Writing For The Web

Carine Visagie presented a talk at the Food And Wine Bloggers Indaba about writing for the web. There were some interesting points, and others which flew over my ‘non techie geek’ head.

  • online readers are goal oriented
  • reading online is 25% slower than reading on paper – readers therefore scroll and scan the lower regions of the page. This makes the first two paragraphs the most important
  • breadcrumbs indicate where you are within the blog so it is a good idea to have them (look at the area of my blog under the navigation bar – that is where my breadcrumbs are)
  • the photograph must correspond with the post
  • readers will not wait for downloads
  • provide valuable, interesting information in an easy to read format
  • you have to grab your reader at first glance, therefore put the needs of your reader first
  • know your audience
  • practice good writing
  • organize your information into categories / sections that make sense
  • the bulk of your content must be above the fold
  • create chunks of content by using sub headings and use bulleted lists
  • put key words first
  • the first two sentences of each paragraph count the most
  • keep your paragraphs fairly short
  • make every word count
  • use captions with your photos
  • keep the copy concise, write relevant and interesting copy
  • watch out for repetition
  • increase your credibility by ensuring there are no typo’s, spelling or grammar errors and use high quality graphics
  • make sure your information is up to date especially your contact page
  • attribute your sources
  • use left aligned text
  • have a space between your paragraphs
  • use proper sentence structures
  • use italics sparingly as well as underlined text
  • remember comment love ♥
  • become part of online communities
  • headlines must have your keyword phrase which you must repeat in the copy (in bold)
  • include descriptive, keyword heavy ALT text in images (alternative text should be placed within quotation marks)
  • use internal links within your post. For example I use this link: For conversions click here in all my recipe posts
  • make use of the ‘rel=no follow’ option with external links. This really went over my head but since the Indaba I have learnt more about this. There is a plugin for WordPress that automatically does this for you. Basically, you want the link to an external site to work, but you don’t want google to ascribe ranking to that link when followed. If you add this plugin and want some help with the options, please email me.
  • your meta description can be 156 characters and you need to add this to each post. I have a plugin for this as well. It is a bit time consuming but worth it if you want to increase your google ranking
  • create original content, encourage comments, add sharing buttons, have a ‘call to action’. (A call to action is when you ask a question in your post etc.)
  • make sure your navigation makes sense
  • limit your posts to 500 words
  • become the “go to blog” for information on a topic
  • use numbered post ideas if topical

I hope you have found this useful. If you have any points you would like to add, please do so in the comments below.

What I blogged:

Lavender and Lime Signature

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18 thoughts on “Writing For The Web

  1. These are some fabulous tips! Also thank you so much for the post you wrote for me. I actually did read it when you posted it but couldn’t comment…it was so so so sweet and I am truly touched by it.

  2. SO many good tips Tandy, thank you. I start feeling overwhelmed by blogging. I love food, I love cooking, I like to talk about it. I thought that this was enough. It is not. I try to keep up…

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