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Seven Deadly Sins of Web Writing

by Gerry McGovern  |  
August 26, 2003

What's the single most important thing that could improve the Web?

It's not broadband. It's better writing.

The general quality of writing on the Web is poor. The way you write has a major impact on what people think of you. Avoid these common mistakes, and you will achieve more with your Web site.

Deadly Sin Number 1: I think I'm God

You cannot sell the organization by selling the organization. Face the facts. People are mean on the Web. They're only out for themselves.

“We're celebrating our 50th anniversary!” “So?” “50% off because it's our 50th anniversary!” “Happy anniversary!”

Never (ever!) start a heading or a sentence with your company name. Always start with the need of your target reader. Before you write, repeat to yourself: “It's not about me. It's about my reader, my customer.”

Deadly Sin Number 2: I go on and on and on…

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Gerry McGovern ( is a content management consultant and author. His latest book is The Stranger's Long Neck: How to Deliver What Your Customers Really Want Online, which teaches unique techniques for identifying and measuring the performance of customers' top tasks.

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