A picture may speak a thousand words but on the internet a picture is much easier to find than well written copy. As soon as we see grammar and spelling mistakes we immediately think less of the site it’s on. It’s so important to double and triple check copy before uploading as once it’s out there you can’t always take it back.
It’s not enough for your copy to be a sterling example of the written word, it has to be engaging to readers too. You have to think about who it’s aimed at, for instance you would write a post about hot new music differently to a post about new business strategies, because they’re aimed at different demographics. Identifying your audience is key here because it lets you speak their language and in turn see much more engagement.
The way we read online is different to the way we read physical copy too, we’re more likely to skim the page and look for something that jumps out. If we don’t register interesting information we simply click away within seconds of opening the page.
Follow these tips to make your copy stand out from the rest:
Short and Succinct Paragraphs
The best way to have your content stand out to the reader is to break it up into smaller, more feasible paragraphs. This way, when the reader is skimming over your post they’re checking at least the first sentence in a paragraph to see what it’s about, plus it’s a less daunting read for your audience if it’s broken into bite sized chunks.
Edit out unnecessary information too, there’s no need to keep waffling on and fill up the page with lots of words that don’t say much. This is a sure fire way to turn readers off and send them off to another website. For each part of your copy ask yourself if all the sentences are necessary, are you simply reiterating something that’s already been said, if so be as harsh as possible and cut it right down.
Use Sub Headings
Stick to 2 or 3 sentences a paragraph, or just try and commit one idea into a paragraph and don’t be afraid to keep it short and sweet.
Sub headings will also break up the monotony of your text and help your reader suss out what exactly your article covers. Sub headings also help keep your reader engaged and keep them reading your copy until the end.
Break up Lists with Bullet Points
If you feel like your article needs a list, don’t bunch it all up in a long paragraph, use a bulleted list to lay it out clearly. Readers will appreciate it and it won’t be as formidable a read if it’s all broken up.
Think about the order of your list too, have the most important and exciting items at the top to encourage readers to pay attention and keep reading the full thing.
Put Important Words in Bold
Don’t be afraid to tell your readers what the important words are by putting them in bold. Try and only do this for a few key words or phrases though, overuse will make this technique much less effective. Make sure you try a few different phrases in bold, read over your copy and see which ones you feel are the most effective. Get someone else to read over your copy too, fresh eyes will see things that you won’t.
If your content isn’t as effective as it could be then you could lose out, your readers will simply go elsewhere within a matter of seconds. The most effective copy keeps readers interested until the end and first impressions count, no one wants to read massive unbroken chunks of text so keep it light. You’ll also want to keep it succinct, break up the text with sub headings and direct readers to the important information using bold text.
Always have a friend or co-worker look over your copy, you’ll be skimming over the fine details and may miss a big mistake. This practice will get you into the habit of double and triple checking your work too, so there’s less room for error.