I’ve been preaching for years about the importance of using visual keys to making your blogs,
articles and other messaging more accessible.
You need to give then a reason to keep reading. When people look at a paragraph that’s taking
up six inches of their computer screens, there’s little chance of their reading this. But if you break it into smaller, more manageable information bites, make good use of clever, attention-getting subheads that provide a window into what they’re going to learn, it becomes accessible. By using bullet points whenever possible, you’re making your content even more approachable.
Strategic bullet points keep people reading
Something to keep in mind: People scan content to decide if they want to keep reading, but it’s also a way to justify not reading. There are a few different kinds of bullet points; used properly, they can significantly enhance your content.
1. External fascinations. Usually found in sales copy for information products and membership sites, functioning like headlines that prompt a purchase or other action. Also known as blind bullets, they hint at the content of a product or service and create curiosity without revealing the actual substance. These are generally slick, promotional bullet points about a product
2. Internal fascinations. Pretty much identical to external, except they’re designed to persuade people to continue reading the content they’re currently reading. These are the teasers. For example: By reading this article you’ll learn:
- 3 counterintuitive activities that will improve your business
- How to turn your process into a product you can sell
3. Bullet chunking. Extracting bullets out of compound sentences helps you drive home a point while also increasing the usability of your content. Attention spans are short; make it easy for your readers. Maintain parallel construction for your bullet points. An example:
- Fascinating bullet points are great for:
- Drawing people back into the copy they skimmed
- Prompting the download of a free offer
- Causing the click of a link
4. Authority bullets. Use these to recite data, providing support for your argument. Authority bullets bolster the credibility of your content and your level of authority as a subject matter expert. Try to turn dry, factual information into interesting reading, if possible. An example:
- Don’t believe me when I say reading is an uncommon activity? Check these facts:
- 58% of the U.S. adult population never reads another book after high school
- 42% of college graduates never read another book
- 80% of U.S. families did not buy or read a book last year
5. Cliffhanger bullets. Tease and foreshadow what’s coming up next or in the near future. Entice your readers to read next week’s blog by using a few cliffhanger bullets to let them know what they can expect.