What Print Media Can Teach Bloggers

by RevMark

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One of my early jobs was a copywriter at an ad agency where I spent most of my time in the art department. We had lots of discussions before, during and after writing the copy and rightly so since copy and creative need to work together. The lessons I learned there are deeply ingrained and I often find myself looking at blog posts through the lens of a print copywriter. That’s a good thing because there’s still a lot of pointers we can take from the industry. Here are a few that come to mind.

White Space

Learn to use it. Too little spacing between letters and lines makes your post difficult to read. In the digital world, white space is not an issue so don’t squeeze your fonts and paragraphs too much. Make use of margins and indents too.

Tame Those Fonts

While there are font variations, you won’t find a lot of flowery script unless it is part of the creative, and that’s the key. Whatever fancy fonts you use, do it sparingly with the intention to emphasize, develop character and voice or lend strength to your words. Never, as the default text.

Black On White

There’s some debate about this on the web because reading on a monitor is unlike reading on print. However, black on white still work best for the general population. You can variate it with a very light, barely noticeable gray or cream for the background. Just don’t use crazy colors like red on blue oh and don’t have patterned background too close around your text either. I was once on a blog that had a tartan background in the post. I left with a headache.

Keep It Pithy.

Space is a premium in print and we’d spend hours writing and re-writing to get the point across with as few words as possible. While you don’t need to do that, plus I believe a post should be as long as it needs to get your message through, try not to ramble or do it too often. Some things have better impact in a few short paragraphs.

Use Sub-Headings

They break up long text and help drive home key points for skimmers.

Sidebars and Pull Quotes

These also break up long posts. Plus, they let you highlight points that are important but don’t quite flow inside the article. They also make your posts visually appealing.

Quality Graphics or Photos

A lot of the photos in the agency were custom photographed by a pro. While you don’t have to go that far, there are plenty of creative commons photos or graphics. If you want to splurge there are also tons of stock photography sites. Make sure your chosen images are sharp and clear with appropriate lighting, unless your a blurry/bad photo supports your post’s key thought.

Copywriting Skills

A little can go a long way. Great titles lure readers in. Good copy keeps them reading and stir up thoughts and emotions till they feel compelled to take action either by commenting or clicking a link.

While there are plenty more pointers, this is all I have time for today. I hope this list gives you something to work on. Have a pointer or two of your own? Chime in below.


Lynette Chandler is a geek and marketer who’s been blogging since 1999. Get more from her by following Lynette’s blog at TechBasedMarketing.com/blog 

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