On most freeways and highways, a rest stop is good for drivers and passengers to stretch their legs, grab a refreshment, and other things necessary to get through a long stretch of road.
Similarly, a long stretch of text without an eye rest makes for weary readers.
Writing for the web is different from writing for print. Probably much different than what you learned in school.
One reason for the difference is how readers read now, mostly due to the dynamic nature of web pages with hyperlinks, moving parts, back buttons, and now mobile devices.
If we are to write with the reader in mind (and who and how they might share what you’ve written), we must be aware of their reading habits.
A post I always require my clients to read is Blog Posting – Give Them Eye Rests.
Slow Down Their Scroll
Readers on the web are scanners and surfers. They scroll and move on to the next site like they are living in the fast lane. Even if your writing is great, they still may not slow down if it’s all text and no toys.
Help them navigate safely by providing rest stops along the super-information highway. These “speed bumps” might include:
- Bold text your take-away phrases (a 5-10 word phrase is better than a single keyword)
- An image that helps tell the story (preferably positioned on the right of the text)
- A list, either bullets or numbered (you don’t have to love these, but know that readers do)
- Hyperlink text (instead of spelling out the 5 W’s & H, link to them — contextually)
By giving these “gifts” to the reader, they are more likely to remember what you’ve written (at least the bold take-away), and they are more likely to share it with others (it’s good AND easy-to-read)
Readers will stick with you if you are considerate of their habits. Think about how you read on the web. Do you scroll and scan or read every line?
Read more on being generous to your readers at DIY Marketers.
Here’s our Blog Posting Mantra so far:
Blog Posting Mantra #1 – Write the Post
Blog Posting Mantra #2 – Title the Post
Blog Posting Mantra #3 – Image Above the Fold
Blog Posting Mantra #4 – At Least One Link Out
Blog Posting Mantra #5 – Add Eye Rests
Here’s the full lineup.
Photo from pixabay.com