Print vs. Online – Outlining the Key Differences in Content on Both Platforms

If your company is planning on building an online presence, content is a vital building block that you need to have at the onset.

Well-crafted content, whether in the form of text, videos, or other interactive media, allows your business to achieve multiple goals.

For one, it allows you to provide vital and accurate information that your target customers need in order to make an informed choice. And the more educated your readers are, the closer they are to making a purchase.

Plus, the content you create has no definite lifespan. In short, you are making a long-term investment.

Good content can also help propel your website up search engine ranking pages. Combining craftsmanship with the use of the right keywords and an effective SEO strategy, content writing will help you reach more potential customers.

Content is also one of the best ways to build your company’s reputation and authority in its industry. That authority and reputation, in turn, can help sway customer decision in your favor.

Online vs. print

Perhaps you have some old newspaper columns or articles written for trade magazines that you would want to post on your website or social media. You can do that, right?

Not quite. You see, there are a few key differences between writing online and on print.

Content is not just content. In fact, studies indicate that people have a tendency to read more slowly on a screen compared to print. Furthermore, an online reader would instead scan text rather than read word for word. Finally, most online readers would rather focus on the headlines and subheadings compared to offline readers who read the whole articles.

Here are other key differences:

●  Length

Glare from the computer monitor and smart devices can limit the time spent by people reading content online. That means that a lengthy and in-depth feature article with a word count of 1,000 words won’t gain much traction among online readers. Instead, stick to shorter pieces with about 500 words.


On print, the article’s layout is more or less restricted by the publication’s style and formatting. The design may also be influenced by the size and number of photos used as well as the presence of ads.

Online, the reader’s ease takes primacy. That means breaking paragraphs into smaller pieces or into bulleted lists and subheads.


The use of links in content writing is unique to the online platform. Links are commonly used to cite sources or to promote a website’s keywords and page.

Although there are critical differences between the two platforms, online and print writing share a couple of similarities.

For one, both platforms benefit immensely from citing reputable sources. The presence of these citations indicates the amount of time the writer put into research.

In terms of tone, the choice is often dictated by the audience, and the type of industry the business is in.

Web copy vs. web content

The terms web copy and web content are often used interchangeably. However, the two are different.

Web copy, like print ads, is crafted with the end goal of selling. It is typically used on a website and its pages, including the About Us and the individual product or services pages. Web copy is also used for other platforms outside of your website, including emails and online ads.

Web content, on the other hand, is an umbrella term that applies to all types of content on your website, including videos, blog posts, and product descriptions. But unlike web copy, web content is produced for soft selling, with the end goal of making website visitors embrace your brand.

In crafting web content, you should provide your audience with informative and helpful pieces that help them make better choices. In return, your audience will view you as a trusted company that can answer their needs. Ultimately, your goal is to convert them into loyal customers.

If you are planning on promoting your business online, web content is one of the foundations required for success. Make sure that you enlist the help of an expert in content writing to help you attain your goals.


Hisham Wyne is an award-winning copywriter, brand consultant and content creator based in Dubai. He has over a decade’s expe­rience in helping brands get their messages right. From crisp web copy and zippy brochures to in-depth company profiles and analyt­ical annual reports, Hisham makes words work for you – so you can sell better, gain visibility, and give your brand a unique voice.