Every Word Counts: Writing for the Web

Readers take only seconds to assess whether a webpage is worth pursuing or not, so it’s important to make sure every word counts. Here is a compilation of the things I’ve learned to make sure this is the case:

1. Keep it short.

  • Use short words, short sentences, short paragraphs, and short pages.

2. Keep it simple.

  • Include only one or two ideas in each short paragraph.
  • Use simple language and common words so readers have to scan less to determine what a page is about.

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Flying in a Hot Air Balloon over the Sand Dunes of Namibia

Guest post written by Edward Covello

I had always been fearful of flying in a hot air balloon. It seemed dangerous to me, even though I’m not afraid of heights or of airplanes. But one day, when I was on a photo journey that included the African nation of Namibia, I had a chance to take a ride in one and float hundreds of feet above sand dunes and rock formations in an area called Sossusvlei. The balloon was leaving at sunrise, when the diverse palette of desert colors was at its most intense.

The day of the balloon ride, I got up promptly at 4 a.m. I then met up with my South African guide, who had driven me all the way from Cape Town.

After an hour and a half of bouncing on rocky sand-covered roads, the dawn began to break. I could see the colorful balloon being readied for our voyage. As the crew finished up their final preparations, the five of us – the pilot, a young French couple, and my guide and me – began boarding.

BallonRide_Prep

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Getting to Know the Lemurs of Madagascar

Guest post written by Edward Covello

I always wanted to travel to Madagascar, land of the unusual. It was one of my travel and photography dreams. The reptiles and mammals there are unlike any others found on this planet.

At the top of my list was the lemur, a small primate believed to be descended from the ancestors of monkeys.

LemurCollage

There are about 50 types of lemurs in a wide variety of sizes, shapes, and colors. They range from the tiny pygmy mouse lemur weighing an ounce and living in the knotholes of trees, to 15-pounders about the size of a large house cat.

Lemurs have special gifts, such as the ability to leap up to 25 feet through the forest canopies in which they live. They are perhaps the prime animal attraction of the country.

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