The Internet seems to be more about quantity than it is about quality – a simple search gives the user millions of results. Finding good quality content in this sea of information is like finding the proverbial needle in the haystack. And Content Writers who write specifically for the Internet need to contend with an issue that is a direct result of this information overload. In addition, they need to be able to hold the interest – or ‘eyeballs’, in their jargon – of the reader and be able to deliver as much as possible in the fewest number of words.
The Word on the web:
Q: What is the ideal writing style for the web and how is it different from requirements for the print media?
A: On the web, attention span is limited; hence the writing style must be conversational, crisp, easy flow language, with the focus on the core subject all throughout. No unnecessary verbosity can be present. The meaning of the article should be clear on one read; the reader should not have to scroll up and down through it. On the other hand, the print media offers more scope for developing varied styles to the fullest, with a lot of potential to create jolts of suspense at periodic intervals.
Q: How we approach an article for the web? What are the things we must keep in mind, from the reader’s point of view?
A: The reader on the web is essentially a quick browser who has little time to delve into the intricacies of style, diction, and so on. Hence, from the reader’s point of view, the message to go the web must be able to sustain interest throughout, without digressing from the core theme. The content should preferably not go beyond two scrolls pages for any given stretch.
Q: How does the entire process work?
A: Ideally, the entire process of content writing can be split into three phases. The first phase is sourcing. Here we narrow down the subject that we will be writing about, and then look for credible and authoritative information and resources on the subject. Then comes the writing part, in which is information is rewritten, repackaged and reprocessed for Internet audience. Most of the companies have proof reader and quality analysts who check the article for minute errors.
Q: What is the ideal attitude required for a job like this?
A: Ideally, a content writer should have a penchant for grabbing the most current and happening news. Writing content is difficult for those who come from print, but eventually if a person has knack of writing, he or she could pick up easily the nuances of web writing.
Q: Is there a good place to start?
A: The market is now flooded with all sort of content writing jobs, but most of them unfortunately tedious and stress on quantity. To start with, one may contribute articles on a freelance basis, or publish for free basis. Then one can move over to sending articles to popular magazines and newspapers. Once the foothold has been gained, a writer can then look for a full-time reporting job in the same take it forward from there.
The bottom line is unless your story holds something new and of practical value to the reader, chances are that nobody will red beyond the first paragraph. From sourcing the information to putting it up on a site, the job of a content writer demands excellent understanding of the Internet from a delivery and a user perspective.