Guest Slot: Resources for Web Readers and Writers by Donna Cunningham

Donna Cunningham will already be known to many of you as a world class astrologer, writer and teacher – and is now a brilliant blogger at her  SkyWriter blog, which I featured on this site in February, in my Kreativ Blogger Awards 2010.

Check out  Donna’s ebooks at Moon Maven Publications. It is my great pleasure to be featuring Donna’s writing on the Guest slot this month. She has provided a terrific and varied set of resources which I have been working my way through and finding invaluable – I have no doubt you will, too. No matter how experienced a reader or writer you are, there is always more to learn!

cartoon by Paul F Newman
Anne W and Friend write for the Web

(cartoon by Paul F Newman)


Internet User’s Reading Habits—

How Research Findings Impact Internet Writing

©2008 by Donna Cunningham, MSW

The most significant research into internet users’ habits has been done by the Nielsen-Norman Group. They use highly technical methods like eye-tracking cameras to discover exactly what internet visitors do when they visit a site—how long they spend on a given page, what parts of the page their eyes zero in on, which pages of a website they are most likely to visit, and how long they spend on that page.  Below are some of their research findings.  Jakob Nielson has a huge collection of pithy and useful articles at the site below.  You’ll be meeting him often in this course!

Research Findings:

“How Users Read on the Web.” Jakob Nielsen.  In their research, 79% of test users always scanned any new page they came across; only 16% read word-by-word. Specific ways these findings need to be applied to website content.

“Information Foraging” Jakob Nielsen.Habits of internet visitors, whom he calls “informavores.”

“Research report:  A guide to email newsletters and usability” Dan Farber. The Nielsen-Norman group’s findings in summary form. The study found that users read email newsletters even more abruptly than they read websites.

Internet Writing Style Tips:

Here are some excellent articles by web professionals. Although they aren’t writing specifically for metaphysical sites, their advice is sound.

“Writing Style for Print vs. Web.” Jakob Nielsen.

“Six Ways to Turn Techno-Babble into Commanding Copy,” Jonathan Kranz

Amrit Hallan, “Writing persuasive website content.” (Lots of articles; worth visiting)

Continued at: “Persuasive Writing”.

“How to Write Successfully for the Web.” WikiHow,
Also see more articles on this topic at:

“15 Internet Writing Rules to Keep them Reading your Content.” Internet Based Moms

“The 10 Commandments of Internet Writing.” Garth A. Buchholtz

“Discovering that writing for the Web is different… every day, for the first time.” Excess Voice.  (Lots of articles; worth visiting)

“Make Your Copy Specific and Personal,” Nick Usborne

HEADLINES—The Key to Grabbing a Website Visitor’s Interest:

Market research says that 8 out of 10 people read the headlines but only 2 out of 10 read the main copy.

“Your headlines are the strongest weapons in the arsenal of your copywriting.” Amrit Hallan.

“10 Sure-Fire Headline Formulas That Work.” Brian Clark, Copyblogger:

“Headlines Make The Difference (and the Sale)!” Tony L. Callahan.

“Microcontent: How to Write Headlines, Page Titles, and Subject Lines” Jakob Nielsen.   (Strong, researcher)

“How to Write Magnetic Headlines.” Copyblogger. (Links to several good Articles)


550 words copyright Anne Whitaker/Donna Cunningham 2010
Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page