Write for the Mobile Web

Overcome the obstacles of reading on the screen

“Revolutionised the way my communications team and I approach writing for online consumption.”
— Nikki Van Dusen, APR, manager, internet communications, Alberta Public Affairs Bureau

You’ve read the numbers. You know that more than half of your audience members are receiving your emails, visiting your webpages and engaging with your social media channels via their mobile devices, not their laptops.

Ann Wylie's mobile web writing workshop on June 12-13 in Chicago

Make mine to go Master a four-part system for reaching readers on their smartphones at our mobile web-writing Master Class on June 12-13 in Chicago.

Problem is … reading on a smartphone is as different from reading on the web as reading on the web is different from reading print:

  • What’s irritating on a laptop can be overwhelming on a smartphone.
  • Reading your webpage on a smartphone is like reading War and Peace through a keyhole.
  • It’s not easy to get the word out on a 3×6-inch screen.

In this environment, how do we reach readers online?

Specifically, you’ll learn how to:

“Not a tiny tweak but a new form of writing.”
— Eve Gelman, APR, director of marketing, communications, events and business development, Peddler’s Village Partnership

PRSA members: Earn 4 APR maintenance credits.

Save $100 when you book by April 12 May 12 – deadline extended!


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

Lift Ideas Off the Screen

Reach nonreaders with display copy

People spend 96% of their time on websites looking, not reading, according to a Xerox PARC critical incident study.

Lift Ideas Off the Screen: Reach nonreaders with display copy

“People read paper,” says TJ Larkin, Larkin Communications Consulting. “They use the web.”

Because even highly educated web visitors read, on average, just 20% of words on the page.

Indeed, web visitors read, on average, 20% of words on the page, according to an analysis of 50,000 page views of European computer scientists, psychologists, sociologists, engineers.

So how do you reach nonreaders on the small screen? In this session, you will learn to:

  • Pass The Palm Test. Improve reading time, comprehension and satisfaction with one quick trick.
  • Take five simple steps to write links that get scanned and clicked.
  • Use a six-step process to transform your bulleted lists into freestanding information packages that lift key messages off the screen for nonreaders.
  • Bust the myth of page view time: Measurably boost understanding, memory, satisfaction — while taking readers 50% less time.
  • Pass The Skim Test: Make sure even flippers and skimmers can get the gist of your message — without reading the paragraphs.
“Simply life changing!”
— Jose Romero, technical product manager, NXP Semiconductors

Get to the point faster

Because web visitors spend 80% of their time above the fold

Consider the numbers:

  • Web visitors spend 80% of the time above the fold, or on the first screen of a webpage, and just 20% below the fold.1
  • Material near the top of a webpage gets 17x the attention of that near the bottom.2
  • The average difference in how users treat information above vs. below the fold is 84%.3

Get to the point faster: Because web visitors spend 80% of their time above the fold

Reach readers where their eyes are.

But where’s the fold? Content that shows up above the fold on a 30-inch monitor can take as many as five screens on a smartphone.4

So how can you reach your readers where their eyes are? In this session, you’ll learn to:

  • Pass the 1-2-3-4 test to put your message where web visitors’ eyes are. Tip: Try this simple test on your smartphone for best results.
  • Make it a mullet — and 4 more steps for writing effective web heads. (No. 5 is the most important thing you can do to improve the ROI of your site.)
  • Optimize webpages for Google and humans with our three-part test. Note: If you’re still using SEO tricks you learned in the ‘oughts, Google may be penalizing your pages.
  • Don’t drop the deck. Learn to make the most of the best-read element on your webpage.
  • Steal headline-writing tips from the BBC — the source of the best news heads on the web, according to Nielsen.
“All writers of mobile content should attend.”
— Cean Burgeson, senior content creator, Whirlpool Corp.

Master the Temple Structure

It’s been proven in the lab to be more effective than the form you’re using now

Are you using a structure that’s been proven in the lab to:

  • Attract 300% more readers and 520% more reading (Groove HQ)?
  • Get more social media shares (Reuters Institute)?
  • Boost readership, understanding, engagement, interest, satisfaction and more (The Poynter Institute, The Readership Institute, the American Society of News Editors and the Newspaper Association of America)?

Master the Temple Structure: It’s been proven in the lab to be more effective than the form you’re using now

If not, why not?

Learn a structure that’s been proven in the lab to increase readers by 300% and reading by 520%.

In this session, you’ll learn a structure that’s been proven to grab readers’ attention, pull them through the piece and leave a lasting impression. Specifically, you’ll learn how to:

  • Start your webpage with a bang with four types of web leads to try.
  • Avoid three leads that reduce online reading — including one that’s been proven in eyetracking studies to make people skip your first paragraph.
  • Tap three secrets of successful subheads. This “may be the most important thing you do” to improve usability of your webpage, according to the authors of How People Read on the Web: The Eyetracking Evidence.
  • Get mobile visitors past the first screen of their smartphones with best practices for mobile menus.
  • Get out of your own way by removing four items from the top screen that may be getting between your mobile visitors and your message.
“How to shape writing for mobile – very concrete take-aways for evaluating my program’s communications.”
— Aimee Fasnacht, associate director, alumni relations, Franklin & Marshall College

Cut Through the Clutter Online

Because “short is too long for mobile”

“What’s slightly annoying” on a desktop can be “overwhelming” on a smartphone, according to the authors of User Experience for Mobile Applications and Websites.

Cut Through the Clutter Online: Because “short is too long for mobile”


  • It’s 48% harder to understand messages on a smartphone than on a laptop.
  • People read 20% to 30% slower online. But they read about 30-milliseconds-a-word slower on mobile devices than they do on desktops.
  • Attention spans on mobile devices are 50% shorter than on laptops. So while mobile reading takes longer, people spend less time on a page when reading on their phones.

How do you avoid overwhelming mobile visitors?

Learn three tweaks that will increase webpage usability by up to 124%.

In this session, you will learn proven-in-the-lab best practices for increasing webpage usability up to 124%. Specifically, you’ll learn how to:

  • Pass The 1-2-3-4-5 Rule for online paragraphs. Tip: Test it on your smartphone for best results.
  • Increase usability by 58% with one simple step.
  • Make long webpages easier to read on a smartphone with three quick tips.
  • Use a cool — free! — tool for testing your webpage’s clarity. Get a paragraph-by-paragraph analysis of ways you can measurably increase readability.
  • Avoid The Mobile Paradox: The No. 1 activity for mobile users is wasting time. But mobile users get “visibly angry” at verbose sites that waste their time. How do you avoid enraging readers?
“This was the best writing workshop I’ve ever taken. It was packed with best practices backed up by research.”
— Liz Carmack, senior communications specialist, Texas Association of Counties

Get a Web-Writing Workout With Wylie

Build your writing muscles — and make your webpage oh, so attractive

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.

Get a Web-Writing Workout: With Wylie Build your writing muscles — and make your webpage oh, so attractive

Learn three tweaks that will increase webpage usability by up to 124%.

Bring your laptop and a story to work on. You’ll get 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.

Location & logistics

“I love that it was backed up by so much research. It will make our jobs easier when we go back and sell these ideas to our organization!”
— Emily Linendoll, assistant director of communications, Northeastern University

Location & logistics


DePaul Center

DePaul University Loop Campus
Joan Wish Center
1 E. Jackson Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60604-2287

Directions, Maps and parking information


Campus maps

“Reviewing other’s work and progression provided a lot of inspiration I wasn’t expecting.”
— Kersten Rohrbach, communication specialist, Edward Jones

Hotels near the Master Class

Please contact hotels directly for room rates and booking.

Daily schedule

8:15 a.m. Registration
9 a.m. Workshop begins
Noon Lunch
1 p.m. Workshop resumes
4 p.m. Workshop ends


Your ticket includes morning coffee and tea, lunch and afternoon refreshments.

Ready to learn to make messages measurably more readable?


“Worth every dime.”
— Brent Buchanan, managing partner, Cygnal


Save $100+
Save $300+
Save $700+
Training, lunches, workbook
$256 worth of learning tools for $100
$297 subscription to Rev Up Readership for $100 more
30-minute one-on-one phone consult with Ann ($750 value)
“Absolutely the best money I’ve ever spent. I learned more about writing for my audience from Ann in one day than I have in any other seminar.”
— Carie Behounek, marketing communications coordinator, COPIC Companies


  • Save $100 when you book one of first 20 early bird tickets.
  • Save $100 if you’re a Rev Up Readership member. (Join Rev Up Readership.)
  • Save $100 if you’re a PRSA member. (Join PRSA.)
  • Save $100 each when you bring two or more colleagues. (Big group? If you have 10 or more colleagues who would benefit from training, contact Ann to schedule a customized, in-house writing workshop.)
  • Save $50 each when you bring one colleague.

Payment policy

Your registration is not complete until you have paid in full. If your company requires an invoice, please use either the printable invoice or the email confirmation you will receive. Both will include the details of the workshop, including the dates and the workshop fee.

“I typically wouldn’t spend this much on a workshop, but this was so worth it.”
— Bonnie Leedy, CEO, School Webmasters

Payment methods

You may pay by credit card or check.
Amex, Mastercard and VIsa credit cards accepted


Can’t make it?

  • Send a colleague. We’ll miss you! But please feel free to send a friend in your place. No charge for substitutions.
  • Transfer to a different Master Class. Choose one of our upcoming workshops. No charge to transfer.
  • Don’t cancel! But if you must, please cancel via email:
    • by April 12, to receive a full refund, minus a 20% handling fee.
    • by May 12, to receive a 75% refund.
    • Sorry, no refunds after May 12.

We reserve the right to cancel workshops. If we do, we will apply your registration fee to another workshop or refund your fee. But we will not be responsible for any additional costs you have incurred, such as airfare or travel expenses.


You’ll receive confirmation of your registration by email. Please white-list Ann@WylieComm.com and orders@eventbrite.com to make sure you receive your registration materials. If they don’t arrive within an hour of your registration, please contact us directly.

Don’t miss your chance.

Our Master Classes sell out quickly. If you’re interested in attending, please act now.

“Some of the most valuable, actionable information I’ve ever taken away from a conference. Well worth the time and investment.”
— Lindsey Foss, PR manager, Iowa Soybean Association


“It’s a fantastic course that helped me improve my writing and get it approved by the powers that be.”
— Karen Saari, copywriter, Madison Area Technical College

Frequently asked questions

May I pay by check or purchase order?

Yes, please contact us at Ann@WylieComm.com. Let us know how many and what type of tickets you need, attendee details and your preferred payment method. We will issue an invoice or purchase order if you need one.

Do you offer any discounts?

We have no doubt that the Master Class will be the best money you invest this year on your professional development. But here are six ways to reduce that investment or boost your return on it:

  • Save $100 when you grab one of our early bird tickets.
  • Save $100 if you’re a Rev Up Readership member. (Join Rev Up Readership.)
  • Save $100 if you’re a PRSA member. (Join PRSA.) Click “Enter promotional code” and enter your promo code.
  • Save $100 each when you bring two or more colleagues. (Big group? If you have 10 or more colleagues who would benefit from training, contact Ann to schedule a customized, in-house writing workshop.)
  • Save $50 each when you bring one colleague.
“I love how interactive it was and that we went through real-life examples of others’ work.”
— Elyssa Bernstein, communications specialist, Commonwealth Partnerships

I booked my ticket without applying the discount code. Or I received the code after booking the ticket. Can I get a refund for the discount?

Sorry, but you need to apply the discount code when you purchase. We are not able to apply discounts after the fact.

I booked my individual ticket, and now I’m bringing colleagues.

Can I still get the group discount? Please email us, and we’ll send you a special discount code your colleagues can apply to get the discount.

Should I bring a laptop?

Yes, please bring one. You’ll need it to edit your work and get feedback from your peers and Ann.

“Fantastic blend of teaching, real-life examples, group discussions, practice, and peer reviews.”
— Holly White, communications specialist, RETTEW

Should I bring my writing sample to the workshop?

Yes, please bring your writing samples to the workshop. You’ll write, rewrite and edit and leave with a totally rewritten piece.

How do I contact you?

Please email us at Ann@WylieComm.com.

May I update my registration information?

Yes. Please go to Eventbrite and update your registration information and dietary information.

Should I bring my printed ticket to the workshop?

Yes, please bring a copy of the ticket to the workshop.

“The best writing course I’ve had in more than 20 years in the communications field.”
— Danice Wilson, director, communications, KBR

What is the dress code for the workshop?

Business casual.

Do you accommodate special dietary preferences?

Please specify your dietary preference when you register.

Can you you accommodate special needs (accessibility, nursing mothers, etc.)?

Yes, we will do everything we can to accommodate your request. Please contact us by email and let us know what you need.

Will you sell my personal information?

No. We never share personal information with other companies.

Do you have any advice on what to tell my boss about why I should attend this writing workshop?

Here is a draft letter that you can use to help convince your boss. Also attached is a one page fact-sheet about our workshop.

“The best training I have ever been to.”
— Rachel Dupont-Yeganeh, internal communications coordinator, JTI


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

About Ann Wylie

Ann WylieAnn Wylie runs a training, editing and consulting firm called Wylie Communications. She works with communicators who want to reach more readers and with organizations that want to get the word out.

Her workshops take her from Hollywood to Helsinki. There, she helps clients at organizations like NASA, Nike and Nokia polish their skills and find new inspiration for their work.

Ann has earned more than 60 awards, including two IABC Gold Quills, for her communications. She is the author of more than a dozen learning tools that help people improve their communication skills, including RevUpReadership.com, a toolbox for writers.

Learn more about Ann.

“Ann is brilliant and arms you with the tools to succeed.”
– Katie Anselmo, internal communication manager, Comcast

Save $100 when you grab one of our early bird tickets.

Questions? Ann@WylieComm.com; 503-954-2289.


[1] Nielsen Norman Group

[2] ClickTale

[3] Nielsen Norman Group

[4] Briggsby

Free writing tips
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  • Discover proven-in-the-lab writing techniques