Audiences today have high expectations about what they choose to read. And that’s especially true online.
As more and more marketing shifts to digital formats, readers’ tastes are changing.
Here are three important trends that can help you be a better writer, to stay connected with your audience and to have them coming back for more.
Be reader friendly: use narrower columns
Susan Weinschenk illustrates in her report on reader behaviour that while research shows people can read faster when you use wide columns (more than 100 characters per line), people respond more favourably to narrower columns (betwen 45 and 100 characters per line).
It’s no accident that The Economist and The Guardian–two publishers who have been highly successful at switching to online content–continue to opt for this narrower column style for their online version (particularly for tablets). People come back more often to what they enjoy best.
Bullets go bad quickly
If you have to use bullets at all, use them sparingly: never more than in a group of five. They’re designed to draw the eye to something very selective. Use them too often and it will look like work to your readers.
People read more when it’s enjoyable. They bolt when it starts to feel like a task.