Content Writing Tips
First and foremost, as you develop your content, remember that people skim-read.
- Keep sentences short, typically 15-20 words per sentence
- Avoid slang
- Use "you" (second person)
- Use active voice
- Do not use mission and vision statements. It is preferred to highlight what your area does currently in an active voice and provide content about your areas accomplishments.
- Chunk your text and vary the lengths of paragraphs; as a rule of thumb paragraphs should be 65 to 100 words
- Avoid italics. Italics are impossible to read on many screens
- Do not use ALL CAPS. THEY ARE VERY DIFFICULT TO READ. Instead, mixing caps with lower case is much easier on the eye and more familiar
- Go easy on capitals in general. Using Words That Are Capitalized Makes Them Seem Overly Significant
- Don't underline words unless they are links. Never underline for emphasis
- Bold text only for emphasis. Never put chunks of text in bold
- Use bullet points. Keep the list short and snappy. A bulleted list works best with five to seven items. If it goes on too long, the reader forgets what is at the top.
- Do not use phrases such as "Coming soon" or "Under construction" in lieu of content. If content is not ready, wait until it is ready before putting the page on your site. This will reduce user or customer irritation and alienation.
- Do not use the term "Click here" for links. The keywords of the sentence should be linked up instead.
- Avoid using unspecific date indications. For example do not use: The conference took place this month. The totals are from last year. Instead provide a specific date, month and year.