Gertrude Stein insisted that a rose was a rose was a rose. And I will proclaim, right here, that boring is boring is boring. You've probably heard (ad nauseum) that writing for web is completely different than writing for print. Keep your copy as short as possible. Don't use italics. Use shorter, simpler sentences. However, this relatively sound advice won't help you if your content is a snooze, or just plain confusing.
Good writing is good writing. If a user is given choice between long and interesting, or short and dull, they will probably read half of interesting piece, and skip dull content altogether. Neither is ideal, my point is that too much emphasis is placed on length these days, rather than very nature of content itself.
What keeps people reading?
1. Stories. "Story" can mean lots of different things. It can be a testimonial. It can be your first-person account as entrepreneur. You can make up a goofy little character and have him guide users through site. The fact of matter is, we respond to stories. The best TV writers know this-and so do best ad copywriters. Watch CLEO awards some year. Every award-winning commercial I've seen has a narrative. It may be overt, it may be subtle, but it's still there. Even most buttoned-down business site can use story to good effect-TV ads for swanky, expensive cars are a great example.
2. Content-in its original sense. I actually find word "content" profoundly irritating, because it gives impression that you can fill your site with anything, as long as it takes up visual space. I think original use of that word-that is, table of "content-s"-is much more helpful. No one's going to read a book full of junk text; and they won't read it on a site, either. Avoid filling your pages with "fluff" - that is, cheesy sales rhetoric that doesn't really say anything at all. Use details. Get specific. Be as accurate as you can. Think of yourself as a reporter, writing an article. A detailed, objective description is far more compelling that pie-in-the-sky Carnival barking.
3. Pay attention to language. Word choices make all difference in world. What if Buzz Aldren had said, "I'm taking a small step here, it's just a man-sized step, but I can't help but think that this is a symbol that we, humanity as a whole, we're all taking a large step, like this little step, but bigger and more symbolic." The moon landing would not have been as poignant, not by a long shot. But because he was wise with his word choices, we have "One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." Much nicer, don't you think?