Let’s face it. There’s nothing tougher than attempting to read a web article that’s written in block paragraphs from start to finish. Not only is it tough to follow, but those readers who prefer scanning will give up on the content. Bullet lists can change that very quickly.
Bullet lists are nothing new. They’ve been around for a long time, yet so few writers understand the significance of using this common formatting tool. Most word processing programs feature the bullet button somewhere in the tool bar at the top of the page. Here are 5 benefits of using bullet lists in your content and copy that can will get your words read.
- Bullet lists make the writing process easier. Instead of laboring over long sentences, bullet lists allow you to say a lot in a very few words. The concise nature of the bullet point encourages a brief statement in bold, followed by a sentence or two of elaboration.
- Bullet lists organize information into meaningful “chunks.” Scanners love this. Instead of having to read every word of the article, bullet lists allow them to quickly find the information that is most meaningful to them–and this convenience typically encourages them to read further into your article.
- Bullet lists create a sense of attraction. A little bit of intrigue can go a long way to getting eyes focused on your copy or content. Use the beginning bold statement to dangle enticing bits of information, data or benefits. Bullet lists are perfect for writing sales copy that actually sells.
- Bullet lists invite meaningful hyperlinking. When information is chunked, readers are naturally drawn to these words. This is the perfect time to hyperlink your sources, cross-link other articles you’ve written, or provide a gateway to products or services that you might be selling.
- Bullet lists contrast the rest of the content for a visual “break.” This benefit encourages your readers to stick with the copy of content to the very end. With never-ending paragraphs, readers will reach the point where they no longer which to untangle complex sentences–bullet lists prevent this from happening too often.
Bullet lists aren’t the only way to improve readability and encourage your readers to stick with the message. Other useful techniques that can help to get your content or copy read include:
- Line/page breaks. White space is the writer’s friend, giving readers a break in the action while steering them toward the next phase of your article.
- Number lists. These essentially function in the same way that bullet lists do, except they provide an added sequencing effect that can prove more beneficial to readers in some instances.
- Subheads. I think of these as bullet lists without the bullets. A well-crafted subhead is the lure on the hook, enticing your readers with imaginative statements that lead into further explanation.
The bottom line? Resist the temptation to write in paragraphs by exploring these options. Not only will your readability increase, but an increase in reader response should follow close behind.