To write well you have to read a lot. American universities say it, the famous writer Stephen King also says it, but what does it mean for a web writer? Reading refines one of the best qualities of those who write on the web: the ability to adapt to the target audience. For the web writer, reading is almost as important as practicing practical writing.
Read more and write better
Paraphrasing the famous quote by Stephen King, which is found almost everywhere on the web, the writer who does not read is deprived of the useful tools to write. Needless to say, there are substantial differences between a novel and a blog post, the static page of a website, or a product sheet. The way in which narrators and poets write is different from the way in which a web writer writes, but despite this, reading is essential for both categories of writers. At this point, all that remains is to understand how reading is useful for the work of the web writer.
Reading is useful for a web writer
Reading is good for the mind and articles have been circulating online for years explaining it, based on studies conducted some time by Stanford University. The benefits of reading are many: it makes us more mentally active and more empathic, it frees us from stress. That said, why does a web writer have to read in order to write? Because reading helps you find the right words and tone of voice for every type of audience. In short, reading is an exercise that completes the practice of writing. To make the most of it, the web writer writes and reads constantly.
Finding words through reading
Let’s not forget that those who communicate on behalf of companies have a fundamental purpose: to sell. Reading is a practice that can refine the way the web writer writes to sell. If its communication is not suitable for the target for which it was designed, the communicator has in fact failed. Being able to adapt writing to different types of audiences is an art, which is refined over time especially with practice. There are talented people, those who have a copy in their blood, but exercise is essential for everyone without distinction.
Similarly, it happens to all web writers to find themselves in the situation of missing the most adequate words to express a message. This discomfort translates into the real difficulty of adapting to the target audience. It is here that reading, as an exercise, comes to the aid of the professional: reading so much enriches the lexical baggage that one has.
The tone of voice and point of view
The richness of the vocabulary alone is not enough, because the web writer’s message hits the mark if it is communicated with the right tone of voice. I mean that having courtly and superfine terms doesn’t make you a good communicator, if the writing style, taken as a whole, is not consistent with the audience.
How do the books help you find the most suitable style? Remember that reading a book “forces” you to step into the shoes of the narrator and the characters of a story, so you are led to know and understand points of view that are probably different from yours. In addition, the more stories you read, the more you have the opportunity to come into contact with the most disparate situations: comic, satirical, dramatic, grotesque and so on. Familiarity with this variety of situations allows you to train yourself to find the right tone of voice for texts of various kinds.
Reading helps you be more flexible in your writing
The writer’s work supports a broader and more complex marketing strategy that takes into account the statistics and the most characterizing qualities of the target audience. This knowledge forms the basis on which to build the written text, in which tone of voice, point of view, and lexicon are chosen with full knowledge of the facts.
Switching from one type of text to another allows the web writer to be flexible, that is, to adapt to a style of writing that mirrors the audience for which he writes. Even the most refined and creative text can turn out to be a communication failure if the public does not recognize it. In fact, you are faced with a bewildered and unresponsive audience. If there are no reactions, the message has not arrived and, at this point, it is easy to draw the most material consequences: you do not sell.
The public needs to recognize themselves in the “language” in which you write and in the stories you invent. Your source of inspiration is the readings you have to dedicate to even a few hours a week. It comes naturally to ask: what should a web writer read? The answer is everything. Of course, the higher the quality of what you read, the more quality you learn.