Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Writing for the Web - Crawford Kilian

Summary: From blogs to corporate sites--write web copy that works. Hundreds of books tell you how to design new web pages and jazz up existing websites with graphics, animation, and sound. But an effective website needs strong, lively content that people will want to read--and return to.

Writing for the Web offers sound principles of writing persuasive copy and presenting it in an appealing format so that visitors to your website will read what you've written and act on what they've read. Both new and professional web writers will benefit from the commonsense advice and tips in this book.

Whether you are creating an online portfolio, developing your company's website, or starting a blog, Writing for the Web shows you how to hook readers and keep them coming back. The book also has its own blog with complementary content. (picture from self-counselpress.com - summary from back of book)

My review: When I saw Writing for the Web, the first thing that stood out for me was it's size--a completely unintimidating 178 pages. Even though the content wasn't, say, as exciting as a NYT Bestseller, it was something that I looked at and thought...yeah, okay, I can read that. I knew it wouldn't become a doorstop.

This book is organized and easy to understand. It is the perfect book for someone with little web training who is trying to set up or reconfigure their website or blog. The author is very patient in explaining basic web writing concepts and terms to someone who is new to the weblog universe.

The parts that I found most interesting were:
  • The background information on the evolution of the Internet and web writing.
  • How we search for information on the Internet versus the printed page
  • How different people search the Internet.
  • How to lay out a web page or blog in a way that is easy to read and pleasing to look at.
  • How to set up a site or blog based on what type of audience you are targeting.
  • How to use correct grammar, and appropriate word usage (which, heaven knows, I need).
While this book seems to be primarily about organizing websites, once I started reading I kept having to put the book down and run to the computer to follow up on ideas that would work for my own blogs. Overall, this was a useful book for beginners on how to organize websites and even blogs--compiled in a fluid, easy to understand manner. I found quite a few promising ideas for Reading For Sanity; so, hopefully you'll see some positive changes in the coming months.

My rating: 4 Stars. I probably wouldn't die for this book, but it was worth the read.

Sum this book up in one phrase: Web Writing 101 - a good start.

1 comment:

Tania Smith said...

Thanks for the review!

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