May 24, 2017

Get Clicked, Read, Shared & Liked

Write effective blog posts and social media messages
in this social media & content marketing writing workshop

“Revolutionised the way my communications team and I approach writing for online consumption, both for webpages and for electronic newsletters.”
— Nikki Van Dusen, manager, Internet Communications, Alberta Public Affairs Bureau

Get Clicked: in-house online writing workshop image“Try reading a book while doing a crossword puzzle,” writes Nicholas G. Carr, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains. “That’s the intellectual environment of the Internet.”

Indeed. Online, constant problem solving (to click or not to click?) and divided attention (you’ve got mail!) lead to cognitive overload. (One researcher even found that reading on the screen temporarily lowers your IQ more than smoking weed!) In this environment, how do we Reach Readers Online?

In this web-writing workshop, your team will learn techniques for overcoming the obstacles of reading on the screen to get the word out on the web, in social media and via content marketing. Specifically, you’ll learn to how to:

Contact now button


“Great step-by-step instructions on how to do it right.”
— Stacy Mayo, assistant account executive, Rhea + Kaiser

Think Like a Friend, Fan or Follower

Offer news you can use, and watch your reach and influence grow

“Our readers don’t want to read stories,” writes Brian J. O’Conner, editor at “What they really want is a big button they can push that says, ‘Solve my problem.’ It’s up to us to be that button.”

Sadly, instead of helping readers solve their problems, too many digital writers churn out content that focuses on “us and our stuff” — not on the reader and the reader’s needs.

But offer news you can use to live your life better, and you’ll see your online reach and influence grow.

In this session, you’ll learn how to write webpages, blog posts, email messages and social media status updates that grab and keep reader interest with relevant, valuable, helpful information.

Specifically, you’ll learn how to:

  • Find the right story — and craft the best story angle — for webpages, content marketing pieces and social media status updates.
  • Position your company as the expert in the field and draw readers in with news they can use to live their lives better.
  • Get more likes and shares with stories that better serve your audience.
  • Make sure your status updates are welcome guests, not intrusive pests, by passing the 70-20-10 test.
  • Tap the power of the most-retweeted word in the English language. And avoid the one topic nobody wants to read about.

Create Content Marketing Pieces That Almost Write Themselves

Get our fill-in-the-blanks templates for tipsheets, survey stories and more

You wouldn’t let some 1860s-era technology stink up your webpages, blog posts and content marketing pieces, would you? Yet every day, communicators let a 150-year-old story structure stink up their online messages.

This structure — invented for the telegraph wire, just to give you an idea of how current it is — has been proven in the lab again and again to reduce reading, sharing, engagement, understanding and more.

But there is another option — a different, newer structure that’s been shown to grab readers’ attention, pull them through the piece and leave a lasting impression.

In this session, you’ll master the more-effective story structure — and walk away with templates and recipes for crafting content marketing pieces that almost write themselves.

Specifically, you’ll learn how to:

  • Fill in the blanks to the best survey story you’ve ever written, using our easy “recipe.”
  • Use a simple template for crafting a tipsheet that almost writes itself.
  • Model the masters to a great case study: It’s easy with our annotated example.
  • Write leads that drag readers into your piece with our checklist of three elements of a great lead — and seven types of leads to avoid.
  • End with a bang, not a whimper by using our three-step test.

Cut Through the Clutter Online

Overcome the obstacles of reading on the screen

When reading on the screen, your audience members suffer physical ailments ranging from double vision to nausea to difficulty thinking.

No wonder people avoid reading online!

In fact, shelves buckle under the weight of usability research showing that the longer your webpage is, the less of it your visitors read. That the lower your Facebook and Twitter readability scores, the less sharing you’ll see. That the more hyperbole you pack into your paragraphs, the less people will understand, remember and enjoy your message.

In this session, you’ll learn a six-step process for writing web copy that overcomes the obstacles of reading on the screen to get the word out online.

Specifically, you’ll learn how to:

  • Bash the myth of page view time. Help readers understand better, remember more and feel more satisfied about reading your message when you make it easier for them to get what they want quickly and move on.
  • Get visitors to read more of your webpage by hitting one key on your keyboard more often.
  • Avoid using one “unretweetable” punctuation mark. It’s been proven in the lab to reduce sharing.
  • Boost usability by 27% by cutting one simple element from your message.
  • Increase sharing when you target the right reading grade level for Twitter and Facebook.

Lift Ideas Off the Screen

Draw visitors in, increase open rates — even reach nonreaders — with microcontent

Jakob Neilsen once wrote an article called “How Users Read on the Web.” The first paragraph: “They don’t.” Instead, he says, they skim.

Indeed, in one analysis of page views by computer scientists, engineers and other highly educated professionals, Nielsen found that web visitors read only about 20% of the words on the average webpage.

The rest they skim, getting information from the microcontent — web heads, subject lines and links, for instance.

So why not put your messages where your readers really are: in the microcontent?

In this session, you’ll learn how to use your microcontent to draw readers into your online message; make your emails, blog posts and webpages more inviting; and get the word out to nonreaders.

Specifically, you’ll learn how to:

  • Take advantage of the No. 1 element people read on a webpage. (Most communicators drop it altogether.)
  • Make your message 124% more usable in three simple steps.
  • Optimize web heads for humans as well as for Google. Increase your chances of getting found and read.
  • Write subject lines that get your emails opened. Plus: How long to make subject lines for mobile users.
  • Pass the Goldilocks test. Learn to write links that aren’t too short or too long but just right.

Get an online writing workout with Wylie

Take your blog post, webpage or status update from ‘meh’ to masterpiece when you practice your new skills on your own work

In the crunch of writing headlines and meeting deadlines, it sometimes seems as if there’s not enough time to pause and consider how you’re doing. But in our practice sessions, you’ll get a great opportunity for reflection and improvement.

Bring your laptop and a story to work on. We’ll give you a chance to write and rewrite, get and give feedback, and leave with a totally rewritten piece.

In these practice sessions, you’ll:

  • Master the techniques you learn in the workshop by applying them immediately. (That’s how we put the “Master” in the Master Class!)
  • Gain valuable insights on your work from your peers and from Ann.
  • Learn to analyze and improve others’ writing — the best skill you can develop for editing others or improving your own work.

Contact now button


“Other writing coaches tell you what to do.
Ann shows you how.”
— Roberta Laughlin, vice president, Mutual Funds Marketing, Northern Trust

About Ann Wylie

Hi! I’m Ann Wylie. So why should you learn to Reach Readers Online from me?

Ann Wylie photo

Reach Readers Online Leave with proven-in-the-lab best practices for reaching readers at Ann Wylie’s in-house writing workshops.

That’s easy. Because I’m a nerd.

I’m a nerd.

I was never happier than when I was in graduate school, gathering information for my journalism thesis. Today, my idea of a great Sunday afternoon is to curl up on the couch with a cat, a cup of tea and a great communication study.

I love researching best practices, formulating techniques and sharing those approaches with others. So I’ve built a career that allows me to do just that.

I’m a trainer.

I taught graduate writing classes at a university for 10 years in my “spare time” — in the evenings after I’d worked a full day as a business communicator and magazine editor. Since then, I’ve traveled from Hollywood to Helsinki to train tens of thousands of writers in more than 1,000 workshops at organizations like NASA, Nokia and Nike.

I’ve been designated an “IABC Recommended Speaker” for my top ratings at IABC International Conferences. And I serve as the Public Relations Society of America’s “national writing coach.”

I’m a writer.

And I’ve tested my tricks and techniques in the real world. During my tenure as editor of Hallmark’s employee magazine, for instance, CROWN was named the best publication of its kind in the world by the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC). Since then, my communications have earned more than 60 awards for excellence, including two IABC Gold Quills.

Today, one of the things that sets me apart from many writing trainers is that I practice what I preach. I actually write. In fact, half of my business is writing — newsletters, magazines, websites, brochures and the like — mostly for big, corporate clients. The other half is helping professional writers learn to write better.

Won’t you join me?

Frankly, you don’t have time to do a deep dive into writing tricks and techniques like I do. After all, you have a job. You have a life. You don’t have hundreds of hours to spend each year, digging into the research, finding ways to improve your writing.

Fortunately, all the years I’ve spent nerdishly analyzing, reading and researching writing techniques can cut hundreds of hours off your learning curve.

All you have to do is bring me in for an in-house Reach Readers Online workshop. I look forward to seeing you there!

Contact now button


“I learned more in this two-day class than I did in my two-year master’s program.”
— Rochelle Juette, communications specialist, Washington Closure Hanford

One-day writing workshop

  • Learn tips and techniques for Reaching Readers Online in a customized, six-hour writing workshop.
  • Practice your new skills on your team’s own writing samples.
  • Continue learning after the workshop ends with a three-month membership to Rev Up Readership for up to 30 members of your team.
[Note: Discounted communication association workshops do not include customization or Rev Up Readership memberships.]

Two-day Master Class

In the crunch of writing headlines and meeting deadlines, it sometimes seems as if there’s not enough time to pause and consider how you’re doing. But in our two-day Master Class, your team members will get a chance to write, edit and rewrite; get and give feedback; and leave with a totally rewritten piece. In the process, they will:

  • Master the techniques they learn in the workshop by applying them immediately
  • Get feedback with specific ideas they can use to improve your work immediately
  • Gain valuable insights on their work from their peers and from Ann
  • Learn to analyze and improve each others’ writing — the best skill you can develop for improving your own work

Half-day seminar

Just have half a day? Let’s focus on Thinking Like a Friend, Fan and Follower, and Mastering the Art of the Online Storyteller.

Add writing guidelines

Want to make sure everyone’s on the same page with your new web writing techniques — including your approvers and reviewers? Let Ann develop customized writing guidelines, based on best practices, for your team. This is “the book” that lets everyone know, “Here’s how we write it around here.”

Your web writing guidelines will include before-and-after examples of your team’s own headlines, leads, links and other story elements. That means your team will not only find out what they need to tweak, but how Ann would tweak it.

Add templates

Ever wish you had annotated models and checklists for writing your online messages? Let us develop formulas, templates and examples to make your online communications more effective and less time-consuming.

Your team will walk away with fill-in-the-blanks outlines they can use to write your most common types of web pieces, whether they’re tipsheets, survey stories, HR stories, product releases, webpages, brochures — you name it. Plus, you’ll get before-and-after versions of your own web content illustrating each of the templates.

WWAD? Find out with this service.

Contact now button


What grads say about Catch Your Readers

Rating: 4.830 reviews4.8-star rating
“Fantastic! Within 90 minutes I was applying the ideas Ann presented.”
— Jennifer Uschold, senior manager, Internal Communications, Direct Energy
“Revolutionised the way my communications team and I approach writing for online consumption.”

“Information many communicators don’t consider when writing for the web. Web writing is in a completely different animal than print writing, which is just one reason it’s crucial to stay up-to-date on new web-writing techniques!”

“Ann Wylie really knows her subject. Her ideas are clear. She gives real-world examples. Her information helped us review our own website — and look at our client’s sites with a fresh set of eyes.”

“An information-rich, incredibly useful and practical hour on writing for the web. I’ve used this information to guide the writing of every page of our new site. Ann’s approach is research-based, easy to understand and makes writing for the web easier and more effective.”

“Cool fresh stuff.”

“Ann offers her professional expertise and makes this seminar fresh. Whether you are new or seasoned in social media, you will appreciate her insights.”

“A great course for virtually every level of web writer, from beginner to expert.”

“A great way to take a step back from your own company and learn some new tricks and techniques to make your own website stand out.”

“Good tips and how-to’s for punching up your online content and getting the job done in fewer words.”

“Simply life changing.”

Ann Wylie's writing workshops photo

Catch Your Readers Hundreds of communicators have learned to get the word out at Ann Wylie’s Master Classes.

Contact now button


“A semester’s worth of knowledge in a few hours.”
— Amy Kappler, communications specialist, Burgess and Niple


We recommend that every communication team start their training with Catch Your Readers. In this essential workshop, you’ll learn to use the bait your readers like — in print and online.

Contact now button


“If I were to write a headline and deck for Ann’s workshop, it would go something like this … ‘West Point for Writers: How to win the war for readers’ minds.’”
— Jim Rink, media relations specialist, The Auto Club Group

Need more information?

How may we help?

Contact us via:




Social media:


Wylie Communications
949 NW Overton, Ste. 1102
Portland, OR 97209

Contact now button

Browse all in-house writing workshops

%d bloggers like this: