Writing for the web – assessing my own writing style

I love reading list articles. This one crossed my paths this week.

Just for fun, I’ll run thru the list and assess my own writing for the web style on this blog.

So let’s get started”¦

Provide a Reader’s Digest or Executive Summary version.
I don’t write a reader’s digest or summary for posts on this blog. But it’s definitely recommended/good practice.

Many of my Chiperoni blog posts tend to be short.

Next tip:

Key words in every post titles.
Good tip. Often the post title displays on its own. Key words that clear reflect what the blog post is about will help readers decide to click and read the article. And there’s the SEO aspect.

Self-assessment: I don’t spend much time on developing post titles for this blog. I often opt for descriptive titles. Copyblogger lists helpful formulas and categories.

Lead with the conclusion.
Answer the question “what is my benefit if I commit to read this post?”
Same applies for presentations. Straightforward advice. Often we tend to forget the reader’s perspective. Some posts may look confusing.

Chiperoni.ch is a collection of notes. More reviewing would be better.

Be sure and provide hyper links to your sources.
This is something I do diligently. It is only fair to provide a backlink to your source of inspiration. And it’s a way to document good online resources and build my own knowledge database.

Make your content scannable to the eye.
I try to keep paragraphs short and use bullets and headings. A further improvement would be to define H2s. I like the improved typography in web design.

Write in an Inverted Pyramid style.
Yepp. I don’t use this approach on my private blog. Again, the goal is to convey my main message in the top part of my post.

Use common language.
My writing style is simple and I tend to use common vocabulary. There are a lot of good reasons to use plain language.

Why use plain language?

Plain Language:

  • Shows customer focus
  • Communicates effectively
  • Eliminates barriers
  • Reduces time spent explaining
  • Improves compliance

 

Get to the point, quickly.
We’re all busy. Impatient.
Don’t meander.
Get to the point, quickly.

Looking at my own writing style at Chiperoni central, I don’t edit my posts enough. But, I don’t waffle on for pages and pages either

Make your post visually pleasing.
Again, very obvious advice. Add graphics. Add photos.

Basel to Blantyre and back

My daily routine has engulfed me already. But I want to add some notes on my recent visit to Blantyre. And point you to some photos. And travel tips.

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Let’s start with the travel tips:
A very favourable recent development for Blantyre-bound travellers is the fact that Ethiopian Airlines now flies to Malawi’s commercial centre from Addis. In fact, there are daily flights to and from Addis.

And Kenya Airways flies to Blantyre from Nairobi 3 times a week.

This is a great development. Some competition is good and I hope fare prices will fall.

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My second tip is:
Visit Liwonde National Park if you’re into game viewing. We saw lots of animals. August is a good time to visit. It’s not too hot yet and very dry. The animals walk down to the river and graze in the plains of the Shire River. Liwonde and Machinga district are densely populated and it’s good to support national parks and conservation areas such as Liwonde.

One lasting memory I will try to cherish is the beautiful sunlight I saw on the day when I arrived in Blantyre at around 4 pm. It is so beautiful to arrive in Chileka and see the familiar outline of Michiru mountain.

While travelling from the airport on that first day, we encountered a funeral procession crossing the main road. As is the custom, all vehicles on the main road stopped. People got out and stood next to their vehicles. The first part of the procession was singing one song while the latter part sang another. There was loud crying. Quite a cultural difference to Europe.

Later on the same day, at the shopping mall in Chichiri, a man was lying on the ground bleeding from his mouth. A crowd of people had gathered. Maybe he had been caught stealing? In which case, he can only hope that the police is nearby or the mob may beat him to death. Street justice is widespread.

My stay in Blantyre was happily uneventful. No zigubu queues. Hardly any power cuts or water supply interruptions.

I am fascinated by the mobile phone culture. People walk around with 2 or 3 cell phones in their hand. You can buy airtime, units for prepaid SIM cards, every 50 meters. TNM and Airtel have achieved distribution networks comparable to that of Coca-cola. Both mobile phone companies are advertising their mobile payment options on a wide scale.