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    Better Web Writing, Part 3: I Like Your Style

    Home - Blog - Better Web Writing, Part 3: I Like Your Style
    MonDec212009 ByBryan YoungTaggedChurch Communications
    Now that you have found your voice and learned how to beautify your text, it's important to set some rules for your content. You wouldn't teach your child to speak, dress them in their Sunday best, and then let them run amok. You shouldn't do the same to your content.

    Creating rules for yourself (and others who create content) helps to guide your content in the right direction. Like bumpers on a bowling lane, content rules help keep you from throwing gutter balls. Take the steps below to set up your guidelines.

    Incorporate links into the text.

    Avoid making links out of just "click here." Instead, build the links into a sentence. So, if I wanted you to check out a previous blog entry, I would add a link to the underlined text in this sentence.

    Be consistent.

    Pick a style and go with it. Not only will this promote a clean, uniform feel on your site, but it also improves its look.

    There are many established styles (AP, Chicago, MLA, APA). But you don't have to use one of these. You can create your own by making stylistic choices and utilizing that style throughout your content. What will you capitalize or abbreviate? What will you call reoccurring events? What will you name your ministries?
    Here are a few decisions to get you started:
    • 9:00 A.M. or 9 a.m. or 9am?
    • Colorado or Colo. or CO?
    • October 25 or Oct. 25th
    • 5th Graders or fifth grade students?
    • Children's Ministry: Jesus and Me or Kid's Club?
    • small groups or Small Groups?
    • address your visitors as "loved ones" or "friends"?
    • New Believers Class or First Steps or Theology 101?

    Avoid Churchisms.

    Keep your articles free of overused, ambiguous words and phrases that have become like Christian jargon. Think of something fresh that visitors, churched and un-churched, easily understand. A good rule of thumb to use: if you have to explain it, get rid of it.
    Start by purging your content of the following:
    • "food, friends, and fellowship"
    • "come alongside"
    • "lift up" as "in prayer" or "in song"
    • "God put it on my heart"
    • big theological words like: "dispensationalism," "parousia," and "transubstantiation"

    SOURCES FOR THIS BLOG/FURTHER READING ON WRITING FOR THE WEB

    The 10 Commandments of Internet Writing: Web Pro News
    Better Writing for the Internet: Ask Oxford
    50 Free Resources That Will Improve Your Writing Skills: Smashing Magazine
    Copywriting 101: Copyblogger
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