This is the first post in a new series we’re kicking off with professional copywriter Anne McColl exploring methods of communicating creatively, yet conversationally. Anne is an interactive copywriter who has worked with the likes of Turbo Tax, Bumble Bee Foods, WD-40 and Cricket Wireless to find the right words to tell their story and inspire people.
When you’re surfing the Internet, is there anything as uninviting as an entire page of light grey text in 10-point font? Click, click, your reader is gone. People are scanning, looking for the information they need. They don’t want to read. The idea is to present your content in chunks – in small digestible pieces – that will leave them wanting more. Below you’ll find some helpful hints to help you do just that.
1. White space is your friend
Don’t be afraid to hit that return button and leave a space between text, photos and subheads. Give those eyeballs a break.
2. It’s all about the subhead, baby
Your great headline pulls readers in and the subheads let them know what the post is about and persuades them to dig deeper. As a matter of fact, readers should be able to understand what the article is about just by reading the headline and subheads.
3. Soap operas have the right idea: serialize
Get ‘em hooked. If you have a lot of information, you can break up a super long blog post into a series. Or create a series on Twitter. The San Diego Opera did a lovely series on the history of opera (Or have you seen Fandom’s Tip of the Day which feeds quotes from a Tumblr).
4. Make a list or use bullets
- Make the copy scanable.
- Let your readers know there is an end in sight.
- Lists are a good way to get some white space in there.
5. Provide your own bite-sized pieces
Of course, you already have social media widgets at the top or bottom of your page to make it more shareable. But you can go one step further and provide your own tasty morsels to make sharing even easier. Sally Hogshead, speaker, creative muse, and author of Fascinate, provides small tweetable bits at the end of her blog posts.
Here are a few tweetable bits for sharing this delicious post:
Do you like your ice cream chunky? You can consume chunky content too. <url> via @fandommarketing @annemccoll
Turn your blog copywriting from a long, rambling narrative to a chunky conversation piece. <url> via @fandommarketing @annemccoll
6. Words and pictures belong together
It’s true. Now while we all know that Playboy Magazine has exceptional writing, it’s the pictures that keep the readers returning again and again. So forget those all-text posts. Head on over to Creative Commons, find a good photo and then attribute it (No, Google Images isn’t an acceptable source for photos). Better yet, shoot your own.
7. Make your ending rock
Don’t fade away with a weak ending. Spend as much effort working on your ending as you do the intro to your post. It will leave them scraping the bottom of the carton and clamoring for more.