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Building Web Content for Your Site

Writers and editors have to maximize their markets if they want to survive. Freelancing is never easy, but it can get a lot more profitable if you think about including web content in your repertoire.

There are something like 36 million web sites out there, and that means there are a lot of people looking for good content. Whether your area of expertise is agriculture or Aquaman, there's a site out there looking for just what you do.

If you are new to writing web content, it's a good idea to get a copy of Developing Online Content: The Principles of Writing and Editing for the Web. The web is a lot looser in style than most reports or articles, and this book provides all the best practices for writing, editing, organizing and delivering effective web content. This book will also give you the inside scoop on what production managers, web designers and marketing specialists are looking for, and that can make you a lot of money!

Another area to consider, if you're looking to sell your content online, includes white papers. For those who don't know what that means, white papers are a lot how they sound -- informational reports or how-to's that appear on white paper and are easily downloadable from web sites. Internet marketing guru Perry Marshall has a free mini course on how to write a white paper. This, and all his products are really helpful in getting you to think about marketing your writing.

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RSSUnderground Editor's Tip! Hey - do you want to have a free hosted web site that you can use for anything you want? The only catch is that these guys show an Adsense ad at the top of the page - but so what! You can still use it to promote your business or other web sites! I do not make any money from telling you this - just the satsisfaction of knowing I am helping my fellow webmasters and marketers find quality free web hosting! Check it out! It's worth it - it's free!

Ebooks are another great way to sell your content online. Many people are looking for products they can give away to their email subscribers as incentives, or to sell outright. These are usually very informational, and explain to the buyer how to do something, or do it better, such as how to perfect a baseball swing, how to make an eight-course dinner, or how to speak in public. Adobe Acrobat is crucial to turning your words into sellable ebooks. Get the software here, which comes with a free tutorial on how to format ebooks.

If the ideas aren't flowing, and you're not sure how to get started creating web content, ebooks or other sellable products, check out Marlon Sanders Creating Your Own Products. Marlon is amazing, and I don't use that word lightly. He's been around Internet marketing for over a decade, and his stuff is always packed with useable information that can make you serious money. No one's gonna make it any easier for you, so ignore this at your peril! He's even got a seven-part email course that teaches you how to create products people will be tripping over themselves to buy from you.

Because we all like a little attention sometimes, right?

Copyright 2006 GrammarGods.com

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Noel Brinkerhoff is part of the team at http://www.GrammarGods.com He has been a professional writer for over ten years, specializing in journalism and screenwriting. For seven years, he worked as a reporter for the California Journal and State Net Capitol Journal in Sacramento. He is equally well-versed in book adaptations, and can provide excellent script coverage and story notes, as a former reader for the Chesterfield Screenwriting Fellowship.

Principles of Web Design: Content, Accessibility, Presentation

Designing good web sites is not simply a case of throwing a load of funky graphics at the screen, there are 3 main areas to consider, here I give a brief overview of these key areas and explain why they are so important.

Content
The whole point of the majority of web sites is to provide content, be it text, pictures, mp3s or videos to users. When you build a site the first thing you should consider is the content. How much is there likely to be, how often will it change, what content do you want the visitor drawn to first and so on. Design the site to fit the content, don't create a site first and then try to decide where to put everything, it simply wont work. Additionally content needs to be kept fresh and up to date at all times. You will never get repeat visitors if your content doesnt change, however impressive your site may look.

Accessibility
There is no point in content if people cant access it. Furthermore you do not want to limit accessibility to those people fortunate enough to have the latest browsers & plugins, with high speed connections and with no special requirements. The World Wide Web Consortium(W3C) publish guidelines to aid developers in creating standards compliant web sites by writing clean, browser-friendly code. They also provide automated services for checking that your web pages conform. It is important to note however that compliance with these guidelines does not automatically ensure your site is fully accessible to all potential users. The best way to achieve this is to test your site against the Web Accessibility Initiatives guidelines. These are purely self-tested and if you decide your site has passed you can award it with an A, AA or AAA logo.

Presentation
Presentation has very close connections to certain areas of the accessibility issue. In particular good use of colours is important from both viewpoints. Too many colours makes any site look un-coordinated and messy. Stick to a few basic colours for text, backgrounds, logos etc and use different shades of those colours to add depth. Make sure text colour and background colour are significantly different to make reading the text nice and easy. Similarly do not use an array of different fonts, stick to one or two throughout the site. Serif fonts such as Impact are good for, surprisingly, making an impact on a visitor whereas sans serif fonts like verdana are much easier on the eye when reading. Large blocks of text look very unwelcoming to visitors so try to avoid them particularly on the homepage, break text into paragaphs and sections with sub-headers, lists and so forth, use images where appropriate to give the user a break from reading.

Overview
It is important to note that all three of these components are vital in creating good sites but the balance between the three will vary from site to site. Just remember: Plan the design to fit the content; keep content fresh and accessible; make the site pleasing to look at and interact with.

Adam Harding is a freelance Web Designer in East Sussex

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