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Write for the eye as well as the mind

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Write for the eye as well as the mind

Writing well is important, but so is making it look easy to read. Huge chunks of unbroken text just looks too scary, too long and too much like hard work.

Pay attention to format and appearance – because it’s likely more people will read what you’ve written:

  1. Give it a headline – grab your readers attention. Without one, no matter how good your writing is, chances are it won’t be read.
  2. Keep paragraphs short – whenever you see a long paragraph try to break it up into two or more short ones.

    The more paragraphs you use the more whitespace there’ll be in your text, making it more inviting.

    Like this one here.

    And this one.

  3. Harness the power of numbers – they capture both attention and keep the reader oriented.
  4. Use bullet points
  • They’re easy to scan
  • They provide a visual break for your reader
  • They draw attention to important information
  • They communicate information quickly
  1. Use upper and lower case – capital letters may seem like a simple way to make text stand out – in fact it makes text harder to read and best avoided.
  2. Add emphasis by formatting – put important points in bold or whole sentences in italics.
      • It makes it easy to scan and pick out the most important information at a glance.
  1. Subheads break up large masses of type – they keep your reader engaged, acting as ‘mini headlines’ and keeping them moving through the rest of your text.
  2. Use captions with images – they’re consistently some of the most-read text on a page. Make them long enough to intrigue your reader to dig further.
  3. Don't indent paragraphs – separate paragraphs with space, rather than indents. It looks neater.
  4. Single spacing between lines – double spacing between paragraphs.
  5. Use white space – they’re fewer ways to make your text more readable.

    By adding lots of white space it lets your copy breath. It says read me. I’m not hardwork.

  6. Add colour images – if a picture is worth a thousand words, why not use an image? What better way to break up large blocks of grey copy than by adding photographs, illustrations, charts or diagrams.
Last modified on Wednesday, 10 April 2013 11:10
James Hurford

James Hurford

James Hurford
James Hurford | Copywriter | Corporate Trainer | Owner of Passion – the copywriting company | Author of 'How to write well'
At Passion we specialise in copywriting in plain language for the financial services sector. With over 25 years of experience working for top international companies, we bring a vast amount of knowledge and copywriting expertise to every client we work with.


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