Yes – if you begin with an interesting headline and an opening that grabs their attention.
Usually that means writing something about the reader or one of his or her concerns.
BUT… that’s not all. You also have to make the message EASY to read.
I probably sound like a broken record because I nag about this point every month or two. It’s that important.
Just yesterday I went to see if a bio I had written recently had been uploaded. It had, but I expect it won’t do the agent any good. She forgot to include any white space between the paragraphs, so the whole thing looks like one large gray wall of copy.
Few people will bother to read her bio for several reasons:
- A wall of words simply looks boring – and looks like too much work.
- People don’t go to a website to read encyclopedia pages – and web copy shouldn’t look like encyclopedia pages.
- When reading on screen it’s much harder for eyes to track from one line to the next. When you get more than 5 or 6 lines, eyes get lost.
- When reading on line, we tend to skim and skip. We look ahead to see if we’re interested in continuing, or if it’s time to move on to something more interesting. It’s too difficult to skim when there’s nothing breaking up the page. It’s much easier to just move on.
That’s why web copy needs visual interest along with engaging words.
Here are 7 ways to make your web copy appeal to readers.
- Most obvious – have something to say.
- Never write a paragraph longer than 7 lines.
- Vary the length of paragraphs. One line is OK.
- Add a white space between paragraphs.
- Use bullet points.
- Use sub-headings.
- Use bold and underline – but sparingly.
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles @ freedigitalphotos.net