The internet has
changed writing. Today, there are more people writing every day — e-mails, text
messages, blog posts — and more self-published authors than ever before.
Written communication is popular in a way it hasn’t been in a century, and
everyone’s doing it. But unlike when writing between two people was quiet and
private, much of today’s writing is loud and public, connected through a web of
hyperlinks to every other piece of writing out there. Digital writing can be
anything. It can be a blog post, an e-mail, a text message. It can be a tweet,
or a Facebook update, or a conversation on Tumblr. It can be comments on blog
posts, responses to news articles, book reviews shared on GoodReads, or fan
fiction. It can also look a lot more traditional: poems posted on the web, or
self-published novels on Amazon and iBooks.Hypertext allows us to
link what we write to what others have written. Google Docs allow for
simultaneous collaborative writing. Multi-site blogs allow many authors to work
together toward a common goal. The internet allows us to communicate through
our text in new ways; it frees us to join our words with others’, to innovate,
and to let our words become our actions. We can live spontaneously through our
words, or vicariously, or cooperatively. Our words can form communities, can
take a stand, can create at the same time as we create them.What
is a “blog” and “blogging”?A blog (shortened from
the phrase “weblog”) is known as many things—a digital magazine, diary,
newscast, collector’s meeting place, a showcase for your art, information
sharing, teaching hub, place to learn and… well, almost anything you want it
to be. A typical blog combines text, images, videos and links to relevant pages
and media on the Web. Blog readers can leave comments and communicate with the
author. In fact, dialogue and interaction are a popular part of a blog’s
success.In the blogging world,
you have the word “blog” (an online journal), “blogger” (the person who owns
and contributes to a blog) and “blogging” (the act of creating content for the
blog). You can be a “blogger blogging on a blog,” a “blog about a blogger
blogging” or a “blogging blog about a blogger.”One of the great things
about blogging is the impact it has made on communication throughout the world.
Blogs can report news as it happens, hold mainstream media to higher standards
and provide specific news and information to meet niche interests.The
most popular styles and types of blogsPersonal
blogs share thoughts, original art, poems, writing or photography. Some sell
custom crafts, art or products. If you just want to make a statement, show your
DIY (do it yourself) skills, have fun or blog for therapy, a personal blog is
perfect for you needs. Business
blogs: Business blogs are created in the voice of the
company, as a crucial component of marketing. They can function as a
direct-sales tool and are outstanding for both messaging and two-way
communication as part of a company’s public relations efforts. Blogs are
effective and cost-efficient vehicles for small organizations that need to
publish information for their customers or members.Niche/topical
blogs: Niche/topical blogs focus on a particular interest.
They can be about health, gardening, education, sports, fashion or or lifestyle.
Name your special interest and you can blog about it. If you’re a collector of
antiques, a true-mystery fan, a travel addict or just love cooking, there may
be a blog in your future. Niche blogs easily attract loyal followers, which
contributes to the fun of blogging.Media-type
blogs: Media-type blogs are defined by their content. If
you enjoy video blogging, then you’re a vlogger. If you curate content from
other websites, you have a linklog. If you post photos or art sketches on your
blog, you’re hosting a photoblog or artblog.Reverse
blogs: Reverse blogs are a unique but popular type of
blog. Instead of the owner creating content, the content is supplied by the
public. A reverse blog has a team who moderate posts, prevent unpleasant
interactions and promote slow topics for greater interactivity.The
biggest benefits of bloggingThere
are several reasons why you might consider blogging.
free and easy to setup.
it easy to promote your research or community group – anyone with an
internet connection can follow what you are doing.
better writer and thinker
yourself as an expert
usually written in an informal style. It’s OK to use them to try out
ideas, to write about personal experiences, or to pose questions.
friends and have fun
from your blog
your blog regularly with interesting content means that readers are more
likely to return to your blog. This might make your blog more effective
than a static website which is seldom updated.
to writing successful blogsWriting well for a blog
is quite different from most other ways you might record an event, such as
taking minutes or writing a departmental report. The tips below should help you
write a blog post that is engaging, attractive, accessible to non-specialists
and easy to find!1.
Cover the key points: The blog post format lends itself to
short summaries and reflections, rather than exhaustive accounts of an event.
UCL Events blog posts should be 600-800 words, certainly fewer than 1,000, so
put yourself in the shoes of someone who didn’t attend – what would you
highlight to attract their attention and demonstrate why the topic is relevant
to a general audience? What were the main thrusts of the arguments presented,
and are there any controversial aspects that might interest the lay reader?2.
Write for a non-specialist audience: Events blog readers
will largely be well educated, as many will come from the university itself,
but they will come from all disciplines. Imagine you are writing for a friend
or a relative who is not a specialist in the area – avoid jargon, spell out
acronyms and try to demonstrate why the subject matter is relevant to the
general public. Feel free to draw on your own knowledge of a subject to enhance
Make it personal: Everybody’s idea of what is interesting
is different; a highlight for you might be one speaker’s presentation manner, a
memorable statistic, or the question and answer session that followed a
lecture. You don’t have to cover all elements of an event equally. Feel free
also to link the subject matter in with relevant reading you may have done.4.
Make your headline work: Your headline should use keywords
or even a list-format (“Seven ways that…”, “Five reasons why…”), so that
readers know at a glance the area covered, and search engines can find them
more easily. Your headline can also include a short phrase or quote from the
event that is attention-grabbing.5.
Draw readers in with your first line: Usually, only your
first paragraph will be visible on the Events blog homepage, so your opening
should entice readers to click through to the full post. You’ll also need to
get the key facts about the event in here too. Classic ways to grab attention
are to start with:
6. Make your text
scannable: People find it harder to read online than to read
print publications, so they tend to scan online text, rather than read it
closely. You can make your posts easy to scan and digest by using:
paragraphs: one or two main ideas should be grouped together in a
paragraph, no more. It might look strange in your Word document, but it
will work well online
for different sections. These should be short and punchy – using puns and
alliteration can help
points, wherever appropriate, for lists
direct quotes: these can break up the text and help bring the discussion
7. Make your post
‘findable’: As well as an informative headline, relevant
links will help your blog post be better indexed by search engines. Feel free
to link back to the department that held an event, the homepage or organization
of the speaker, or previous coverage on the topic by UCL News or by the
mainstream press. Links have the added benefit of allowing non-specialist
readers to delve more deeply into a topic if you have whetted their appetite.8. Be professional:
SPELLCHECK your post.
SOMEONE ELSE TO READ IT – not just for grammar and spelling, but to see if
there’s anything unclear or ambiguous to someone who didn’t attend the
all, the blog posts will be permanently archived, and you might want to refer
someone back to your posts in future as an example of your writing.9.
Use engaging photos: If you are being so good as to provide
a photo of an event, try to choose one that demonstrates some dynamism, for
instance a speaker gesticulating to emphasise their point. Remember that the
photo will be quite small in the blog post, so better to crop in or use a
close-up rather than a view of an entire room. If an image is from an external
source, please ensure that you have the rights to use it. 10.
Learn from others: There are plenty of excellent blogs
that you can learn from – why not sign up to a couple in your area of interest
to get some good ideas? The articles below provide some more guidance on best
is a Website?A website in return can
be anything. Anything on the internet presented in HTML/CSS or
complimented with a blog, but the home page would be more for browsing other
pages and not just posts. Fully functional and eye-catchy websites are usually
cost consuming tasks as you would have to build from the base up. However with
platforms and services like Adobe Dreamweaver, you could build your own
website.A blog can be a part of
a website, in the form of a separate
page and linked to the homepage. A website is a bigger aspect and its limitations
are little to none. A website could be anything from a single page to a 1
Billion-users social network (Say, Facebook).Basic
identification of a website:
that displays content from several sections of internal website pages.
portfolio of work.
might be a part of a website, but not the only thing.
Frequently asked questions page that readers can browse to get more
A page of
client testimonials and feedback.
terms and privacy statements pages.
A Contact form
that allows visitors to get in touch.
services/products page that displays what they have to offer for the
Wikipedia, Facebook, Odesk, etc, and the list goes on.Website
Content WritingWebsite Content writing
involves creating relevant content for websites. Every website has a specific
target audience and requires different content. Content should contain key
words aimed towards improving a website’s SEO (Search Engine Optimization).There is a growing
demand for skilled web content writing on the Internet. Quality content often
translates into higher revenues for online businesses. Website owners and
managers depend on content writers to perform several major tasks like creating
content that allows the site visitors to get the information they want quickly
and efficiently. Efficient and focused web content gives readers access to
information in a user-friendly manner. Website content writing
aims for relevance and search-ability. Relevance means that the website text
should be useful and beneficial to readers. Search-ability indicates usage of
keywords to help search engines direct users to websites that meet their search
criteria. There are various ways through which websites come up with article
writing, and one of them is outsourcing of the content writing. However, it is
riskier than other options, as not all writers can write content specific to
C’s of Writing Content for a Website1.
Client-Centric: Quality content is not about what you
want to write. It’s about what your clients and prospects need to read. If you
learn your audience’s needs and pain points, you have a chance at creating
high-quality content for them.2.
Compelling: How do you engage with your audience in
a way that they will want to read your content? Web users typically scan the
page and only read if they see words that are obviously relevant to them. If
they come from search, they will look for the words they typed into their
queries to determine relevance. If you bold these words within punchy prose,
you will tend to be more compelling.3.
Credible: Web readers are inherently skeptical and sensitive
to hyperbole. Everything you write needs have solid evidence behind it. Think
of it like writing a Wikipedia article, where you actually need to put
references into every statement. Outside of Wikipedia, you don’t need to
include the references, but keep them in your back pocket and refer to them to
strengthen your position, if necessary.4.
Concise: Web users are extremely time challenged. Give them
the information they need in the smallest possible time. Notice I said time,
not space because it’s really not about text length as much as how easy it is
to process the information. A dense sentence can take longer to process than an
accessible paragraph. Most importantly, conciseness is about providing all and
only the information your audience needs on that page.5.
Clear: Clarity is also in the eye of the beholder. And
that’s really the most important point. If you think as your audience thinks,
you will learn how to express yourself in ways that are clear to them. Use
their language and simplify your sentences. If you do, your content will tend
to be clear to them.6.
Conversational: On the web, nothing turns an audience
off faster than writing that sounds mechanical, like you’re trying too hard to
increase your keyword density. Only slightly better is writing that is dry or
impersonal, like academic writing. Imagine your audience sitting across from
you in a café and engaging in a chat. Read your writing out loud before you
publish it. If it sounds mechanical or stuffy, it doesn’t pass this simple
Correct: Like it or not, typos and grammatical errors turn
off a portion of your audience. It’s the easiest C on the list to control and
measure, but it is no less important than the other six.Basic
differences between a website and a blog
does not exist. There is only one-way communication.
about products and/or services.
every company has a website. In fact, it is almost a requirement in
is regularly updated.
about industry/customer issues.
people have a blog.