Effective Online Writing from Your Friends @Yahoo

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am officially the proud owner of The Yahoo Style Guide: The Ultimate Sourcebook for Writing, Editing, and Creating Content for the Digital World.

The Yahoo Style GuideThe book expands on all things blogging, newsletters, email, UI text, SEO, mobile, HTML and copyright in its 512 pages. Mind you I have only made it to page six, but this is what I’ve learned.

Three guidelines for effective online writing:

1. Keep it short.

  • Make sure your words, sentences, paragraphs, and pages are short! It’s a good idea to include bulleted lists for organization.
  • Slim down your copy as if you’re making and brochure but for an online format.

2. Front-load your content.

  • Put most important content in the upper-left area of the screen (this is where the eyes naturally go first).
  • The most important elements of your content should be emphasized with headlines, boldface type and or other visual cues.
  • Make sure to use keywords that people might search for.

3. Keep it simple.

  • Only include 1-2 ideas per short paragraph.
  • Use simple language that is easy to scan opposed to more technical and sophisticated terms.

Write understandably

…And that’s just the start of the book! I can’t even wait to get into more!

Do you have any of your own personal guidelines for effective writing? 

Share with us in the comments below!



Optimize for the Prize with Instagram

A few weeks ago I mentioned “optimizing” your profiles in our lesson in hashtagging here at ListaLand. This week we are about to have a lesson in optimizing… Here we go!

 Definition of "Optimizing"

Did you see the part where it says “rearrange or rewrite to improve efficiency of retrieval or processing”…? This is the key to having any significant online presence at all. So if you’re going to do something, do it right! Here is how.

1. Your Username

If your brand’s name is available as a username try to snag it. If it is not available, don’t cry, just try using another extension of your brand (such as your tagline and/or favorite phrase used within your company). Being an individual on Instagram might feel a little more liberating because you have room to experiment with unique usernames. Just avoid numbers, underscores, and make sure it’s easy to spell!

2. Your Profile Picture

The format for the photo in the corner is small and round. Make sure whatever you put in it stands out, is brand appropriate and recognizable for your followers! Since the display picture size on your Instagram web profile is 180 x 180 pixels try uploading the photo you’re going to use as that size to ensure high resolution.

3. Your Name and URL

While most people put their actual name here, that is not entirely necessary. If your username already contains your brand name it could be fun to experiment by putting your tagline here. For example:

Get creative with your "name" on Instagram

As for your URL…including a link to your website is crucial! You see Instagram is giving you a gift here. It is offering a means of bringing traffic to your personal webpage through them. Accept the gift and do it!

We’re ALL Instagram junkies here… what elements attract you certain profiles? 

Think about it and share below!