When writing for the web, web writers are not just expected to be proficient writers. They are also expected to be able to know the ins and outs of the web as well, along with the overall user experience. They need to know how everything works, and how it will work specifically for the user. Even if a web writer has never actually developed a website themselves, they are still required to know the basic concepts of web design at the bare minimum. They must at least know the basics of HTML code in order to know how to tie the elements of the web together in their writing. It is said that web writers must also be able to communicate complex technical concepts in a format that can be easily understood by readers of all ages and knowledge levels. Web writers have to be able to work with all different clients including graphic designers, information architects, and web developers to name a few. As you can see, web writers have to have a basic understanding about a lot of different things that are all involved in their field of work in some way or another. They must be able to view and interpret wireframes and sitemaps, along with considering publishing schedules, regulatory requirements, and usability practices.
To sum it all up, writing for the web is not nearly as easy it may seem. It is not a matter of simply typing up an intriguing piece on the web. It goes much, much deeper than that. There is a lot of planning and strategizing that must take place before beginning to write for the web. Web writers have to have a great deal of knowledge spanning to lots of different elements of web design. Next time you think of web writers, be sure not to assume that all they do is log onto a computer and type away, it goes much deeper than what would typically be assumed!
Here is a site with a few guidelines for writing for the web: http://www.web.com/blog/social-media/writing-for-the-web-vs-writing-for-print-what-you-need-to-know/