Don't be lost for words...

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Long ago, I got some of the best advice you can ever give a writer. "You need to learn how to cross out," said Sid Smith (his real name, as it turns out). He was talking about poetry, but this astute observation could apply equally to any number of forms, and especially to the web.

Print and pixels are two different kinds of media. We're used to perusing print with an easy eye that accepts the long form and that's willing to take on pieces of a thousand words or more. Not so on the screen, where our attention is constantly being tickled and prodded by adverts and links and associated 'if-you-like-that-you'll-love-this' stories.

On the one hand, copy that wants to stretch out and take its time is in danger of falling into what's sometimes known as the tl;dr trap - Too Long, Didn't Read. On the other, text that's been tightened and pruned to within an inch of its - all too brief - life, too often reads like a badly-written shopping list of keywords and jargony buzzphrases.

Instead, focus on your message, pay attention to the customer and concentrate on persuading your visitor to do whatever it is you want them to do. Once you've done that, stop writing. Your work is done.