Writing for the Web

Mashable is responsible for keeping me up to date on what is happening in the world.  My Mashable / Top Stories daily email is one of the only regular, marketing type (a.k.a. spam) emails that I look forward to receiving and actually read start to finish.  If something’s going down in the world: Mashable will tell me about it.  If a video is trending: Mashable will send me a link to it.  If a celeb has had a nip slip: Mashable has the footage.  I seriously heart Mashable.

Earlier this week Mashable sent me a link to ‘43 free career-advancing courses you can take (and actually finish) this summer.’ Firstly I overlooked the fact that it’s the middle of a bitterly cold winter here in the southern hemisphere then I checked out the list.  Scanning through the web developer courses I noticed a few writing and design courses.  1 hour later I was signed up and halfway through the first module of Open 2 Study’s ‘Writing for the Web’.  And thoroughly enjoying it.  What’s it about? “Understanding the difference between writing for print versus writing for the web starts with learning about how readers behave differently online. This course brings to light how to accommodate the needs of online readers through web design, writing style, structure and search engine optimisation.”

Now I am a bit of a nerd and love to study but for a free, online course I was super impressed. Here’s why:

  • Really easy format: 4 modules, each around 1 hour of videos (10 topics with a pop quiz at the end of each) and an assessment for each module
  • Interesting topics: why writing for the web is different, characteristics of good content, writing effective content, looking after your content
  • Engaging presenter: easy to follow, clear in her presentation, explains basic terms simply and quickly (doesn’t assume you know them).  I don’t even mind her Aussie twang 🙂
  • It’s FREE!

I’m currently halfway through the second module and have already learned a lot – some of it is obvious, but all I have learned so far has been easy to understand and actionable (have a notebook handy!)  I have a list of additional readings for when I have some free time (ha ha).  It’s not aimed specifically at bloggers so not all applies but never the less, it’s a fantastic offering and worth checking out.