Write for Online Readers

Write for Online Readers

The rules you followed to make your print newsletter grab readers don’t work anymore. As we have transitioned to reading online, how we read and the time we are willing to give have changed. You need to change the way you present your communications to successfully compete for time and attention.

You Get 10 Seconds

Yup, just 10 seconds. Most people give your content 10 seconds (or less) to convince them to read on or they move on. Even your top readers likely spend about two minutes on your content.

Capture Readers With the Headline

The headline of your content is the first thing that will be read. This is where decisions will be made to proceed or move on. Spend the most time writing headlines that are meaningful to your target audience.

Next in importance:

  • Subheads
  • Bullet points
  • Pullout quote

Online Readers Are Scanners

It’s more accurate to think of people scanning your content than reading it. They look for key takeaways and don’t read all your text. And, they don’t necessarily review your content in a linear fashion.

You need to tell your story in the headline and subheads. Add more in the bullets. Consider a pullout quote if there is a statement or sentence that is compelling.

Use an illustrative image. Caption it in a way that relays the key message of the content.

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