Effective online writing often compresses information into bullet points. Doesn’t matter if you are writing an article, an ezine, or a blog post; using lists will not only make your points clear and compelling, but will ensure you get read.
But did you know there were basic rules for writing effective bullet points? Brian Clark writes another brilliant post over at Copyblogger, and gives us …
What would articles, blog posts, sales letters and bad PowerPoint presentations be without them?Bullet points are so common because they work, and readers like them.
But bullet points also often fail by letting the reader down in one way or another. So let’s see if we can’t start making our bullet points downright fascinating.
Before we get to the graduate level, we’ve got to nail the basics. So here are the 5 cardinal rules of Bullet Points 101:
- Express a clear benefit and promise to the reader. That’s right… they’re mini-headlines. They encourage the scanning reader to go back into the real meat of your content, or go forward with your call to action.
- Keep your bullet points symmetrical if possible; meaning, one line each, two lines each, etc. It’s easier on the eyes and therefore easier on the reader.
- Avoid bullet clutter at all costs. Do not get into a detailed outline jumble of subtitles, bullets and sub-bullets. Bullets are designed for clarity, not confusion.
- Practice parallelism. Keep your bullet groups thematically related, begin each bullet with the same part of speech, and maintain the same grammatical form.
- Remember that bullets (like headlines) are not necessarily sentences. If you want to write complete sentences, stick with a paragraph or a numbered list.
Yes, there are advanced bullet point tips in his post, well worth the trip over there to read the entire post.