Writing for the Web

It has been apparent for some time that effective writing for the web has become an absolutely core competency. We’ve moved away from the pseudo-words beloved of text messaging and are now at a stage where true wordcraft is vital to communication.

Not just any writing, however. Different media require different approaches. The headline that might have looked wonderful in the newspaper probably won’t fit within the constraints of Facebook or Instagram character counts.

You may have written a fabulous blog post – but if you haven’t optimised your content for Google Search, chances are that no-one but you will see it.

And the few seconds that represent the average time-on-site for typical web browsers means that we simply don’t have the luxury of indulging in long paragraphs.

Yes, writing for the web requires a whole different approach — and you can either learn that the hard way, by discovering it for yourself, or learn from us.

A couple of years ago, in response to this need, we developed a popular half day workshop to take marketers through the requirements of writing for the web.

Now, in response to demand from New Zealand businesses, we have repurposed that workshop as a full-blown online training course, complete with content that’s been refreshed and updated to reflect today’s needs.

** FRESHLY UPDATED FOR 2022 **

Writing for the Web – online training course

Here’s what the course covers:

Introduction

Why writing for the web requires different approaches to writing for traditional media (and how this course takes you through the key elements you need to know).

Lesson One: Understanding the Essentials

1. WHO
Who are You Writing To? Before you create a single sentence, you need to understand your target consumers — otherwise your words may be wasted.

In this part of Lesson One, we cover:

  • Profiling your ideal customers
  • Determining their motivations and attitudes
  • Reviewing their media habits
  • Understanding their preferred communications formats
  • Determining their needs & wants
  • Identifying their concerns, goals & challenges
  • Shaping your solutions accordingly

2. WHAT
What are you writing about? Take a closer look at yourself and your organisation, so that your communications reflect exactly who you are. We review:

  • Understanding your brand personality
  • Staying true to your brand values
  • The importance of authenticity and credibility

Lesson Two: Writing for Social Media

With your target audience spending so much time dallying on social media these days, you really must master the art of the effective social media post. You can’t just copy and paste what you have written elsewhere — social media requires quite a different approach. You only have a few seconds to make an impression: most social media consumption happens on mobile devices, and audiences are quickly scrolling through their feeds looking to be entertained or (sometimes) informed. You won’t grab their attention without careful planning and the right content.

Lesson Two talks about:

  • different approaches to different social networks
  • recommended character limits for each network
  • swapping formality for conversational gambits
  • headlines, descriptions, links and what goes best where

Lesson Three: The Content Formula

What should you talk about online? Too many organisations are too busy talking about themselves to even notice that their followers just aren’t bothering with them anymore.

In Lesson Three, we share:

  • The content sweet spot
  • The seven attributes of effective content
  • Google’s Zero Moment of Truth formula and why it matters to marketers
  • The new importance of listening
  • Seven consumer comment types and what they mean

Lesson Four: Writing for Search Engine Optimisation

How can you make your writing insanely popular? The answer, as you’ve probably guessed from the title of this lesson, is by optimising your content for search engines (by which we mean Google, which accounts for more than nine out of every ten NZ searches).

With Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), you are shaping your content for both humans and Google bots. And that in turn means that you must walk a fine line between content that will appeal to your prospective customers and content that tells Google exactly what you’re all about.

We’re talking:

  • Content that isn’t too short or too long, but just right (think Goldilocks, but for length)
  • Keywords and keyword phrases that reflect what prospects are actually searching for
  • Wording that is becoming more conversational (as consumers do more and more voice searching, thanks to Siri, Alexa and Google Assistant)
  • Image tags that are not merely functional but related to your topic
  • Meta descriptions that humans don’t see but which explain your content effectively to Google
  • Using keyword synonyms to hammer home your key themes without being repetitive
  • What you need to know about keyword search patterns
  • The importance of longtail keywords
  • The hotlist of buyer keywords
  • The essential knowledge that you can learn from the Google Keywords Planner
  • Ideal headline length and keyword density

Lesson Five: Consumer Psychology

A good working knowledge of psychology — and in particular of the relevant human characteristics that can enhance your communications — will stand you in very good stead when it comes to writing for the web.

In this lesson, we are going to take a look at some key psychological insights and triggers that will help you to write more effective content, including:

  • Understanding ELMR, which stands for Emotion, Logic, Motivation and Reward
  • Professor Cialdini’s Theory of Influence and how you can use its six key elements in your marketing messages
  • Why People Buy (and the implications for your copy)
  • 13 Key Psychological Triggers which you should consider using

 

Lesson Six: Writing That Sells

How can you best convince visitors to purchase your products or service, especially with the seemingly unstoppable adoption of ecommerce? In this Lesson, we discuss the gentle practice of creating content that lures interested prospects to you, and then converts them into buyers. This lesson discusses:

  • the seven key principles of selling online
  • essential elements of effective websites
  • creating compelling headlines
  • key components of effective product listings
  • pictures that sell a thousand words
  • Sizzling Descriptions & Enticing Offers
  • Crafting an effective description

 

Lesson Seven: Sharing

How can you get people to share your content?

In this lesson we explore the types of content that people love — and love to share. You’ll learn about:

  • Why people share
  • The 20 types of sharing styles that are most effective in social media
  • Finding and using hash tags effectively
  • How you can help your content travel

 

Lesson Eight: Content Structure

How can you best plan out your content so that you don’t end up staring at a blank page and wondering what to write about?

In Lesson Eight, we cover:

  • How to create an effective content calendar
  • Optimal sizes and word lengths, by medium
  • Most popular lengths for blog & social media posts
  • What you need to know about email subject lines

 

Lesson Nine: Writing for Google Ads

Google Advertising has now become an essential part of most Kiwi businesses’ online efforts (in much the same way as the Yellow Pages were a key element of getting found off-line, back in the day). Writing Google ads is part art but predominantly science: you need to follow the formulae in order to get exposure to all those prospective customers entrusting their desires to Google.

In this vital lesson, we share with you:

  • What you need to know about responsive search ads
  • The secrets of writing effective headlines
  • What to include in successful descriptions
  • What you absolutely must know about keywords
  • The best types of Calls to Action for your products or services
  • Steps you should take to improve your Quality Score (and why those numbers matter)

 

Lesson Ten: Writing for Video

Over the last several years, consumers have turned more and more to online video for entertainment and information. Marketers have responded by creating videos covering every aspect of promoting their products and services. But not every video is created equal, especially when it comes to ensuring that people watch more than a few seconds. We want to change that, especially for your videos.

In Lesson Ten, we reveal:

  • How much attention your videos are likely to get, before watchers swipe away
  • What you can do to grab attention early and encourage people to stay tuned
  • The importance of subtitles when so many have viewing videos without sound
  • Software tools that can turn your wondrous words into effective voice-overs
  • How to optimise your videos on YouTube

 

Lesson Eleven: Content Curation

Much of your online activity can, and often should, involve sharing other people’s content. So how do you find and share that content?

In Lesson Eleven, we reveal:

  • Curation tools you can use
  • Where to find trending topics
  • How best to share

 

Epilogue

We close with a warning, as we reveal the seven deadly sins of writing for the web.

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WHO WILL BENEFIT FROM THIS COURSE?
Every organisation and every person who needs to prepare online content, whether for your website, for search engines, for social media or for video.

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WHAT CUSTOMERS ARE SAYING ABOUT OUR COURSES

Here’s a sampling of the feedback we’ve received from those who’ve taken our courses:

  • Thanks for an informative and interesting [Facebook Accelerator] course. Your presentation held a good balance of theoretical and practical information and was clear and simple enough for a non IT Facebook novice like me to follow. There are many ideas that I have gained that I will attempt to incorporate in the overall marketing plan my team is currently developing for our brand. Facebook can offer so much more than I thought as a medium for communicating with our current and prospective customers. Julie D
  • I found this course fantastic, i started off knowing very little about facebook (just how to run my own personal page) to now having a thorough understanding of ALL the things you can (and there is a lot). The course format was great and allowed knowledge to be built up over time. Course length was great and this will definetly be something i come back to constantly as we develop our facebook pages more within my company. Aleisha H
  • I have really enjoyed the course and the way it was structured. It was informative and interesting – liked the way you incorporated slide-shows, video, statistics and different forms of media to provide information. Lisa C

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TIMING

This course begins on Wednesday 31 July, 2024.

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INVESTMENT

This eleven-part online training course is available for $697+GST. However we offer an EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT of $100 — pay just $597+GST for bookings received by the end of Wednesday 24 July, 2024. Bookings are confirmed on receipt of payment, which can be by bank deposit or credit card. We can raise an invoice in advance if you need it.

To reserve your place in this course, please pay by credit card through PayPal by clicking here.

Register Now for the next course

If you would prefer to pay by bank deposit, or require an invoice, please send an email to bookings@socialmedia.org.nz with your requirements.

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?

You’ll receive our emailed confirmation of your booking. Then on the first day of the course we’ll follow up with details of your Login and Password, along with an Enrolment Key for the Writing for the Web online training course.

 

Michael Carney Written by: