Headlines & display copy

Lift ideas off the page or screen

Reach nonreaders with words Draw readers in, break copy up and communicate to flippers and skimmers with display copy. Image by Steve Halama

Why display copy?

Why display copy?

Why display copy?

Because ‘readers’ don’t read

Put your message where their eyes are Reach skimmers, not just readers, with display copy.

 

Lift Ideas Off the Page

Write for surfers and divers

Write for surfers and divers

Try the 30-3-30 rule

Skimming the surface Reach surfers and divers alike with the 30-3-30 rule.


30-3-30 redux

30-3-30 redux

What does Clay Schoenfeld’s rule look like today?

Most readers don’t dive this deep Communicate to flippers and skimmers with new rules for breaking copy up.

 

Where to use display copy

Rethink the resume

Use marketing writing best practices

Let’s do this You already know how to write copy that moves people to act. Use those skills to sell yourself as well as your organization.

 

Types of display copy

Callouts: the movie trailer for your piece

Callouts: the movie trailer for your piece

Pull quotes draw readers in with provocative details

Lift ideas off the page Use callouts to draw readers into the story, reinforce key ideas — even make your message more persuasive.


Captions: Don’t just describe the photo

Captions: Don’t just describe the photo

Aka cutlines, these get 16% more readership than text

Made you look Readers’ eyes are drawn to images, and then to their captions. Use that superpower to communicate key ideas with captions.


Decks: the best-read element on the page

Decks: the best-read element on the page

Summarize your story in 1 sentence under the headline

Don’t drop the deck It’s the best-read element on a webpage, according to Poynter Institute research. If you want readers to learn something, put it in the deck.


Headlines: the first thing readers see

Headlines: the first thing readers see

Display copy gets more readership

Heads up: A great headline can make the difference between a story that gets read and one that gets passed over. Here’s how to make sure you don’t lose your reader in the headline.


Lists: How to write them

Lists: How to write them

People look at 70% of lists — if you follow these best practices

Check it twice One test of a good list: Can skimmers tell without reading what the parts of the list are and what the whole list covers?


Subheads show the parts

Subheads show the parts

Layer on the display copy

Stack on the subheads Subheads increase scanning and reading. So don’t drop the subheads.

 

More on display copy

Quotes on display copy

Quotes on display copy

What writers & others say

“Pages with too many microcontent elements are like a busy intersection with too many road signs.” — Amy Gahran, creator of the weblog Contentious.com


Quotes on scanning

Quotes on scanning

What writers & others say

“Johnny can read. He just doesn’t very much.” — Mario R. Garcia and Pegie Stark, authors, Eyes On the News

 


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