How to write well?

How to write for the web? (part 1)

It may look, at a first glance, that it doesn’t really matter how you write, you just need to write. I don’t think that’s true, for both humans and the search engines you need to write well. While humans are, for now, better than the engines at spotting what’s a good content and what isn’t, I would put more emphasis on writing well. Thus, the following 10 tips from David OGILVY come in handy:

1. Read the Roman-Raphaelson book on writing. Read it three times.

2. Write the way you talk. Naturally.

3. Use short words, short sentences and short paragraphs.

4. Never use jargon words like reconceptualize, demassification, attitudinally, judgmentally. They are hallmarks of a pretentious ass.

5. Never write more than two pages on any subject.

6. Check your quotations.

7. Never send a letter or a memo on the day you write it. Read it aloud the next morning—and then edit it.

8. If it is something important, get a colleague to improve it.

9. Before you send your letter or your memo, make sure it is crystal clear what you want the recipient to do.

10. If you want ACTION, don’t write. Go and tell the guy what you want.

(source – 10 Tips To Write Well From David Oglivy. | Rich Gee Group)
Buy the book: Confessions of an Advertising Man.

Translation in Romanian (via):

1. Citeşte cartea “Writing that works” de Kenneth Roman, Joel Raphaelson. Citeşte-o de trei ori.

2. Scrie aşa cum vorbeşti. Natural.

3. Foloseşte cuvinte scurte, propoziţii scurte şi paragrafe scurte.

4. Nu folosi niciodată jargoane precum: reconceptualizare, demasificare, atitudinal. Aceste cuvinte sunt caracteristice prietenţioşilor.

5. Nu scrie niciodată mai mult de două pagini pe acelaşi subiect.

6. Verifică-ţi citatele.

7. Nu trimite niciodată o scrisoare în ziua în care ai scris-o. Citeşte-o cu voce tare dimineaţa următoare şi apoi editeaz-o.

8. Dacă-i o scrisoare importantă, pune colegii să o îmbunătăţească.

9. Înainte să trimiţi scrisoarea, asigură-te că-i foarte clar ceea ce vrei să facă destinatarul.

10. Dacă vrei ACŢIUNE, nu scrie. Du-te şi zi-i tipului ceea ce vrei.

Cumpără cartea.

How to write for the web? (part 2)

How to write Product Descriptions?

Various articles on writing for the web


Note: Also see the Yahoo! Group on which I present similar issues:IMRo. To join, email imro-subscribe@yahoogroups.com and reply to the confirmation email.

I am a Freelancer. My expertise is in SEO (Search Engine Optimization) / UX (user experience) / WordPress. Co-founder of lumeaseoppc.ro (series of events on SEO & PPC) and cetd.ro (Book on branding for MDs). On a personal level, I like self-development - events, sports, healthy living, volunteering, reading. I live in London, and lots of things live in me.

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