Course Code: ewc
There's web content on just about any topic you can imagine. While the topics and purposes of the content may all be different, the writing strategies you need to know to create effective content are all very similar. In the first lesson, you'll identify the three key areas you need to understand in order to make your content effective, whether you want to sell, entertain, or do something else altogether. You'll also find out about a free tool you can use to learn what people on the web are actually looking for!
All writing comes from ideas, so that's where you'll start this lesson. The lesson will show you how to bring focus to your ideas using a free, web-based tool. Then, you'll examine the inverted pyramid writing style and see how and why you should bring the focus of your content to the top of your web page. You'll also look at lots of examples of different types of web content and discover how you can focus the content and use the inverted pyramid to get the most important information out right up front! Of course, if you want to attract lots of readers to your content, it also needs to be entertaining. For that reason, you'll look at some strategies to help you accomplish that too.
Organizing web content is easier than you might think, and it all starts with an outline. If you've dreaded outlining in the past, not to worry. This lesson will show you some quick tips for making outlining as simple as A, B, C. You'll also look at how headings can help you organize content and chunk information for your readers. Surfers like to scan content for information, whether they're looking for product guides on your business site or the opposing sides of a debate on your blog—and writing effective headings can not only keep readers on your site but also help them find what they want. That's a win for everybody, isn't it? Finally, the lesson will talk about bulleted lists and when and how you should use them to group information for your readers!
In this lesson, you'll focus on writing content that's easy to understand. This type of writing is often called plain language. The lesson will help you identify the "fluff" in your writing, or the words and phrases that don't add anything but unnecessary word count. The advantage of keeping your writing easy-to-read is that your visitors will understand your message the first time they read it, whether you're talking about your business or a favorite subject on your blog. You'll examine some free tools that will tell you how easy your content is to read—and even what grade level it's suited to. The lesson will also discuss the indexes and scales that those tools use to analyze your writing so that you'll know what the results mean.
Do you have products you want to sell? Would you like to know some surefire ways to get more followers for your blog? Are you focused on public awareness for your cause? If you're looking to persuade your readers to a specific course of action, then you'll find this lesson particularly useful. This lesson will discuss the ins and outs of writing content aimed at persuading readers. You'll find out how to reel in readers using power words and how to keep the search engines on your side with keywords. The lesson will also talk about the importance of honesty in your writing and how to check for that as you compose your copy. It's time to call those readers to action!
The modern web is often called the social web—it's a web where being connected matters a lot. Because connection and online relationships are so important to readers, this is something that you'll want to pay attention to. You'll look at ways that you can build relationships, whether your readers are customers or followers or just interested in what you have to share. The lesson will then teach you about the importance of the word you, something salespeople have known for years! You'll also look at how to create content that engages readers in a conversation and about the power of positive language.
Song birds aren't the only things that tweet! You'll enjoy this exciting journey through the wonderful world of blogs, from personal blogs to content blogs to microblogs like Twitter. In this modern world of social networking, blogging is much more than a way to reflect on your day-to-day life. Blogs, whether long or short, are rapidly becoming an integral part of every business's marketing plan. Research shows that web readers trust bloggers more than advertising—in fact, 60% of surfers say they feel more positive about a company after reading blog content on its website. This lesson examines what makes an effective blog and teach you about the ever-expanding world of short blogging tools!
Driving down any busy city street shows you that you live in a visual world. From neon lights to enormous flashing billboards, you'll find your attention drawn in dozens of different directions. The same is true on the web. Text just doesn't do it anymore, no matter how well you've written it. Web readers expect pizzazz, and that's just what you'll learn about in this lesson! The lesson will teach you how to find free visuals and multimedia elements on the web and how to effectively use those elements to enhance your content.
Want to add some pizzazz to your web content? In this lesson, you'll explore different types of multimedia that you can include on your web pages, such as screencasts, slideshows, and videos, and learn how to create educational content using those types of media. Tutorials are a terrific way to draw in new visitors, no matter what multimedia format you choose. You'll learn how to create tutorials for your blog or website, writing scripts, creating storyboards, and adding screen captures for illustrations.
Customer service is easy if you use polls, surveys, and quizzes effectively with your web content. Plus, these tools can also help you develop relationships with your visitors by learning more about them. Even if surfers leave comments on your blog or website, a poll or survey can help you understand more about their thoughts and needs. Not sure how to write a poll, survey, or quiz? That's what this lesson is all about! Not only that, but the lesson will also introduce you to services that let you add free quiz activities to your web content to give your readers more reasons to visit regularly.
Whether your web content is how you make your living or how you have fun, it's important to know how to protect it from theft. It's also a good idea to make sure you understand what content you can legally reuse on the web. In this lesson, you'll explore intellectual property laws—specifically copyright and trademark laws—and how they apply to your online content.
For this final lesson, you'll step away from content creation and instead take a look at three important areas that readers use to place a value on your content. The lesson will help you identify some of the most common writing errors and give you tips on how to be sure you've got things right! Of course, the final thing your content needs is a title, so you'll take a look at how to write some great ones. Then, the lesson will guide you through the process a reader takes to evaluate your web content, which will help you ensure that yours measures up. Once you finish, you'll be confident that you know everything it takes to create effective web content!
Linda Aksomitis has a master's degree in adult vocational/technical education, with a minor in English. She has published 25 books for readers of all ages (fiction and nonfiction), including numerous e-books, and she has a few thousand publications in newspapers, magazines, and on the Internet. She's been an acquisitions editor for an e-publisher, webmaster of half a dozen websites, managing editor and webmaster for an Internet magazine, and she maintains two active blogs. Linda traces all of her publishing success to the Internet and the contacts she's made in cyberspace.
There are no prerequisites to take this course.
The instructional materials required for this course are included in enrollment and will be available online.
A new session of each course opens each month, allowing you to enroll whenever your busy schedule permits.
Once a course session starts, two lessons will be released each week for the six-week duration of your course. You will have access to all previously released lessons until the course ends.
The interactive discussion area for each lesson automatically closes two weeks after each lesson is released, so you're encouraged to complete each lesson within two weeks of its release.
The final exam will be released on the same day as the last lesson. Once the final exam has been released, you will have two weeks plus 10 days (24 days total) to complete the final and finish any remaining lessons in your course. No further extensions can be provided beyond these 10 days.
I found this course to be immensely helpful. The instructor introduced a TON of websites and Internet tricks that I had never even thought of before, but that will prove very useful to me in my writing career. I thought the games were a GREAT touch to the lessons. None of my other online courses have used games and it made the lessons a lot more fun. I thank Linda for all of the information she provided in the course."
This class was such a game changer for me. The additional resources led me down a rabbit hole of learning and I actually spent a lot of time reading and writing. The book recommendations rocked. I absolutely loved learning about reading ease and how to check for passive language. Seriously good information. Thanks!"
Linda is an outstanding instructor, and she has provided a wealth of instructional materials that will be a great resource for me. I hope to have the opportunity to take other courses with her."
Excellent instructor! She has been such a great resource full of valuable information and tips. I liked how the lesson quizzes and games reinforced what I was learning...her feedback on student writing assignments was invaluable, I really liked those exercises...Linda offered so much of her expertise...This was definitely worth the investment."
I write professionally for the web, but this course will help me to do a lot more now. There was an abundance of links to very useful information, and all lessons themselves proved very fruitful. I previously took one of Linda's classes - this now makes two. I would take a third class with her in a heartbeat...she's terrific! Thank you."
I added a new post to my religious themed blog. I wrote it in a list style (discussed in our chapter on Organizing Content) and I addressed the reader directly (lots of You). The post had 75 visits in one day! More than twice the performance of any other post!"
The instructor's expertise, style, and professionalism shine throughout! I wish I could say more good things about the instructor and this course - both are amazing! Far exceeded my expectations. The course work was challenging, engaging, and motivating. This course has it all! I'm very pleased with all of the course resources, tools, and materials to continue learning and applying the knowledge gained."
I've seen a huge change in the way I write. You have shown me how to put some life in the content that I produce. The supplementary material is the best! I have it all bookmarked for future use. Thanks, Linda."
Extremely high value for the small fee of the course...I have already recommended this course to numerous individuals. I am planning on taking another course from Linda A in the future! Thanks."
I learned more from this class than I did from college English! Thank you!"