- Break it Up: I don’t care if you’re writing about world peace or the newest bathroom fixture; if you’re not breaking up your content into easy-to-read passages, you’ve got some problems. Every once in a while some crazy person will publish a manifesto, and it will get some media attention. Usually the text’s one long, multi-page block. Who wants to read that? Break up your content into lists, small paragraphs, or even single sentences.
- Headlines: Think of reading a website like you read a newspaper. Are you delving into each topic, or just scanning the headlines for the stories that might interest you? People will do the same when they’re reading your website. Make your headings and subheadings interesting, informative, and a bit flashy. And your headings will also be one of the first things the search engines look for and take note of when they index your page, so make them precisely about what your topic or content is about.
- Tone: Who are you trying to write a website for? Plumber-pants Chuck down the street, or Bill the top CEO on the block? And where do you want your website read? In the late-night dives along Skid Row, or in the executive office suites of Fortune 500 companies? Selecting and using the right tone for your website is critical, and you’ve got to know who your target audience is to do that. Some things to think about are if you want to use words like “you’re” or “you are.” I hate the latter, and I think most CEOs do as well.
- Format: There are more formatting musts when it comes to a website besides just breaking up those large and unruly blocks of text. Consider how you want your text aligned (most websites prefer justified) as well as the spacing between sentences (one is best). Include links in your content, either through hyperlinked words right in a paragraph, or at the bottom of your page. And never forget that you can compare your website with countless others out there. Is it stealing, or just studying, when you filch ideas? And does anyone on the internet care?
When it comes to how to write a website, you’ll find millions of people with the right answers. You certainly won’t find all the answers here, but you will find some good pointers. And don’t forget that these are not firm rules etched in stone and ready to stand the test of time. The internet changes constantly, and while the standards of writing have held for centuries, the internet doesn’t necessarily have to play by those rules. If you write well, get your point across, and do both in a fun and enjoyable way for your reader, you can really do whatever you want.
Learn More about Writing a Website
Wiki Article on Writing a Website
50 of the Best Websites for Writers