Write for surfers and divers

Try the 30-3-30 rule

All readers are not created equal. So how can you give your in-depth “divers” enough information without overwhelming your casual “surfers”?

Write for 4 levels of web visitors

Skimming the surface Reach surfers and divers alike with the 30-3-30 rule. Image by Annie Spratt

Use Clay Schoenfeld’s 30-3-30 rule.

In his 30-3-30 rule, communication theorist Schoenfeld suggests that you present each web page as if one-third of your audience will give you:

  • 30 minutes. These folks are readers, and don’t we wish there were more of them!
  • 3 minutes. They’re not reading the text. Instead, they’re flipping, skimming and scanning for key ideas. To reach them, you need to lift your ideas off the screen with display copy.
  • 30 seconds. With a 30-second attention span, these folks are lookers. They’ll learn whatever they can through an image and a bold headline.

That’s for print. Online, add another 3, for people who will give you….

Reach nonreaders online >>>

Related stories

“Johnny can read. He just doesn’t very much.”
— Mario R. Garcia and Pegie Stark, authors, Eyes On the News, The Poynter Institute Color Research

Lift Ideas Off the Page

Draw readers in and reach nonreaders with display copy

Once you’ve written your headline, David Ogilvy famously said, you’ve spent 80 cents of your advertising dollar. That’s right: Display copy — headlines, captions and callouts, for instance — gets the biggest ROI of everything we write.

Catch Your Readers

They’re not necessarily reading Learn how to put your messages where your readers’ eyes really are. Image by Lacie Slezak

At Catch Your Readers — our two-day persuasive-writing master class on Nov. 16-17 in Kansas City — you’ll learn how to put your messages where your readers’ eyes really are. You’ll walk away with a three-step system for using your display copy to pull readers into your message, make your piece more inviting and even communicate to flippers and skimmers.

Specifically, you’ll learn how to:

  • Reach “readers” who spend only two minutes — or even just 10 seconds — with your piece.
  • Avoid dropping the piece of display copy that 95% of people read — but that many communicators forget.
  • Run a simple test on your message to ensure that even folks who will not read your message no matter how well you write it still get your key ideas.
  • Make your copy 47% more usable by adding a few simple elements.
  • Pass the Palm Test to make your message look easier to read. Because if it looks easier to read, more people will read it.

Save up to $100 each with our group discounts.

“Fantastic! I’ve been writing for years and often feel like there’s nothing left to learn. Boy was I so wrong! Great job, Ann!”
— Tomeeka Miller, social media consultant, FM Global

Polish your skills at these Master Classes

Learn to Master the Art of the Storyteller, Catch Your Readers, Get Clicked, Cut Through the Clutter and more

Register for Catch Your Readers in Kansas City: Ann Wylie’s persuasive-writing workshop in Kansas City on Nov. 16-17, 2017

Last chance in 2017!
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Miami | Dec. 11-12

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Los Angeles | Feb. 6-7, 2018

Register for NOT Your Father’s News Release - Ann Wylie's PR-writing workshop on March 19-20, 2018 in Santa Fe

Santa Fe | March 19-20, 2018

Register for Cut Through the Clutter - Ann Wylie's concise-writing workshop on April 17-18, 2018 in New York

Only chance in 2018!
New York | April 17-18, 2018

Register for Master the Art of the Storyteller - Ann Wylie's creative-writing workshop on July 25-26, 2018 in Portland

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Portland | July 25-26, 2018

Rather bring Ann in to train your whole team?

Catch Ann on the road

Save when you book a workshop while I’m in your neighborhood

Ask about piggybacking on my upcoming engagements in:

  • Atlanta: Nov. 13-14, 2017 & Sept. 10-11, 2018
  • Chicago: June 12-13, 2018
  • Dallas: Oct. 2-3, 2018
  • Denver: May 1-2, 2018
  • Kansas City: Nov. 16-17
  • Los Angeles: Feb. 6-7, 2018
  • Memphis: Nov. 2
  • Miami: Dec. 11-12
  • New York: April 17-18, 2018
  • Portland: July 25-26, 2018
  • Roseville, CA: Oct. 24
  • Santa Fe: March 19-20, 2018
  • Washington, DC: Oct. 31, 2017 & Nov. 7-8, 2018

Keep up with my calendar.

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