People skip long paragraphs Readers take measure of — and make decisions about — your copy based on how it looks. One of the most important visual cues is paragraph length. If your message looks too hard to read, people won't read it. So hit Return more often: It's one of the easiest ways to make your message more readable. How often should you hit … [Read more...] about Hit Return more often
Just 2% of adults globally perform at the top literacy level Read it and weep: After decades of reporting five levels of literacy, the largest adult literacy study in the world has dropped Level 5, the top level, for lack of participation. The reason: Just 2 percent of adults worldwide performed at Level 5, so researchers combined it with Level 4 in their most recent … [Read more...] about A world of pain
Steal 4 tips from the search giant's own releases Google issues few press releases: 13 in 2013, 17 in 2014 and just 10 in the first eight months of 2015. Most of them are earnings releases. So when Google announced that it had acquired Nest, the release itself gave some insights into what Google rewards in releases. Here are four techniques to steal from … [Read more...] about What would Google do?
Try a bikini lead instead Some folks write "suitcase leads": They try to cram all of the story elements into the top. Instead, make yours a bikini lead, and cover just the most interesting essentials. Remember: It's not the job of the first paragraph to tell the whole story. It's the job of the first paragraph to get people to read the second paragraph. So target … [Read more...] about Avoid the suitcase lead
They make journalists cry 'hype' and more "Atticus told me to delete the adjectives and I'd have the facts." — Harper Lee in To Kill a Mockingbird Why cut adjectives and adverbs from your copy? Because modifiers: 1. Strike journalists as hype Writing media relations pieces? Journalists hate hype and fluff … and modifiers are hype-y and fluffy. "Be fair," … [Read more...] about Why minimize modifiers?