- Use headings. Headings will break up your text, making it more visually appealing as well as helping to get your messages across more clearly. Make sure you work within a heading structure, so that overall chapter headings are distinguishable from the subheadings below. You can use more than one level of subheading, but you must always make sure they are distinguishable. This can be done through the use of different fonts, shading, colours, bold, italics, and so on, and you can use the in-built 'Styles' function in Word to help you with this. You can also use numbering to make heading structures clearer, if you have a longer document. Don't shy away from headings in shorter documents, emails and marketing material too – they can help guide the reader to the information you want them to see and act upon.
- Use white space. This is particularly important for online material. People just don't want to read huge blocks of text, particularly on small mobile devices. I know this is something I should be trying to improve on here!
- Use images, where appropriate. Again, images can help break up your text and can provide context to your words. Can you add an image that's informative in itself, such as a chart or infographic? In general, people remember pictures more easily than they do words. Use graphics that reflect your branding and the professional image you want to convey.
But what if my blog post were to be littered with triple exclamation marks? Or LOTS OF CAPITAL LETTERS???!!! What would you think then? That I was a little bit scatty? That I couldn't find the right words to convey my enthusiasm? That I was rather unprofessional? Although informal, this blog is a reflection of my work and my business, after all.