Nobody wants to stare at a computer screen full of words. Don’t devalue your content by presenting it in an unflattering format. Instead, segment your information to help readers understand and absorb it. Here three ways to make your writing stand out effectively through segmentation:
Numbers help organize your sentences, turning overwhelming paragraphs into friendly lists. Numbers can also be used to enrich your content in two ways:
Use numbers to streamline content by creating the understanding that something is to come. Last week’s post on our social marketing management blog, 3 S’s for Success Blogging, offers a helpful example. Its numeric outline shows readers to expect three issues to be described within the post.
2. Establishing Rank
Numbers can also be used strategically to assign weights to items in your post. David Letterman’s Top Ten List on the Late Show provides a classic example. The list begins with the tenth point and ascends toward the first, building anticipation for the final point. This format makes it easy for his audience to understand that the first element on his list holds higher value that the tenth.
Place brief titles above paragraphs to draw attention to subjects you’ll be covering in the details below.
Visually, titles help your post mimic a menu by presenting topics to readers for their choosing. Yes, choosing. Readers rarely begin with your first sentence and end with your last. Instead, they read sporadically throughout your post, skipping to pieces that most appeal to them. By using titles, you can help readers find exactly what they’re searching for in your post. Make the Filet Mignon easy for your readers to find by using a title.
Use bullet points to break up lengthy text by clearly defining important information.
Bullet points can be used standalone or contrasted with paragraphs in your post. When used standalone, bullet points create a grocery list, where your “apple” and “orange” subjects have the same weight. On the other hand, bullet points placed at the end of paragraphs serve to summarize main topics. These bullet points leave readers with an outlined takeaway of the information covered.
What segmentation strategy do you find most useful?