What does it mean to write the web better?

4/17/2021

There is so much stuff out there about how to write better for the web. But it always assumes a context - often large businesses with teams, out-sourced marketing departments (even if that’s just a freelance writer). With titles like UX writer, content writer, Content strategist, SEO strategist, assistant microcopy UX writer intern. It assumes that you can divide your thinking between writing a blog post, an error message, and a landing page. But in real life, the lines are blurred. And in a one person start up, you’ve got to do it all. 

 

This is for everyone. But especially for people who have never thought about writing as specialisms. Or thought about writing as a holistic exercise. 

 

It means to think about 

 

  • Your audience

  •  
    • Who is this person?
      • Research - Just enough research
      • Persona - when you are watching a badly written movie, and an actor says something that the character wouldn’t say, it jumps out at you. You know the character, even though they are made up. Create Personas to embody the qualities you are looking for in your users. Demographics might be important, but ways of working, peer groups, might be more important. 
    • Why do they need your content? 
      • User stories
      • Job stories
      • Jobs to be done
      • Emotional states



 

  • Your context

    • Internationalisation
    • What is your business? 
    • Start-up, established small business, freelance writer, part of a team of everyone, 
    • What are you are selling
      • People buy for 2 reasons. Which are you selling? (it might be both) 
      • Pain relief - What is the pain you’re trying to ease? 
      • Aspiration - What’s the heights you want your user to reach? 

 

  • Your content

    • Microcopy
    • Landing page
    • Social media
    • Blog post
    • Instruction
    • Form
    • Essay
    • Creative writing
    • Story 
    • Video
    • User interface design
    • Technical writing. For example, the Help pages for an app

 

  • You voice

    • How to find a voice
    • What makes a voice unique
    • Making sure your voice is heard through the content


 

  • Your brand

    • Your mission
    • Your vision
    • Your look
    • Your feel

 

  • Technical requirements

    • Accessibility
    • Readability
    • HTML
    • CSS

 

  • Strategies
    • SEO
    • Advertising
    • Push / pull 
    • Click bait
    •  
    •  

 

Brand and Voice

WTWB is 

  • Empowering but not pushy
  • Honest but not syrupy
  • Direct but not bossy
  • Open-minded but not wishy-washy
  • Opinionated but not obstinate
  • Equivocal but not preachy
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