what you write and others will enjoy reading it.
Promote yourself and your work. Use social media to let your friends, coworkers, potential markets, and various-and-sundry followers up on your writing. Be generous with your work. If I know a friend is also interested in French dollhouses, I’ll post a link to my article on his Facebook page and follow up with an offer to share some of my information from my research via private message.
Keep reading, keep writing and constantly improve. The more you read, the more you learn, not only about the topics that interest you but also about style, technique, and what you like. The more you write, the better you write and the faster you produce good copy. Don’t agonize over your work; do the best you can do with the time you’ve got, and hand in that work. Good enough is just fine. There’s no need to rewrite War and Peace, here.
Use impeccable grammar and perfect spelling. You’re selling a product, even if that product is you. Use those handy tools for grammar and spelling. Once it’s out there, typos and all, it’s out there for good.
Pursue and share your interests, get your viewpoint out there, and enjoy writing for the web!