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Creating popular web content
Learn to write and edit some of the most popular genres on the web.
Become a versatile Web writer or editor, able to handle whatever your boss--or client--throws at you.
Develop a deep portfolio to show future employers and clients
You'll see how each genre has evolved as a virtual conversation between thousands of users, and thousands of writers, over time. Each element in the standard structure responds to a particular type of question asked by a lot of users. When you understand the give-and-take of this exchange, you can write the individual components much more easily.
For each genre, then, we focus on what your users want, and what standard elements you need to write or edit, to respond.
You'll also learn how to tune your style for particular audiences. Some want extremely personal rants; others talk like Sergeant Friday, saying they just want the facts, M'am. As you adjust your tone for different groups, and different purposes, you became a more flexible, and accomplished web writer.
And you'll learn to write web content that works--persuasive marketing copy, press releases that get picked up by journalists, FAQs that help users navigate your site, news stories that provoke discussion, successful e-mail newsletters, entertaining webzine articles, a Weblog giving your personal vision to the world, and an electronic version of your resume.
Yes, if ...
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This is an intensive course of writing and editing. You will, as far as possible, write about topics you know well-from your own work, or study. You will be creating samples for your own portfolio.
I critique your writing, giving concrete suggestions for improvement, and I expect you to make at least one revision of each assignment. Web writing is almost always a continuous process.
You will need to work quickly, too. In general, web writers and editors have less time than any other content creators, whether journalists, teachers, technical writers, marketers, or PR folks. Part of the course is learning the purpose of each component, and internalizing the ideal structure of each genre, so that you can move through the material quickly.
In each module, you focus on one of the genres, creating and revising a sample based on your knowledge of the material, the audience, and the purpose of the genre.
Note to training directors and managers: Because participants have to write so much, we find it best to deliver this workshop in a computer classroom, or online, so that people can use software to write, edit, and revise.
By the end of the course, you'll be able to create a wide range of Web content aimed at informing your visitors, and persuading them to respond, take action, and buy. You will have learned to create at least five of these genres. (You may do more, if you want). Check them off:
You'll also learn how to
Agenda for the online workshop (6 weeks)
Dr. Jonathan Price teaches web writing, information architecture, content management, and XML at the University of California, Santa Cruz, the University of New Mexico, the Society for Technical Communication, and many major corporations. Jonathan and his wife Lisa are writers and editors for sites such as AOL, Disney, Hewlett Packard, Intuit, and KBKids. Lisa and Jonathan have written The Best of Online Shopping, and Hot Text: Web Writing that Works.
Schedule and locations
Online: JER Online Workshops, open registration
Attention, Corporate Managers!
If you have a group of people who are all writing the same kind of materials, we can customize the course, so that it reflects common problems that your people face. Examples seem familiar; exercises resemble their day-to-day work. Result: they can see, immediately, how the course can help them do their jobs.
Resources on creating popular web content
Writing that Works!