Well written text will typically form an important part of your content marketing. In addition to the subject matter and tone being appropriate for the intended audience, you should consider the medium through which it will be delivered. Written content might appear in printed material, such as a brochure, magazine, leaflet or poster, or online within a website, electronic newsletter, blog post or social media. You should consider that people could be doing other things when consuming your content, such as travelling on a train, taking a meal break, watching television or in a social situation. This can influence how much and for how long they will focus on a piece of text. People could easily be distracted by other things, therefore when laying out content you should clearly signpost and highlight major topics and key pieces of information. When proof reading content you should do so using a range of different devices, such as desktop and laptop computers, tablets and mobile phones. You should also ask other people to review what you have written on their devices.
People generally read text printed on a page in ways that differ from text appearing on the screens of electronic devices. Printed text tends to be read from start to finish, allowing a writer to build complex ideas and arguments in a sequential way. Printed text is also generally read faster, more information is retained and readers are less likely to experience eye strain. Often people will tend to skim over text displayed on a screen, move around a webpage, look at headings and summaries or read ahead and go back to fill in missing details. Readers tend to prefer shorter sentences and shorter paragraphs when text is displayed on a screen, compared to text in printed publications. They are less likely to be prepared to read large blocks of text or focus their attention on screen based text for long periods of time. There is also a greater probability that people will be distracted by other content and decide to visit a different webpage or website.
When writing text that will be published online, use relevant descriptive headings, to attract the attention of your target audience. Opening sentences should engage with readers. Make it clear what the subject matter of a story or article is, highlight why people should continue reading and motivate them to do so by maintaining their interest. Write using clear easy to understand language and avoid the use of ambiguous or confusing terminology. If you provide hyperlinks leading readers to additional details or supporting information, then you should ensure that the links work as expected and open the appropriate web pages. If you want people to be attracted to what you have written, provide a good summary, focusing on key details and getting to the essence of your story or article. This summary could then be posted elsewhere on your website, on a different site or social media platform. If you are going to include images such as photographs or infographics, then ensure they are relevant and effectively illustrate the text that you have written.
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