AHP 2009 By Christy West and Kim Brown

moonlightmidgeInternet and Web Development

Nov 18, 2013 (4 years and 7 months ago)


Writing for the Web

AHP 2009

By Christy West and Kim Brown

Writing for the Web

Freelancers need to be


Writers, photographers, videographers, bloggers,
Tweeters, podcasters, and any other


you can
think of!




Writing for the Web

Research a potential employer before you
contact them for work; why do they need

This is more than just understanding an
article’s direction or scope or the type of
image needed to illustrate a story.

Today’s freelancer MUST broaden their
scope of coverage.

Finding stories/sources that sell

What does that publication/Web site need?

Where are advertisers putting their money with
that publisher (PDFs, articles, videos, blogs)?

Could a previous source give you that golden
idea for your potential client?

News still sells! But what is news today? Check
out your potential client’s magazine/Web site
and see what they are using.

Writing for the Web

You have your story and source, but what
can you offer the client for a Web site?




Blog (yours or theirs)


Print vs. Web

It’s a different world online!

The language is different

The photo needs are different

The ancillary needs are different

Web vs. Print

A different language?


Keywords: What are the keywords that a client is
trying to maximize?

How do you use those to write your headline
and first paragraph?

Switching Gears:

Reader Internet Usage

More than 90% of users never go past the
first page of search engine results

So now we have to worry about getting
higher in the rankings.

What does this have to do with you?

If your content is heavily read and picked up
by other sources, the demand for your
services will grow.

This will also give you a good footing for
negotiating rates.

Search Engine Optimization
Factors for Freelance Writers

Title Tags:
Primary keyword or brand name first,
followed by others

Keyword relevancy
(how close keywords on the
page match the user's search terms)

Content quality:

Content that gets picked up,
read, and referenced by many

So… let’s get that article
popularity up!

What do you have control over?

Content quality

Keywords used

Content quality:




To the point

Organized! (i.e., subheads)


Moving on to keywords…

The point: See what words describing your
concepts are most popular, and thus, will
drive more traffic to your client’s site. They
may not be the same words you think of
first to describe the topic.

Let’s start with an example, say, an article
on founder in horses. Variants: Laminitis.


Google Keyword Tool


“Founder” looks like the hot tip!


(there’s always a “but,” isn’t there?)

Check out Google Trends to see what articles are driving the
article popularity (

Let’s look at that again.

This time let’s try “horse laminitis” and
“horse founder” on Google’s Keyword Tool.

Not such a clear winner, is there? (14,300 local for
founder phrases, 18,100 for laminitis ones)

So which do you use?

BOTH! Take advantage of all of that
searching, not just half.

If one were a clear winner, that’s the one
you’d make sure to repeat in your headline,
deck, intro, rest of story.

Keyword Placement

Headline, preferably at the beginning

Deck, also preferably at the beginning

Introductory paragraph or two of story

Later paragraphs as works out

No keyword stuffing

Careful with the abbreviations

Headline Examples

Equitation Science Meeting to Focus on Horse Sport and

One suggestion: “Horse Sport and Welfare Are Focus of
Equitation Science Meeting”

Another suggestion: “Horse Welfare In Equine Sport Theme of
Australian Meeting”

International authorities in horse behavior, training, and
welfare will converge in Sydney, Australia, for the fifth
Equitation Science Annual Conference, to be held at the
University of Sydney's Faculty of Veterinary Science and
Centennial Parkland Equestrian Centre July 12
14. The
theme this year is "Ethical Equitation: A Sustainable
Approach," focusing on how horse sport and horse
welfare can go hand in hand.


Poll: Majority of TheHorse.com Readers
Vaccinate Against WNV

Suggested change: “Vaccinating Against WNV:
Poll Results Show Majority Says Yes”

Suggested change: “Vaccinate Against West Nile
Virus: Poll Shows Horse Owners Say Yes”

U.K. to Investigate Environmental Impact of
Equine Carcass Disposal

Suggested change “Equine Carcass Disposal:
Environmental Impact Investigated”

More examples

How would you change these headlines?

LSU Vets Aid Horses Trapped in Trailer

AHC National Forum Tackles Equine Welfare


in Horses: An Overview for Owners

Do Tapeworms Cause
? Age
Old Question


News Hour, AAEP 2008

Web vs. print: A different

Same message, less attention span = Same
story, half the words if that!


is key: Use subheads, bullet
points, and/or short sidebars to give readers
more “information scent” as they decide
whether to read your carefully crafted story
at all.

What else can you do?


Hit your word count assignments**

Hit your deadlines**


Provide additional information

If you’re anything like me, you like to know everything
you can on a topic of interest. And sometimes you just
can’t squeeze it all into your word count.


Not to competitors

Related/relevant articles on same site or noncompeting
sites (save editors the trouble)

University/government educational resources (i.e., NAHMS)

Put Together the Whole Package

If the source mentions having photos of the
topic, get them! (And their permission to use
them.) It may not get you paid since it’s not your
photo, but it sure will earn you brownie points
with your editor and it takes very little time
since you’re already making the contact.

Mention the
journal name/link
for any refereed
publications; some readers may look for it for
more info, and this also saves your editor the
step of searching
it out.

Further Reading/Resources

Useit.com (usability and web

Google Keyword Tool:


Google Trends:

Google Insights (search analysis by category,
region, etc.):

Many more!

Questions? Comments?