Page Planning For Beginners

  Getting readers interested is what good copywriting is all about. No matter what you’re writing about great prose will always entice the reader to find out more. But even good copy needs a helping hand every now and then – which is where layout makes all the difference. For if everything is set out badly, chances are people will struggle to get to the end. So how do you plan a printed page? Here are a few tips on how to make the most of your copy…

1.   Headlines Matter.

Writing headlines is an art from in its own right but avoiding the most common mistakes should guarantee yours does its job. Think short & sharp. Look over your copy first and then try to come up with a relevant headline. Staring at a blank page will get you nowhere. Avoid starting with numbers and abbreviations as they can easily confuse.

2.   Add Variety For Spice.

It’s easy to think that a balanced page will work wonders. When it’s mapped out, all the even boxes can look good. But what your reader will concentrate on is the layout and not the content. You want people to read, not to notice balanced patterns. Start by figuring out what your strongest story is and devote the biggest space to that. Vary the column length and size of story by using things like sidebars.

3.  Mix Your Fonts.

Use different fonts for your headlines, straps (subheadings) and copy.  This makes things pop out of the page instead of blending in. Don’t experiment with italics or intricate styles – make it eye-catching and easy to read.

4.  Picture Placement.

Pictures really can tell stories – you just need to know where you place them for maximum impact. Make them relevant and interesting. If you need to use group shots, try to think or other ways to shoot your subjects – perhaps from above or the side – rather than just flat to the camera. Think about using head shots too to pick out important people. If you can help it, try to avoid people looking away from the content of the story. You can flip images so that they face in the way – this gives the whole page a more friendly feel.

5.  Space  Things  Out.

Don’t crowd your pages with too much info – all your reader will see is a blur of pictures and words. Have the confidence to space things out. Breakout-boxes (which usually contain a small, related piece of writing or facts & figures) can help fill spaces or, if your publication is big enough, you can use advertising.

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