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Home Page: Writing for the web
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Why do you need credibility online?

There is no way for an online reader to be sure of who you are through your website. You may be a Rhodes scholar, or an elementary student when it comes to the experience of a reader. There are many ways to indicate credibility and give hints and clues toward your trustworthiness and expertise in your subject matter.

Practical steps towards credibility


  • Links to other related reading and inbound links (links from other websites to your website) as well as internal cross references allow a new reader of your material to see your research and gauge you authenticity for themselves.


  • A reader does not trust what you say right away, you need to provide evidence of anything you write, even if it your own opinion.


  • If you have one article posted in one place you will have a hard time with credibility. Everyone has to begin somewhere, but the more you can write and have published the more trustworthy your words will feel. Self-publishing or blogging makes it easy to produce a large amount of material without much economic investment.


  • Your character and the nuances of you personality show up in the words you choose, the grammatical choices you make and the phrasing you choose. how you express yourself is up to you, but consider your topic and ensure your style matches your subject matter. the best writers manage to express their voice or personality across whatever writing style they engage in.


  • Make sure your content is not too short or too long for yor intended audience. Match your writing length to the subject, gravity and audience you set at the beginning of your writing.

URL or website address

  • The domain name (what displays in the address browser bar or a bookmark) can enhance or hurt the trust your reader has in your words. Think about the name you choose for your blog or published works and how it will impact your credibility. “Jim’s Wordy Gurdy” will not have the same impact as “Research and Writing from Jim Malone”

When reading a standard book or piece of paper your eyes are actually looking at light that is reflected off the paper. The light bounces off the paper and sends information to your eyeballs.

Reflected light is what we are used to, and it is how we learn to read and understand the world. Computer monitors do not reflect light, but project light. They send a light signal directly to the screen so our eyes pick up the signal in the opposite way from reflected light.

The main difference is that light is now shooting directly into our eyes, instead of gently reflecting. Our eyes get tired faster, and the whole process is agitating to the eyeball. It is not how we learned to read.

Write your text to have short line lengths and make scanning easy by “chunking your text” and using emphasis to highlight important concepts.

Further reading

Light and colour

Additive colour vs. subtractive colour

Computer monitors have many different resolution settings. A laptop computer with a small screen may have a small size, but it is possible for it to run the same resolution as a larger display hooked up to a desktop computer.

Resolution refers to the number of pixels that display on a screen. A standard television has a smaller number of pixels, while an average computer screen has a larger number of pixels.

The technical details are complicated, but the end result is easy to understand. Readers who look at your text may see a wide variety of different sizes when they read your text.

Your text may look very small – even if the reader has a large screen. Ensure you write well and communicate clearly. Use high contrast so it is easy for readers to see text.