February 24, 2018

Writing For the Web and Mobile

Learn to overcome the obstacles of reading on the screen in this online-writing workshop

“A great course for virtually every level of web writer, from beginner to expert.”
— Jill Stueck, corporate affairs director, AT&T

Writing For the Web and Mobile: in-house online-writing workshop imageWriting for the mobile web: It’s not easy to get the word out on a 3.5-x-6.5-inch screen. In fact, reading your webpage on an iPhone can feel like reading War and Peace through a keyhole. And no wonder:

  • Reading on a mobile device cuts comprehension by 48%, according to University of Alberta research.
  • Visitors read 30-milliseconds-a-word slower on smartphones, says usability expert Jakob Nielsen.
  • But although mobile reading takes longer, people spend half the time on mobile sites as they do on desktops, according to a study by the Nielsen Norman Group.

In this environment, how do we reach readers online? Best practices for web and mobile copywriting can help. In fact, just 3 simple tweaks have been proven in the lab to boost usability more than 124%.

In this online writing workshop, you’ll learn to write webpages that draw mobile and desktop visitors to your site; help them read faster, remember more, understand better, find what they’re looking for and enjoy the experience enough to come back.

Make it a Master Class. Plus, when you make it a Master Class, you also:

Choose a type of training.

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

Writing for Mobile Websites

Get the word out on the small screen

What’s annoying on a desktop can be overwhelming on a smartphone. In fact, there are 335 obstacles to reading on the small screen, according to the Nielsen Norman Group’s eyetracking research. Learn to get the word out on the small screen:

  • Pass the 1-2-3-4 test. Make sure mobile visitors can get your key messages from just 4 key elements on your webpage.
  • Cut the type of material that makes mobile visitors “visibly angry” with our red-pen, yellow-highlighter test.
  • Stop publishing a common story form that’s virtually unusable on a smartphone.
  • Get mobile visitors past the first screen with two simple tricks.
  • Get read on an iPad with our proven-in-the-lab tablet writing tips.

Reach Readers Online

Put your key points where web visitors’ eyes are

People devote 86% of their time and attention to the upper two-thirds of a mobile screen, according to a study by Briggsby. Learn to reach them where their eyes are:

  • Organize your webpage using the temple structure. Designed for the web, it’s the most effective way to help visitors find what they’re looking for online.
  • Choose from 5 types of web leads that work. And learn 3 common approaches to avoid.
  • Tear down obstacles to reading your webpage by passing The Palm Test.
  • Get found and clicked. Help Google and humans figure out what your piece is about with 6 quick tricks.
  • Pass the 80/20 test. Put your key messages where readers will be 84% more likely to find them.

Cut Through the Clutter Online

Make every webpage you write easy to read and understand

“Short is too long for mobile,” says king of usability Jakob Nielsen. Indeed, the longer your webpage gets, the less people read. Make your web copy brisk and clear even on a smartphone.

  • Make your webpage 58% more usable with one simple trick.
  • Hit the right targets. How long is too long for your webpage? Your mobile headlines? Your mobile paragraphs?
  • Stop cutting the No. 1 element that convinces visitors to do business with your organization. It’s usually the first thing to go in the editing process.
  • Make your webpage measurably easier to read with a cool, free tool that does everything but rewrite sentences for you.
  • Help people read faster, understand better and remember longer by making messages measurably more readable for mobile.

How to Write Web Headlines, Links & More

Reach skimmers and nonreaders with microcontent

Web visitors don’t read. They skim. Make sure skimmers get the gist of your webpage with microcontent that gets the word out.

  • Steal 4 tricks from the BBC for writing world-class web headlines.
  • Get the word out with bulleted lists with our 6-step list-writing makeover.
  • Stop writing the most common type of link. It reduces skimming, clicking and accessibility.
  • Pass the Goldilocks test. Make sure your links aren’t too long or too short.
  • Bust the myth of page view time. Help readers understand better, remember longer and enjoy your webpage more in half the time.

Get a Web-writing Workout With Wylie

Take your message from ‘meh’ to masterpieceBoost readability by up to 300% 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. 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.

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


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 training 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.

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“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 Writing For the Web and Mobile 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 Writing for Mobile Websites, Reach Readers Online, Cut Through the Clutter Online, How to Write Web Headlines, Links & More and Get a writing workout.

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.

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What grads say about Writing For the Web and Mobile

Rating: 4.8 – 30 reviews4.8-star rating
“Not a tiny tweak but new form of writing.”
– Eve Gelman, director of marketing, Peddler’s Village Partnership
“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
“It was a wonderful way to get a lot of great writing and readability tips in a short amount of time.”
– Kelly Kostanseky, public relations specialist, Precision Design
“Ann is one of the most insightful and helpful writing and reading coaches.”
– Howard Sholkin, professor, Boston University & Lasell College
“All writers of mobile content should attend.”
– Cean Burgeson, senior content creator, Whirlpool Corp.
“Ann’s information was relevant and important for success, for writing for device reading. Run, don’t walk to her session.”
– Sandra Knight, director, public relations at Smith Group JJR
“Simply life changing.”
— Jose Romero, technical product manager, NXP Semiconductors
“The article I rewrote in Ann’s Master Class got nearly three times the average page views for our intranet home page stories. It was the second-most read story of 2016.”
– Michelle Esso, senior communications staff writer, Baker Law
“Revolutionised the way my communications team and I approach writing for online consumption.”
— Nikki Van Dusen, manager, internet communications, Alberta Public Affairs Bureau
“Ann Wylie really knows her subject. Her information helped us review our own website — and look at our client’s sites with a fresh set of eyes.”
— John Hahn, director, Caugherty Hahn Communications, Inc.
“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
“Awesome! I was feeling burnt-out when I arrived. Thanks for reviving me!”
– Dora McAlpin, senior editor, Department of Defense
“Good tips and how-to’s for punching up your online content and getting the job done in fewer words.”
– Sara Stewart, account coordinator, Maxwell PR
“A wealth of knowledge presented in a relatable way. The information about how people read and process information (or don’t!) will help me make the case to leaders and communicators who are reluctant to change.”
– Wendy Sauvageot, communications lead, internal communications, Department of Defense
“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!”
— Lynanne Feilen, director of publications, Medical Library Association
“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.”
— Susan van Barneveld, APR, Antarra Communications
“This workshop was great! I feel like I’m equipped with better tools to be an effective writer on all my projects moving forward.”
— Courtney Frappier, senior account executive, RED PR
“I love it! There was so much knowledge packed into two days. I can’t wait to take my learnings back to my company.”
— Dan Kimball, social media manager, re:group, inc.
“I found the research shared extremely valuable because it helps me to make my case at work for shorter online copy. The templates are also very useful because they’ll save me time and help me to keep my content focused and structured.”
– Gordana Goudie, communications officer, Georgia Tech Professional Education
“Wonderful! Loved the focus on data. This is the first class I’ve taken in which I’m likely to review my notes.”
— Caroline Kipp, senior community relations specialist, Town of Castle Rock
“I love how interactive it was and that we went through real-life examples of others’ work.”
— Elyssa Bernstein, communications specialist, Commonwealth Partnerships
“Super powerful. Loved the pacing, images/illustrations, tools, techniques. Ann is a super dynamic teacher and presenter. It’s not easy keeping the energy and excitement going for a whole day, but she did it!”
– Eden Dabbs, communications and outreach rep., BPS
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.

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“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.

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“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

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

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