Written by Bob McElwain

No, I didn't ask if you had read a newspaper lately. I asked if you have looked at one. Closely. Have you examined one with care? If you take a good look atrepparttar front page, here is what you will find.

It's A Work Of Art

The main headline can be read at a glance, even when located on a newsstand quite some distance away. It grabs attention hard. It often draws you towardrepparttar 129934 rack, at least close enough to readrepparttar 129935 subheadline. And, as often as not, just as millions do every day, you buy a copy to readrepparttar 129936 related article.

Doesrepparttar 129937 creation ofrepparttar 129938 headline for your site matter less than that of creating one for a newspaper?

Other Headlines Matter

In putting togetherrepparttar 129939 first page of a newspaper,repparttar 129940 major task is to pull fromrepparttar 129941 day's stories those most likely to interest readers. Only those with maximum appeal are selected. Andrepparttar 129942 headline for each is crafted with extreme care. The object is to have at least one that grabsrepparttar 129943 attention of any reader. The best are used inrepparttar 129944 first fold,repparttar 129945 part that shows inrepparttar 129946 newsstand.

Do you have at least one subheadline that grabsrepparttar 129947 attention of most visitors? Have you a couple others inrepparttar 129948 first screen that loads?


The amount of space given torepparttar 129949 text of each article onrepparttar 129950 front page varies. Such decisions need to be handled with care, for space is limited. If one chooses to run too much text in a given article, another may need to be removed to an inner page, which subtracts that headline fromrepparttar 129951 front page.

While a web page has no fixed limit, visitors will not scroll down indefinitely. Thus formatting matters here as well. Include those elements most likely to be of interest to your target as close torepparttar 129952 top ofrepparttar 129953 page as possible. And each needs an attention grabbing headline.


Newspapers generate profits from advertising. Yet you will not see an ad onrepparttar 129954 front page of any major daily. Instead, all is headlines, followed byrepparttar 129955 beginnings ofrepparttar 129956 story. Photos are used sparingly onrepparttar 129957 front page, for headlines and content are generallyrepparttar 129958 better draw.

Furtherrepparttar 129959 article begins withrepparttar 129960 most important story elements. What is presented ends with a teaser. This isrepparttar 129961 first part of a sentence, laden with emotion, that seeks to compel you to turn to an inner page. For it is onrepparttar 129962 inner pages you will findrepparttar 129963 ads that generaterepparttar 129964 profits.

An example often used is to end with, "The officer drew his pistol, cocked it, crouched down, then ... (Cont on page 23)

The Site Parallel

I don't want to get carried away with this. There are differences betweenrepparttar 129965 front page of a newspaper and your home page. Still, your best benefit needs to be featured inrepparttar 129966 page headline. And subheadings should define others. The text is always benefit loaded and has but one purpose: To draw your visitor deeper intorepparttar 129967 site.


Written by Bob McElwain

When writing most anything,repparttar objective is produce copy that is easy to read. This is particularly true onrepparttar 129931 Web, because chances arerepparttar 129932 majority of your visitors and newsletter readers are in hurry-up mode. They'll pass on anything that seems hard to read. Here are ways you can improverepparttar 129933 readability of your work.

1) The simplest word available isrepparttar 129934 best choice.

Mark Twain often got paid byrepparttar 129935 word. He once commented he preferred city over metropolis. Sure,repparttar 129936 "joke" is that he got paid for either word, and that city is quicker and easier to write. But he also knew it made his work easier to read.

2) Avoid using adverbs and adjectives.

"This is very hard to do."

"This is awfully hard to do."

"This is hard to do."

Which ofrepparttar 129937 above do you feel isrepparttar 129938 best? I've asked a loaded question here, for "best" doesn't really apply. To strengthen your work, minimizerepparttar 129939 use of qualifiers. There is simply no question here. The last form isrepparttar 129940 strongest.

The point? Adverbs such as "very" and "awfully" often weaken, rather than strengthen. Inrepparttar 129941 previous sentence I was forced to use "often," for without itrepparttar 129942 sentence is not true. That is, adverbs and adjectives do not always mess things up. But they often or usually do.

Alternatively, consider breakingrepparttar 129943 flow. Then hit hard. Forrepparttar 129944 above, try:

"This is an awesome task."

This is a stronger claim than, "This is hard to do." Which is best depends uponrepparttar 129945 way you want to make your point and who you want to make it to.

3) Keep sentences as short as possible.

Above, "This is hard to do," is alsorepparttar 129946 better choice, for it's shorter. Here's a sentence I wrote for another purpose. (I'll refer below to this as the, "Original.")

"Subheadings must flow fromrepparttar 129947 headline, revealingrepparttar 129948 major benefits so that atrepparttar 129949 end ofrepparttar 129950 page,repparttar 129951 reader has a good feel forrepparttar 129952 content, even when onlyrepparttar 129953 headlines are scanned."

It's much, much to long. 34 words. While it's not hard to read, it does slow reading becauserepparttar 129954 length makes it more difficult to follow. Personally, I try to hold to under 15 words, and less whenever possible. Even though it's longer (45 words),repparttar 129955 following revision is easier to read.

Revision #1: "Subheadings should flow fromrepparttar 129956 headline. Each should reveal a major benefit torepparttar 129957 reader. And atrepparttar 129958 end ofrepparttar 129959 page, you wantrepparttar 129960 reader to have a good feel forrepparttar 129961 content. This matters because most only scanrepparttar 129962 headlines and subheadings."

4) Seek brevity and eliminate unnecessary words.

Revision #2: "Subheadings flow fromrepparttar 129963 headline. Each reveals a major benefit torepparttar 129964 reader. Collectively they need to describe page content. This matters because often only subheadings are scanned."

Cont'd on page 2 ==>
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