When the web took the world by storm, even writing styles and requirements evolved – for this specific medium, at least.
Writing good web copy has indeed become an art and a skill all by itself, and you have many ways of learning and perfecting it.
First off, it’s important to know the importance of the visual aspect of web content. Big chunks of text keep web readers from trudging through content all the way.
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However, there are three easy methods of making your text more inviting:
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1. Write short sentences.
You can actually influence how well people receive your message and how often they read your content just by keeping your sentences short.
Obviously, that means using fewer words in each sentence. Remember that online content text is read differently.
People only scan the words instead of reading each of them. Short sentences make readers want to read your content more because it’s brief and easier to absorb.
Avoid writing sentences longer than 20 words. This promotes scanning and quick reading. Besides, long sentences also make it harder to understand and retain your message.
3. Keep your paragraphs short.
Paragraphs consisting of more than four or five lines tend to discourage readers from reading through the entire content. It’s often enough to write two or three sentences per paragraph.
Split long paragraphs into several paragraphs. There’s nothing wrong with a too-short paragraph. In fact, this can be an advantage because it also adds white space, which is easier on the eyes.
3. Write text in chunks.
Chunked information produces scannable online content. When you keep sentences and paragraphs short, that is part of chunking. Long and wordy text is something online readers rarely have time nor the patience for.
There are two ways that can help you create chunk text:
> diving paragraphs, adding lists (bulleted or numbered) and using headings/subheadings; and
> keeping text short by writing clearly and concisely.
Know what’s needed and what’s superfluous. Don’t beat around the bush. That means you need to make the point in as little words as possible.
When chunking information, use numbered or bulleted lists where appropriate. Again, always remember that writing for the web isn’t merely about words. How you present the information is important too.
You should draw readers in with scannable content. Examples or illustrations are good to use.
With content that is visually appealing, you will be able to create powerful, effective online content.
Another good way of breaking up text is by introducing other types of visual material.
Tables or charts, for instance, can be used to help your readers digest complicated information. Find relevant diagrams, photos and the like, and make them visually appealing.
At the end of the day, you want to make sure your content addresses the wants and needs of your readers. Otherwise, of what use will it be?