This course was my first one at Open2Study platform. It is an initiative by the Australian Universities to provide free and healthy education via MOOCs. The main motive of the course is to teach you how to write content for the web. Frankie Madden does a great job in designing the course to focus on a variety of topics like writing styles, structure and search engine optimisation. The course spans 4 weeks and covers many major topics -
- The first week mainly deals with the differences between print and web content. It focuses on the fact that readers on web mainly scan the pages while printed content are thoroughly read. This makes the placement of information vital for web content writers. Additionally Frankie also asks us to create hypothetical user profiles and rate their reactions to the pieces of content we write. She illustrates these with her own examples and really nails the importance of understanding our readers and customers. There were additional reading pieces which analysed and showed that people scan webpages in an F shaped pattern.
- The second module began with Frankie defining the required qualities in a post. That is every post should be
1) Relevant and Useful to the reader
2) Current and Consistent
3) Scannable and Findable
4) Simple and Interesting
She explains each of these in separate videos and shares examples of well vs badly written content.
She also gives tips on changing of voice and writing styles to make content more appealing to the reader.
- A content which is very popular need not make use of plain writings only. In the third module Frankie introduces the concepts of lists, forms, images and videos with special emphasis on keywords and headings. She stresses that their additions would bring about more interaction from the user as no one is interested in seeing a drab article of 600 words long. It is thus necessary to get our creative juices flowing and bring in images, bold headings and other similar structures to capture the reader's attention.
- The last module gives finishing touches to the course. It deals with content strategies, web governance and style guides. While these may not sound quite important, they focus on the consistency of the posts and thus are very useful when many people are writing on the same website.