- No unnecessary words, phrases, sentences or points: include as much information as possible without a reader needing to swipe
- Be concise: can some quotes be paraphrased? How much background is essential (can it be linked to?)
- Shorter isn’t necessarily better: longer stories are popular on mobiles.
e.g. Tyrone Unsworth deserved better (Shannon Molloy, RendezView)
Bali’s ‘beautiful smuggler’ (News Corp with Cindy Wockner)
London terror attack witnesses note: 360 photos (News Corp)
Poison in the system (Buzzfeed News)
- Short sub-headings (3-4 words) break up text – write sub-heads to set up what’s to come
Short, strong headlines
- Headlines shouldn’t dominate screen space – a mobile screen has a ‘fold’ in the same way a broadsheet newspaper does. The headline shouldn’t get lost below the fold
- Short headlines are easily viewed and understood without scanning
- Use SEO-friendly key words
- Grab your readers by the short and curlies in your lead
- Reward them for swiping to read more – don’t be boring
- Use shorter pars. Longer paragraphs appear much longer on a small screen – four lines on a desktop appears double the length on a mobile
- For harder news stories, inverted pyramid-style news writing still works – give readers the story in the lead and the first couple of pars
- A reader’s eye is drawn to photographs and other illustrations over text
- If an image doesn’t add to or advance the story, don’t use it for mobile
- A story can have a life beyond its expected one, especially a feature. Example: one tweet
Thinking beyond writing
- What related content can we give readers?
- Is there a video that makes sense added to the story? A map? An infographic?