The writing style adopted for produced publication, report or document should be dependent on its audience.
There are two broad styles: a formal style typically used for policy and strategy documents and a journalistic style, suitable for newsletters or general audiences. When writing text for a publication, always ensure you adopt the most appropriate writing style.
The journalistic approach is particularly good for web, just follow these basic principles:
- Present information in a logical order so that the essence of the piece is contained in the first few sentences ensure you include all relevant facts – the who? where? when? what? and why?
- Use anecdotes and quotes in direct speech marks, rather than paraphrased reported speech.
- Include vivid descriptions of places, rich in local detail, to draw readers into a sympathetic engagement with the subject matter.
- Use provocative headlines, extended picture captions and highlighted quotes to give readers the option of understanding the message without reading every word.
- Use well researched statistics to quickly build up a convincing argument.
- Use simple and concise sentences and split your web content into paragraphs with meaningful headings.
Boring and dull writing is often lazy writing, produced quickly with little effort to incorporate original material.
Time spent gathering information and interviewing experts in person or on the telephone will often make the difference between lifeless prose and writing that is immediately interesting.
Content is king. A typical website reader will enter and leave your website in a matter of seconds. If your reader does not find what s/he is looking for or finds your writing dull s/he will undoubtedly leave and move on to another site. Keep the main content as a focal point so that readers can quickly scan the page for text and invest time in writing arresting content.