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How to Write for Busy People

Posted By Darren Rowse 28th of March 2006 Writing Content 15

Ben at Inside Firefox has written a great little post on how to write for Busy People (and lets face – most of us fit the category).

I think the six points they make are great advice for bloggers also. Of course that doesn’t mean you can’t break the ‘rules’ and still have a worthwhile blog – but they are worth keeping in mind.

  • Making important points up front
  • Clear taxonomy of headings, and lots of them
  • Writing clearly and succinctly
  • No long, unbroken paragraphs or tracts of text.
  • Preferring bulleted lists with clear points to paragraphs.
  • Use of emphasis in formatting to make important things clear

I particularly would echo Ben’s sixth point. I know that when I go to a blog and see long unbroken paragraphs that it’s a major turn off. I don’t mind reading long article but am much more likely to do so if I can see it’s well organized, not too overwhelming and if it gives me some hints at a glance as to what it’s about and what I’ll get out of it. First impressions count for a lot.

The only extra hint I’d add to Ben’s list is to think carefully about your main title. He’s mentioned headings which could include this – but I think if a title is designed well it can communicate a lot and be the thing that gets people reading or turns them away from your post.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.
Comments
  1. I would also like to add that if pictures can be added to explain something more clearly, that is always good. Some people, like myself, are visual learners and prefer it than reading lots of text.

  2. Pictures in posts make a big difference. Good point Mark.

  3. I thought this was going to to how to write for me ;)

    Good points, all. Thanks!

  4. These tenants are employed by Reuters and Bloomberg. Excellent advice.

  5. […] Darren Rowse toma un post de Ben de Inside Firefox sobre cómo escribir para gente ocupada y lo reiterpreta para para ser aplicado en Blogs. Una de las características de los lectores de blogs es que tienden a “escanear” mas que a leer entre los muchos feeds a los que se suscriben, para detenerse en aquellos que les interesa. Una vez que el lector está en esta etapa, si no se logra atrapar la atención en los 2 o 3 segundos iniciales, éste continúa su barrido. […]

  6. […] You’ll find some good pointers on How to Write for Busy People at the other end of the link. […]

  7. The scariest thing about blogging under a time crunch is when you fall into this workflow:

    1. Brainstorm directly into your blog writing software.
    2. Edit for approximately 30 seconds
    3. Publish

    … Missing out on all the drafting, refining and polishing that good writing usually requires. It is especially scary if you start brainstorming with only a vague idea of the point you want to make.

  8. Oh man , you should really write an article titled how to write when YOU’RE A BUSY PERSON!!!. I’d love to get that one down pat

  9. […] ProBlogger relaie un billet de Ben expliquant comment écrire pour les gens pressés. […]

  10. Good advice, although I found Ben’s advice a little unclear. (um, “toxonomy”??)

    As a freelance copywriter and former CBS Radio correspondent, I’ve spent 20 years fine-tuning ways to be clear and concise when writing. I recently finished a series of writing tips on my blog, Attract More Customers, which is all about writing and speaking skills.

    My tips include ways to organize your thoughts in advance so you can write more quickly and painlessly. Check it out – it might help.

    http://www.mainecreative.com/2006/03/write-what-you-mean-to-get-what-you.html

    Cheers!

    Tom

  11. I want to how can a VERY busy person write blog?

    Any advice or tips ? :)

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