Training course: Online Writing

Course overview

We frequently write documents that are intended to be read online (that is, from a screen) rather than from paper. Producing good online writing isn't just a matter of taking something you wrote for paper and putting it online, though. Whether it's for the web, an intranet, an e-newsletter or email, online writing requires a specific set of skills that are different from those needed for writing print materials.

This content-rich course will provide you with the skills to produce highly effective online writing. This course is based around a series of writing exercises, so you'll be practising the material as you learn it.

Course duration

Half a day.

Table of contents

Here is a table of contents and sample pages and a detailed list of outcomes for the course (PDF, 646 KB).

Course rationale

The course meets the following business needs:

  • If an initial, quick scan doesn't reveal useful information, many readers will stop reading online content after only a few seconds. It's thus very important that we design our online documents so that readers can discover the 'good bits' quickly.
  • Online reading is slower than reading from printed sources. Online readers are thus more annoyed by long-winded writing than are other readers. Brevity is thus essential.
  • Web and intranet sites usually fail to build an on-going relationship with customers and staff that could yield additional benefits.

Course outcomes

After mastering the course's contents, you'll be able to:

  • Employ techniques that encourage people to reply to your emails.
  • Employ best-practice online writing techniques.
  • Employ better online writing to improve your key performance indicators.
  • Make your online writing brief, scannable and credible.
  • Transform print information into highly effective online material.
  • Use PDF files appropriately.
  • Write great FAQs that save you time and money.
  • Explain how online writing is different from writing for print.
  • Avoid common design errors that can thwart all your efforts.
  • Identify the essential service that e-newsletters provide that web and intranet sites can't.
  • Use email more effectively.
  • Identify why some email newsletters are highly anticipated, yet others are regarded as spam.

Target audience

This course is aimed at anyone who writes for intranets, web sites, e-newsletters or email.