Looking for tips to make my writing more effective for readers that skim pages

Articles, Blog posts, Content, Informational, etc. If it's not directly related to sales copy then this is the place to talk about it
Post Reply
User avatar
ErnieRomero
Newbie
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2019 12:00 am
Been thanked: 1 time

Looking for tips to make my writing more effective for readers that skim pages

Post by ErnieRomero »

I know that a lot of readers skim articles and blog posts before they decide to read it.

I’m looking for ideas how to structure my copy so it will still convey the message to a reader who is skimming the copy and make them want to read it all.

Any resource would be appreciated.

Thanks
User avatar
SARubin
Copywriter
Posts: 233
Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2019 8:00 am
Location: USA
Has thanked: 55 times
Been thanked: 49 times
Contact:

Re: Looking for tips to make my writing more effective for readers that skim pages

Post by SARubin »

Hey Ernie,

Yeah, a lot of people (most people?) do tend to skim pages before deciding if it’s worth reading. (Time is valuable so we don’t want to waste it on useless info)

If I had to put my initial answer into one word. That word would be “sub-headlines.” (is that one word? Well, I hyphenated it, so now it’s one 😀 )


Sub-headlines are just like regular headlines, scattered throughout your copy.

Ideally, each of your sub-heads should stand out (you can make it bold? or a different font or color? etc.) so it catches your readers attention, just like the main headline. And, the sub-headline should give a compelling explanation of what that particular section of copy is about.

The idea is… when someone skims your copy, and they see a sub-headl it should get them to think, “hey, this is interesting,” and it should make them want to stop and read the next few lines of copy.

If you can get them to do that a couple times, then many people will go back and read your entire page. Because now they believe it’s worth their time.



Another thing that helps (especially on the web) is white-space
^^^Note: this is a sub-headline telling you what this next section is about^^^

Basically, white space just means leaving a bit of blank space between sentences, and paragraphs, so when someone skims your page it doesn’t look like one huge page of “hard to read” text.

Also, on the web… A few scattered pictures don’t hurt either. (just to break the copy up a bit) Just make sure the pictures are relevant to your message.



Hope this helps.

All the best,
SAR

P.S. One last thing… If it’s a full page sales letter, then a P.S. is almost always a good idea.

Studies have shown (along with my own personal experience over the last couple decades) that most people will read your P.S.

Often because they believe that’s where important info might be waiting. Or they’re just anxious to know what the conclusion of the message looks like (could have something to do with fast-tracking the Zeigarnik effect?)

So it’s a good idea to “put something important in your P.S.” Usually a summary of your entire offer. That way, whether they read your entire letter, or just skip to the P.S. you can sum up, and re-inforce your message. And if your P.S. is worthy, they might go back and read your entire page.

Either way, the P.S almost always gets read (if you need proof, just consider the fact that you’re reading “this” P.S. right now 😉 )
A good marketer knows how to think like a marketer - A great marketer learns how to think like the customer...
SARubin - Direct Response Copywriter / Conversion Flow Specialist
User avatar
Rhonda
Member
Posts: 23
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2019 12:00 am
Location: TX
Has thanked: 9 times
Been thanked: 12 times

Re: Looking for tips to make my writing more effective for readers that skim pages

Post by Rhonda »

Typically, I try to get the headline and the first few sentences as interesting as possible.

Then I put the information in, and end it on a high note.

Heat-maps have shown me that many readers tend to read the first part, skim the rest, and then read the ending before they either move on or go back and read the whole thing.

So I try to structure it so it’s entertaining at the start, technical info in the middle, and end it just as entertaining as the beginning. So far this has created the most sticky content for me.

-Rhonda
User avatar
ErnieRomero
Newbie
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2019 12:00 am
Been thanked: 1 time

Re: Looking for tips to make my writing more effective for readers that skim pages

Post by ErnieRomero »

Thank you for the great advice. Are there any other resources I can look at regarding page layout?
User avatar
Franklin
Member
Posts: 55
Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2019 12:00 am
Has thanked: 15 times
Been thanked: 21 times

Re: Looking for tips to make my writing more effective for readers that skim pages

Post by Franklin »

ErnieRomero wrote: Mon Feb 04, 2019 11:34 am Thank you for the great advice. Are there any other resources I can look at regarding page layout?
You can always look at other popular sites. If you writing blog posts go see other popular blogs and study the layout. If you’re writing long form articles go see what popular news site are doing and imitate the structure.
Facts are not open source projects. You can use them freely, but you may not alter or modify them to fit your needs.
User avatar
MikeyWrites
Member
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun Dec 15, 2019 12:00 am
Has thanked: 14 times
Been thanked: 9 times

Re: Looking for tips to make my writing more effective for readers that skim pages

Post by MikeyWrites »

Designating your subheaders as H2 (the title on a WordPress blog post is H1) lets Google identify what the content is about and also does what SARubin mentioned, makes it bold and draws the eyes to it.

Try Different Methods of Presenting Points
  • Use somewhat shorter paragraphs than you might see in printed copy, say 3-7 sentences.
  • Use a bulleted list like this one to make points or features that describe the subject matter without dense blocks of text
  • Carefully structure your subheadings and their paragraphs to flow logically from the beginning to the end of your post.
That’s Not the Only Way to Do It

1. Numbered lists are another way to accomplish these things.

2. You can use numbers when you’re laying out steps or presenting points of argument or persuasion.

3.The point about white space is very important. Use double spacing between paragraphs.

Use a clear introduction/body/conclusion sequence to make it quick and easy for the reader to take what she’s looking for out of the article in an “a la carte” manner.
These users thanked the author MikeyWrites for the post:
SARubin
Post Reply