The Disgustingly Simple Rule for Web Writing That’s Often Hard to Swallow

how to make your web writing easy to digest

Editor’s note: This post was originally published on January 14, 2009. We’re bringing it back today because clear, concise writing on the web never goes out of style.

In 1964, Richard Hofstadter wrote a Pulitzer-prize-winning book called Anti-Intellectualism in America. This rich, thorough book exposed the thread of anti-intellectualism that runs through the culture of practical America.

For example, even though the founding fathers were sages, scientists, and men of cultivation, the Federalists attacked their curiosity and idealism as too trivial for important affairs.

Did you know there’s a thread of anti-intellectualism running through good web writing and design? In fact, web usability demands mindless writing and design.

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What You Don’t Know About Copyright Can Hurt You

are you breaking the law with your content?

As writers, we are very protective of our own creations.

But when we perform research on a topic and come across the perfect passage on a website, or an image that perfectly captures the essence of the point we are trying to make, sometimes it can be tempting to just copy and paste it into our own content.

With that one move, however, you commit copyright infringement — which could cost you your reputation and your business.

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9 Copywriting Books for Web Writers

copywriting-books

Rough Draft host Demian Farnworth doesn’t care who you are — a blogger, freelance journalist, ghostwriter, or ad copywriter — if you are writing on the web, then you need to read these copywriting books.

Two are more recent than the others (and Influence by Robert Cialdini is not technically a direct response copywriting book).

But these are the books Demian would demand you read if teaching a ground-level graduate course on writing for the web, since so many principles of direct response copywriting obey the unbreakable law of the web.

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What’s Your Favorite Word?

favorite-word

In this episode of Editor-in-Chief, discover why you should let go of your preferences to become a more mature writer.

Examine your writing like an Editor-in-Chief to keep your audience engaged and to continue growing as a content creator.

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The Powerful Resource You’ve Always Wanted When Presented with Creative Challenges

how to avoid copycat content

In the fall of 2008, I had every aspect of running my online copy editing business carefully mapped out — but the unpleasant reality that callously illuminated my pretty little map was that there wasn’t much of a business to run.

I had a few clients to keep me busy, but I put way too much hope in my bare-bones website.

At the time, I thought that the mere presence of a website would make clients flock to me and graciously ask for writing help. I’d have a steady flow of clients who were happy to pay me substantial fees, and to pass the time between copy editing work, I’d recline comfortably, eat bon bons, and file my nails.

I was incredibly disappointed and frustrated not only because that scenario was not my reality, but also because I didn’t know the most effective ways to promote my online business.

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Revealed: The Perfect Blog Post Length

blog-post-length

Here’s a million-dollar question: Is there a magical blog post length? In other words, should you aim for a word-count sweet spot?

The answer is no; there is not an ideal word count for a blog post. But there’s an ideal number of questions you need to ask yourself before you write.

And that magic number is 13.

Ask yourself these 13 questions and you’ll discover how long your article should be, whether or not it will be interesting, and if you even have the time to write a good article.

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