May 2010  
UpWrite Press Writing eTips

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On May 16-19, UpWrite Press will be exhibiting at the ASTD 2010 International Conference & Exposition. (ASTD is the American Society for Training and Development.) To receive a free VIP pass to the EXPO portion, or to get a $150 discount on your conference registration, visit www.upwritepress.com/astd2010.

Online Writing

One great thing about writing is its adaptability. Throughout history, as new forms of communication have emerged, from the earliest printed materials to the latest electronic messages, writing has been adapted to effectively fit any given medium. Ironically, then, one weakness exhibited by many writers is a reluctance to change. The latest challenge is creating writing for the Internet, and it's a change-or-die situation. Unless you understand and adapt to the specific requirements of effective Internet writing, you'll lose your readers—along with their business. Here are some tips to help you maximize your online impact.

  • Make it shorter, tighter, punchier—Internet readers move quickly. They tend to scan copy rather than savor it, so get your message out there quickly. Make your pages short, your copy brief and to the point. Use active verbs and cut to the chase.
  • Divide and conquer—Section your message using visual elements to draw your reader through. Use headlines, bullet points, and graphic images to excite the eye and keep it moving. Tables divide the page vertically and make it easy for the reader to zip through for pertinent information.
  • Enhance it—Use color cleverly, but keep it clean. Pages that are too bright or too cluttered will tire the eye and confuse your reader. Use clever but relevant icons to make links more inviting. Background color must coordinate with the font and enhance its readability, not fight for dominance.
  • Keep it up-to-date—If it looks like you neglect your site, your readers won't come back to see when (or if) you update it. Keep all information accurate, and provide contact information at the top and bottom of your page. Also try to add something new on a regular basis and provide links to other relevant pages.

Remember, everything about your Web site should be reader centered. Make it exciting, informative, and easy to navigate, and you'll be "linked" to success.

For solid help with online writing, check out the writing tips in Write for Business, just one of the handy business-writing materials from UpWrite Press.

That Little Extra

When was the last time you visited an office supply store? Catalogs are great, but consider the tactile pleasure of actually handling and trying out new office equipment. Take a leisurely stroll down the aisles, and you may find new ways to organize and improve your business operations. Funny how a brightly colored file-folder system or an electric stapler can improve efficiency and make tasks a little more pleasant. Check out the latest electronic wizardry or discover the joy of a comfortable desk chair. The nice thing about a store is that someone is there to answer your questions before you buy, saving you the bother of having to send something back. Sometimes it's just nice to be there.

   

May Writers' Forum Topic

Here's your chance to tell us how your work environment operates. Send us your responses to the forum question below, and we'll print the most interesting in our eTips Mid-Month Mini.

Do you handle presentations for your office? Has your method, style, or equipment changed in the past few years? Share some of your best tips for delivering your message.

E-mail your response to writersforum@upwritepress.com. Write "May Writers' Forum" in the subject line, and you could see your reply in the eTips Mid-Month Mini.

We Want to Hear from You

This is your chance to be part of the UpWrite Press newsletters and blogs. What writing topics do you want to hear about? Have you any favorite communications tips you'd like to share? What words do you constantly mix up? Send us your ideas and you could see your name in Writing eTips or The Mid-Month Mini.

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Write for Business Blog

Entries for the month of April:

Staff Articles

Parts of Speech

Using the Right Word

 

Visit our blog for these and other great articles!

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Writing Employee Evaluations

eTips is a publication of UpWrite Press, P.O. Box 460, Burlington, Wisconsin 53105. Copyright © 2010,
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