Education vs Business: What’s Different About Writing Online (Part 2)

February 11, 2011 |   3 minute read

Education vs Business: What’s Different About Writing Online (Part 2)

 Great copywriters understand writing and sales. Knowing what's different about online writing will help you move your ideas from printed materials to the digital marketplace.

In a previous post, we introduced the concept that business writing is a specialist trade. Copywriting is nothing like the writing you did in high school or university. Unless you are a copywriter, making audiences enjoy reading your words is not easy. That's a big problem when you are hoping to make a sale from your website.

Education vs Business: What’s Different About Writing Online

You might have a writer on your team. That's great. The key is to ensure they're writing in a way that maximizes your content's reach (using SEO keywords) and shows up in your target audience's searches.

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All writers can learn to write online content. It's important to recognize when you're not doing it well and fix the style. Sometimes, it's hard to embrace less formal writing styles when you've been trained to think they are unacceptable. Here's what we mean by the difference in writing styles between education and business:

Formal Education teaches you to write:

  1. Big words.
  2. Long, complex sentences.
  3. Abstract theory (e.g. drawing interpretation from simple dialogue in literature).

This type of writing is meant for you and your professor, not as a sales technique.

You must write how people will best absorb your content when Business Writing.

Here are some facts about how people read online to help you draft readable content for online consumers:

  1. People prefer short, simple words because a) we hate using the dictionary, and b) it embarrasses us when we don’t know a word.
  2. Typically, people skim-read online. So it’s hard to digest long sentences quickly. Keeping points short and simple means even skimmers get the gist.
  3. Plain talk. Outside of academia and study, we have informal conversations. When you’re shopping for a service online, jargon and complex theory can be off-putting.

We haven’t even touched on learning styles in this post. Read Why It Pays To Understand Learning Styles. Understanding learning styles is also important for your online content planning.

Here are some more helpful articles to show you how to build your reputation online using effective content and design:
1. Danger: Did You Write Your Website Content?
2. Is Your Website Worth More Than 3 Seconds?
3. Are You Proud Of Your Business Website?

Do You Want to Redo Your Website With Help From Online Content Specialists?

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