Writing online is worlds away from writing a traditional book. Some differences. Online writing has to be…

  • Quick to comprehend
  • Easy to follow
  • Short and snappy

Some Web writers seem to think that online writing can be casual, with no regard to correct grammar or spelling. It’s hard to find a Web site that doesn’t have at least one spelling mistake on the first page. Even harder to find one that overlooks elements of a clear style such as…

  • Using parallel structure* for lists
  • Trimming sentences to no more than 15-25 words
  • Placing colons and semi-colons as needed

Keeping paragraphs short

  • Keeping columns relatively narrow
  • Using short words
  • Preferring simple sentence structure
  • Reducing the use of flat words such as “is,” “there,” and “but”
  • Choosing active rather than passive verbs
  • Writing to “you” and not about “me”

And so much more. Pretend that your Web reader is running down the street balancing a computer on one arm. You have to deliver your message between heartbeats. You can do it.

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