Written by Carl Rosenberg; copy edited by Meagan Kus
On Saturday, March 28, Editors BC will present a full-day seminar by Lisa Manfield on how to write effective web content.
This seminar will give you an understanding of what readers want from your copy, how to apply the latest web writing best practices, and how to optimize for search.
Lisa is a writer, editor, and content strategist with 20 years’ experience creating print and web content that engages a variety of target audiences. Currently the senior editor at Forge and Spark Media, Lisa has also been the founding editor of BCLiving and marketing manager at The Tyee. She has developed print and web content, marketing collateral, and courseware for tech companies, small businesses, non-profit organizations, government agencies, and educational institutions. She also teaches web writing principles at SFU and Capilano University.
Carl Rosenberg, a volunteer on Editors BC’s communications and social media committee, spoke to Lisa about her work and forthcoming presentation.
Hello, Lisa! Thank you for taking the time to chat with our readers. How did you arrive at your career as a writer, editor, and content strategist?
I was one of those lucky few who knew from a young age that I wanted to be a writer and editor. I got my official start in magazine publishing after I graduated from SFU (although I was also the editor of my high school newspaper, so I suppose that was my unofficial start). After graduation, I spent more than a decade working with print and online magazines before eventually making a shift to content strategy. Now, in addition to working with clients doing content marketing, I also do some freelance writing and editing for magazines—my first love!
Does the actual style of web writing differ from writing meant for print publication?
Absolutely! Some of the difference comes down to formatting, but a lot of it has to do with writing for people who are scanning, scrolling, impatient, in a hurry, and looking for a reason to stop and pay attention to your content in a sea of content overload. We’ll get into those differences during the seminar.
How do approaches to web content vary with the type of business or organization?
As with the creation of any kind of content, it comes down to what your audience is looking for. That’s what will help to determine whether you’re producing in-depth long-form content vs. short overviews or infographics vs. video, etc.
On a lighter note, what are a few of your favourite books and publications, web-related or otherwise?
As a parent to a preschooler, a good portion of my reading list currently consists of parenting books. Fortunately, my book club has recently picked up again too, so I’m also enjoying reading more fiction lately. Online, The Guardian and The Atlantic are among the publications I tend to read most often.
Lisa, thank you very much for sharing your experience and expertise. We look forward to your seminar on March 28.
Carl Rosenberg edited “Outlook: Canada’s Progressive Jewish Magazine” from 1998 to 2016. He has a diploma in Latin American studies from Vancouver Community College and a bachelor of arts in Spanish language and literature from UBC. He is a volunteer with the communications and social media committee of Editors BC.
Meagan Kus is a freelance copy editor and proofreader with a 20-year background in arts administration.
Image provided by Lisa Manfield