Webwriting: technical guide

September 17, 2011 § Leave a comment

By Callum Smith: https://sites.google.com/site/callumsmithwebsitecopywriting/

Computer screens impair reading-comprehension.

But proper web content fixes that problem:


  1. Thoughts: Multiple thoughts distract. Write about 1 topic. This page’s topic lists steps for writing proper web content.
  2. Persuasiveness: Start with the problem. End with the solution. It’s easier to follow.
  3. Sentences: The active voice commands attention; subject-verb-object; your product or service enables satisfaction. Sentences written in that order are easily understood.


  1. Frequency of 3: Basic human message structure has 3 parts: (1) Hook `em, (2) explain it to `em, and (3) enable `e m to act. See Herbert Krugman’s famous advertising theory explained here.
  2. Bullet points: ‘Takes 3 things minimum to form a pattern. To explain, provide 3 things on which the audience can meditate:
    • Three thoughts
    • form
    • one thought.
  3. Reasoning: Example: If (1)this is true, and if (2)that is true, then the (3)other must be true too. Another example: Your brain tires when reading from a computer screen. But your brain resonates when viewing pictures on a computer screen. Words on a computer screen, therefore, should act like pictures.


  1. Words: Use 1 word per concept when 1 will do. Notice I didn’t write: “Use 1 word per idea, notion, or concept.” And, take the time to pick your word.
  2. Redundancies: They are elusive yet common and exhausting. Redundancies are hard to spot but frequently happen, which is bad.
  3. Complex explanations: Lengthy concepts on computer screens need metaphors. A metaphor is your touchstone, your idea simplified.

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