10 May Only three Types of Web Writing after all
The web writer, or web editor, has become the natural successor to the copywriter over the years, incorporating all elements related to the internet with traditional writing for advertising, from the advent of the worldwide web to its now honoured position.
If it was once usual to consider “only” stylistic, rhetorical and structural aspects before the arrival of the digital age, the Internet has now changed the rules of the game, expanding the classic writing paradigm with inescapable technical (and technological) innovations so we can think up a new type of text for the screen. What do we mean when we talk about Web Writing?
1) People read and access the text in a completely different way compared to 20-25 years ago
This is a given fact and dictates how an article is created, so it takes into consideration the way in which the human eye moves in front of a screen. By now, we’ve seen newspapers with a revolutionary layout for their first few pages, based on our different way of reading compared to the “classic” vertical skimming of the text.
2) People’s attention spans have significantly decreased
(we often mean just by a few seconds) making writers and editors aware of the need to change and adapt the structure of a text to the new normal, always looking at more tailor-made layouts for digital media.
3) Instantaneous conversion was created together with the worldwide web, and calls to action alongside them
CTAs, their position, introduction and results are fundamental in shaping any piece of writing on the internet. A text, whether it’s on a site or social media, can be measured by its quantitative and statistical worth.
4) SEO is essential and influences the text
Keyword stuffing, competition among these keywords, the study of real queries, meta-description. We don’t mean only SEO, but also trends, moods, hashtags and the flow of topics on social media.
5) Speed and web writing
Every minute 570 websites are created on the internet, and every second 40,000 posts are published on Facebook, to then receive approximately half a million likes, again, every second. The speed at which content is distributed has forced web editors to draft pieces of writing at a greater pace, while also creating medium- and long-term publishing timetables of volumes unheard of around 20 years ago.
So, writing on the internet is not easy. Exactly like any literary genre, web writing is a process that must be absorbed over time; it’s made up of rules, of the dynamics of many disciplines, and its relation with the type of medium used (website, social media, e-commerce, etc.). Writing on the internet means looking around, studying technical developments, observing context and the competition’s moves, reading loads and not only about your area of expertise; learning to use tools and software and staying up to date.
If you want to write on the web today, there are still three stages of writing recommended by Cicero that are, of course, fundamental: INVENTIO (the search for what to say), DISPOSITIO (the organisation of the discourse), and ELOCUTIO (the choice of style and words). However, they are not enough on their own.
3 Types of Web Writing
Yet despite all the developments, changes and revolutions which have witnessed the writing of texts and various types of content get swept away, one solid pillar of theory still survives and stands stoically. We’re talking about the three types of web writing, the result of models used in communication, mass media and traditional advertising:
Blob: Argumentative Structure
Blot: Journalistic Structure
Blim: Negotiating Structure
- The Bottom Line On Bottom is the structure which is the argumentative one of the three; it’s used in all those cases (the majority) where you want to convince someone to do (or think) something. Imagine any text aimed at selling a product. The Blob structure is contained in what is described as a “normal pyramid”. A need is faced or created, the characteristics of the context and the results are described, and finally the solution is revealed. The web writer guides their reader to the main message at the heart of the text (or of the audiovisual content). 1) Do you have trouble sleeping? 2) Sleeping difficulties entail deficits in lucidity and concentration – 3) Take these pills (ours) to fall asleep
- The Bottom Line on Top is a structure derived from Anglo-Saxon journalistic culture and its goal is to inform, preferably as quickly as possible, to then go further in depth as you skim the content. The number one target is grabbing the user’s attention, the hook to keep them attached to you. It is in fact the strategy used by 99.9% of social media managers in the entire world, who are at this point slaves to the ubiquitous phenomenon of scrolling on a smart phone. In this structure, the pyramid is inverted.
- The Bottom Line in the Middle is based on announcing a conflict and describing bad news, and its goal is to negotiate. In this model the key point of the text is found in the middle, wedged between two positive sections meant to lessen the negativity of the message. This structure is often referred to as Kiss-Kick-Kiss, and I’d say we understand the reason why. This strategy can be used in many ways, within the scope of business, social media or email marketing. Imagine having to inform someone about the missed delivery of a text or translation. What better way to lighten everything than with the following?
Your copywriting project is going brilliantly, we’re ready to discuss the solutions with you! Unfortunately, we’ve had some delay in the writing and we can’t complete the delivery for tomorrow, and so you’ll receive an immediate 5% discount off your invoice!
Now you’re ready to understand any text on the web on a definitely deeper level.
Do you have any questions or concerns about the types of web writing? Don’t hesitate to contact us, we’ll respond as soon as possible, obviously using one of these three writing strategies!