Tips & Tools to Improve Online Writing

Strict style sheets have become old and irrelevant in the digital world. What it means is that you have the kind of freedom that a newspaper can never afford. What it also means is that the responsibility to make your story legible, or present it beautifully is yours.

Assuming that you’ve covered the basics like grammar, spelling and dealt with questions like why should the reader care, it would be a good idea to check your post for legibility. There are no hard and fast rules on the Internet. Here are some tips and tools to improve online writing.

1. Clear and crisp writing works very well on the Internet. The key is to organize your thoughts before you write. If you need help with writing, try the Hemingway App .  It makes your writing “bold and clear.”

Hemingway highlights long, complex sentences and common errors; if you see a yellow highlight, shorten the sentence or split it. If you see a red highlight, your sentence is so dense and complicated that your readers will get lost trying to follow its meandering, splitting logic — try editing this sentence to remove the red.

2. There are detailed style sheets painstakingly prepared by editors. However, you don’t need to follow them on the Internet. If you must, here’s a simple, easy one: The Medium Style Sheet. It has a few recommendations that can be applied to your blog or an article that you are writing.

3. The Medium Best Practices are also a good place to borrow from. They are not only good for Medium, but mostly for the web. For instance: What is the ideal world count? About 400 words works best.

4. Headline? Use one that effectively summarizes the story. Avoiding pun might help if you are targeting search traffic. Writing that great headline can make all the difference. The trick is to strike a fine balance between click bait and a legit headline. Folks at Bufferapp have put together a great piece on how you can write a great headline.  Read it here.

5. Pictures: Use good quality ones. You can use Creative Commons Search to find free pictures. I found one for this post. Make sure you check the license information before you use the picture.

Got questions/ Suggestions? Leave comments.