Write Headlines as active statements with strong verbs about either the article’s protagonist or antagonist. Do not pose questions or write in the first person in this area. The site’s headline style is like an upper- and lower-case sentence without punctuation at the end. Maximum headline length: 8 words.
Writing style usability studies show that readers behave differently when reading online than when reading print. An overwhelming majority of readers do not read past the fourth paragraph on the Web, and nearly 90 percent don’t read after the fifth paragraph or about 400 words. After the first 750 words, you’re writing to yourself. Make sure everything you need to say is near the top.
The best articles and blog posts appear in the inverted pyramid format, meaning that the most important information is found at the top and supporting information follows. Regardless of how you style your opening sentences, the first two paragraphs must contain these elements: Who, What, When, Where. Why (and sometimes How) should at least appear in supporting paragraphs. For those prone to writer’s block, just stringing these elements together in a few sentences makes for an effective lead paragraph.
Brevity is the soul of wit. Simple, short sentences are better than long, compound sentences. We like sophisticated ideas and simple language, not the reverse.
Use The Elements of Style as your writing guide. There is no better tool for effective writing (and the book takes less than an hour to read). Moreover, Internet reader behavior studies confirm the time-tested theories of Strunk & White.
The Elements of Style makes these suggestions:
- Be specific, concrete, definite.
- Use the active and not the passive voice when possible
- Put statements in positive form.
- Don’t overstate.
- Avoid using qualifiers, such as quite, rather, somewhat, fairly, really, pretty, kind of, sort of.
- Don’t over explain a concept.
- Avoid using fancy words, foreign phrases, scientific words, and jargon when an everyday, short word will do.
- Limit your use of metaphors, similes, and other figures of speech.
- Make sure each sentence has a strong noun and verb.
- If it is possible to cut out a word from a sentence, do it.
Present the facts, then present your opinions. Make sure the reader knows the background of the story before they’re asked to weigh your thoughts.
A good trick to keep readers interested and moving their eyes down the screen is to use boldface type to highlight important concepts or facts.
Please use your given name. Blogs and articles bear more legitimacy if there is a real name behind them. Articles that use handles or pen names, or are posted anonymously don’t elicit the trust of one authored by a tangible person. NYaltnews will not accept anonymous blog posts, and discourages handles and pen names.
Be passionate. The best blog posts display your emotions. If you are frustrated, blog about it but offer solutions. If you are excited about something, don’t be afraid to show it. Successful blogs are not dispassionate and unbiased.
Be correct. When you’re wrong, correct yourself as quickly as possible and be honest about it. Don’t write misleading headlines. Give credit where credit is due by linking.
Use good judgment. Readers believe that all the contributors to NYaltnews are representative of the site. Do not write anything that is disparaging of others. Respond to comments on your post, but avoid insulting or defensive. Treat everyone who visits the site with respect.
Blog often and intelligently. We’re not going to tell you how often to post or what to write about. We trust you. But serial bloggers develop the audience’s trust better than someone that has written just one post.
Obey copyrights. Respect the work of other content creators. Use no more than three paragraphs or less than a third of any written content and be sure to report (and link to if possible) any sources. Any borrowed content used that is more than a sentence long must be put between blockquotes. Photographs, illustrations, and other graphics that are subject to copyright cannot be used on NYaltnews without written permission from the content creator. Use Creative Commons graphics and photographs when possible. You can find them at http://search.creativecommons.org. Creative Commons content should still be credited to the content creator. Text and photographs on government websites are public domain and do not need attribution. Corporate logos can be used under “fair use” laws. You may use them without attribution
Be transparent. Explain your possible conflicts of interest with any post, including employment, friendships, and associations (past and present) of any person or organization mentioned in your post. If you include any testimonials, shout outs or endorsements in your submission, the Federal Trade Commission requires you show ”material connections” –the types of things that could cause readers to question your credibility. Examples of material connections are payments, loaner products, free services, product or gift card giveaways, and special access privileges.
Link out. Try to link out to at least one other site in every post. This could be an example of the point you are making, another article or blog post that you are referring to, or a site containing supporting information.
Your post or article may appear elsewhere. All content on NYaltnews bears the copyright of NYaltnews except when the content has appeared elsewhere first. Original content appearing on this website is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Sharealike 3.0 Unported License. What this means is that original content on NYaltnews is available for publication by other sites by default. However, these sites must attribute the original author and cannot use it for commercial purposes.