The digital world has changed the way we write. That’s because people read differently in the digital age.
Here are some tips to help maximise your writing effort.
1. The ‘Write’ audience – think before you start.
The way you write should be guided by your intended audience and reflect your brand guidelines. Write your content in a voice that will appeal to your target reader. Think through whether your copy is aimed at professionals, potential clients, or a casual blog, for example. Each will command its own style and depth of content. If you’re a naturally non-English speaker, writing and have it make sense, can be a little difficult, especially when you are writing to reach an English audience, so using something like Effortless English could help you refine your English language skills.
2. Short and sweet – your readers are skimmers.
High-five to you for reading this far!
Most readers just skim the text these days. They don’t read word-by-word. It takes a bit of strategy to get and then keep their interest.
THE F PATTERN
Researchers have found that English readers skim read from the top right of the page. They keep doing that until they are finished, bored or something else distracts them. This is magnified 5 times on a web page.
As their eyes move down, they follow an F pattern.
When your readers look a blog post, or a block of text, they give that first line – no matter what it is – a good read, but if it’s not what they’d hoped for, they move on.
If you do catch their attention, they give that second line a lot less time than they gave the first.
By the fourth and fifth lines they are hardly paying attention to any detail!
So – keep it clean and concise.
Start subheadings, paragraphs, and bullet points with information-carrying words that users will notice when scanning down the left side of your content in the final stem of their F-behavior.
They’ll read the third word on a line much less often than the first two words.
3. Be dashing – Yes, use these things – !
Dashes are a short-hand way of connecting important ideas together. They also really break things up visually. It’s a different way of writing, so they’re under-used. But very effective – so use them!
4. Edit, Edit, Edit – No matter how busy you are!
Ever tried to read sloppy writing? Doesn’t matter how good the info is, sloppiness turns people off.
Really read what you write! And then go over it again.
TIP: A great tip is to copy and paste into a word editing document and change the font. Why? When you’re spending time writing your brain begins to see what you think is there – it covers gaps and corrects mistakes.
Making your writing look different, will help correct that automatic process and you’re more likely to see what’s really there.
Using these 4 simple tips to maximise your writing impact will help you get your ideas and information across to your readers in a way they are likely to enjoy reading and to remember what they have read!
Do you have any other tips for adding impact to your writing? Leave your tips in the comments below…