Formatting Your Article to Create Maximum Engagement
Right formatting on a right copy acts as an icing on the cake
Let me tell you a little secret of all successful freelance copywriters in the world. You ready?
If you notice all the DMs and copywriting ads in the newspapers, you will notice one thing. That all those ads seem visually easier to read. No matter how bigger the copy is, but looking at them doesn’t make your eyes tired or make you throw away the paper.
And my friend, that’s the point. How you format your article can do a much better job of hooking the readers than the actual words on the page.
But you may wonder why?
Just think about how we get information these days—
- How do you get the news from the Internet?
- How do you chat with your friends?
- Do you like to read articles or watch videos?
- In fact, how much you write if you’re out of your school?
Answering these questions will lead us to the obvious conclusion, that humans are becoming lazy. The Internet has made so lethargic that we rarely want to read anything. Heck, I don’t even watch TV nowadays.
And that’s because all we need to know is right at our hands. We follow people on social media, watch videos on YouTube, rant on twitter, and get news from different apps. And just like that whole day passes by.
So how is it relevant for you as a freelance writer?
Let me explain a bit more about the secret I shared above in the article.
If you just scroll up to the top of this article and notice its layout. You’ll see I have formatted the article in a way that much easier and more appealing to read. You will notice that:
- My paragraphs are very short.
- The word count is not more than an average Facebook post.
- I am asking you a lot of questions.
- There are 2 sets of bullets list.
Even if don’t realize, whenever you see these things your mind tends to stop a millisecond before reading further. And that pause is enough for our mind to assume that this post is easy to read. Although it’s just in your head, but how your article visually appears can actually decide whether if somebody is going to read it or not.
The Power of Formatting
So, whenever you write an article for your blog or your client, you should use this formatting power to keep your reader hooked. Although it also depends upon how you transition from one sentence to another and keeping your content tight and crisp.
But let’s just focus on the formatting for now.
I will teach you about transitioning some other time.
Another thing you will notice is that I tend to use a lot of subheadings in my article. That’s another layout thing that gives your mind a much-needed break if you’re reading a lengthy article.
The more subheading, the better will the flow. Even if you don’t change a word in the article, it will look more appealing to the eyes of a reader.
So, isn’t writing easy? Huh?
How to use formatting to spellbound the readers?
There’s no rocket science to learn about formatting the article. Just simply try to see the overall look of your article after you are done with writing. Still, here are few points to
- Make sure to have more subheadings (at least 3-4 in 1000 words article)
- Don’t write clickbait sub-headings. (Imagine how would you feel if under this subheading you wouldn’t find the actual formatting tips but some more blah… blah on the power of formatting.)
- Make sure to keep to your word count to 200-250 max. per heading.
- Use a lot of white space. It gives the article a readable feel.
Other types of Formatting
There are other ways to make the article more appealing besides the use of subheading and shorter paragraphs. The first and most famous would be the use of images and videos. Try to have to lot of images in your article. Other than images, you can also use the charts, infographics, testimonials, diagrams, etc. When used in longer articles, they do a much better job of giving mind break to the readers, summarizing the whole article, and explaining the topic more articulately.
Formatting Mistakes to Avoid
Now don’t think that just formatting only will woo your readers and make them dance and sing in your glory. Don’t try to overdo it. Over-formatting will break the natural flow of your article
In this article, you will notice that I always finished one point before starting the other one in a new sub-heading.
Formatting will work only if your content fits with it—so don’t think of it as a substitute for researching and editing the article. Rather than think of it as complementary to the editing process.
Remember, providing value to the reader should be the top priority… irrespective of how your article looks.
That’s it for today… In the next post, I will share my tips on “How to fully engage your readers?”
This post is part 4 my series: Introduction to Online Writing. To read part 3, go to this link: How to Grab Your Readers Eyes with the first 50 words?