The Truth about Online Content: It's Time for Writers to Take Back the Web

Written by Melissa Brewer

Continued from page 1

Where does this assumption come from? Perhaps it is because repparttar "techies" created and coinedrepparttar 129813 word "content" when describing repparttar 129814 text on a website. Rather than a pretty word such as "prose" or a practical word like "writing",the buzz about online content created a bizarre rebellion against creativity and gave writers a strange aversion to web-based work; how could a writer be needed for something as dull as "content"? Isn't this something that web designers handle?

The context of writing, when applied to online media, is perceived somewhat differently. New web style guidelines, which helped people read online without getting a headache, for a time becamerepparttar 129815 sole criteria for judging whether website content was up to standards. Jakob Neilson, a famous industry analyst-turned-usability guru, pigeonholed web writing and content alongside web design. Instead of hailing "content" as a wonderful way to communicate with website visitors,repparttar 129816 term "concise, objective, and scannable" was born, and web design and content became a means torepparttar 129817 ultimate goal; "usability." (Who can be creative when they're using words like "usability" and "user interface", anyway?) Webmasters created repparttar 129818 web, coined new terms, and used new, techie language to describe old products.

The Results How many corporate websites out there actually make you want to work for them? How many ecommerce websites sound excited and knowledgeable about their product lines? How many email newsletters do you actually find worth reading in a given week? Most likely, unless you're just not very picky, you'll have trouble naming more than one or two sources. Which means, that out of allrepparttar 129819 websites and newsletters out there, there are only a handful that are getting what they want; repeat, loyal visitors. This is where content creation as a writing career becomes a reachable goal.

The Solution

If corporate websites want web content that inspires, creates an emotional response, or at least sparks a memory (tech term: "branding"), it's time for them to go torepparttar 129820 people who will give articles and copy a chance in hell for success. That's us, folks! While web writing does combine a unique set of skills, with a little talent andrepparttar 129821 right training, a writer can easily transition from print to web and fill this important writing niche.

It's time to claim our writing markets online and offer our skills to repparttar 129822 companies that need us most. Most of them are waiting for a reliable source of content to come along.

We'rerepparttar 129823 freelance writers. We're picky aboutrepparttar 129824 words we use,repparttar 129825 sources we quote, and voice and tone ofrepparttar 129826 content we create. We get to know an audience, not "users" or "eyeballs". And we pride ourselves not only on aesthetically pleasing text, but creating prose and copy that works. Not in a mechanical sense, but a human sense.

Freelance web writers are not simply ridingrepparttar 129827 web industry buzz, but we're busy carefully crafting words that say precisely what a web company needs to say.

That's right; there are creative folks who make a living writing for repparttar 129828 web! In fact, we were writing forrepparttar 129829 web before it came along. We've been writing "concise, (slightly) objective, and scannable" documents sincerepparttar 129830 middle ages.

Back then, we called it poetry. :-)

So, are you ready to write forrepparttar 129831 web?

Melissa Brewer is a full-time freelance writer and web content consultant. Visit: or send an email to:

Writing Copy For Online Catalogs

Written by Wild Bill Montgomery

Continued from page 1

5) Time is always an important factor. Unlike turning pages in a catalog, navigating an online catalog can be much more involved. Always make it possible for your buyer to locaterepparttar product in two or 3 clicks. I'm sure you've heard this before; Humans are, by large, impatient beings andrepparttar 129811 longer it takes them to reachrepparttar 129812 product in question,repparttar 129813 more chance you have of losing them. Use indexes and/or categories. Not just one, but several. Make it possible for your visitor to accessrepparttar 129814 product from several different angles or headings. Remember Wild Bill's Rule. Never make them look past 2 or three clicks from your opening catalog page.

Page load times should be kept to a minimum. All web designers keep load speeds at or nearrepparttar 129815 top of their lists. This factor is especially important on catalog sites. Your goal is to host visitors that are here to buy, not to be entertained. Keep your flashy Java Modules, Javascripts, DHTML Time Lines and Page Graphics to a minimum. Your pages need to load atrepparttar 129816 peak of efficiency, just like turning a page.

6) Add "Value" to your catalog. Even catalogs can benefit by content. The Internet is all about information. Use content as a draw targeted prospects to your catalog. Say for instance that you host a catalog for tools and home improvement items. A perfect benefit for this catalog would be How-To articles on Home Improvement. For beauty supplies, you could give tips for makeovers. Getrepparttar 129817 point? Offer content relative to your products to properly align this free or low cost marketing idea to your product base.

Offer extras! There is nothing new about offering your buyers "FREE EXTRAS" for purchasing your products. FREE Extras could be slow moving or stagnant products, a how-to guide, a toll free number, free delivery or a free product support. The idea is that you are givingrepparttar 129818 buyer something extra for buying from your catalog.

7) Just as any other web site,repparttar 129819 opening page or cover page to your catalog should beginrepparttar 129820 selling process. Just as magazine, book publishers and yes, catalog publishers spend a lot of time and resources designing and implementingrepparttar 129821 covers, so should you. You have to have an opening page that says "Open Me, I'm Worth It!" Think of your "opening page" as a big headline. You must use all your writing and design skills combined with enticing graphics and/or photos to convince them to turn torepparttar 129822 next page so to speak. Whether true or not, a dull cover conveysrepparttar 129823 appearance of dull products. Goodbye Sales! Here isrepparttar 129824 place to begin aligning your copy with your product line. "Comprehensive Product Line", "Product Superiority", "Problem Solutions" and "Price" as a whole should be addresses and enforced right here. You could be giving awayrepparttar 129825 best made product, forrepparttar 129826 most popular fad, and if you can't get them to openrepparttar 129827 cover (or click inside), you won't be giving away spit.

8) Make ordering easy. Recently, I needed a CD Burner and I visited an online catalog, whose copy and presentation was excellent. They had comparable pricing and quality products. I was ready to buy. I went torepparttar 129828 order form and found a 2 page demographics survey that had to be filled out forrepparttar 129829 privilege of purchasing their product. I Don't Think So! Keep your form torepparttar 129830 minimum requirements, clear and easily understood. If you must have demographics, ask for them afterrepparttar 129831 purchase. Getting back some demographics is far better than getting no sales.

Accept Credit Cards. Except for very limited product lines you must accept credit cards to survive. I myself don't accept credit cards yet, but have not had a need to do it yet. Then again, I do not operate a catalog site. People buying from an online catalog, expect; no demand to be able to use their credit cards for immediate purchase. Make it clear what credit cards you accept and that fact that you use a secure server forrepparttar 129832 transaction.

Closing Thought:

The Internet Shopping Arena is growing at unbelievable speeds, literally destroying old name business that denyrepparttar 129833 Unbeatable Force of that we call "The Internet". Every day more and more people turn to Online Catalogs to fulfill their shopping lists. Are you ready? Is your online catalog up to snuff? Only your web surfers know for sure!

My best wishes for your Success!

Wild Bill Montgomery Have You Automated Yet? Database Management & Automation is where it's at! Have you set up a database on your web site yet? Don't Know How? Don't Have Time? Database & Automation Programming! This is what we do! Contact Us Today! We Can Help!

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