Improve the Readability of Your HubPages Hubs - Three Quick Tips

Good Readability Result

Your reader is awake and focused. Photo courtesy scataudo, sxc.hu.
Your reader is awake and focused. Photo courtesy scataudo, sxc.hu.

Poor Readability Result

Your reader fell asleep. Don't let this happen!  Photo courtesy len-k-a, sxc.hu
Your reader fell asleep. Don't let this happen! Photo courtesy len-k-a, sxc.hu

How often do you abandon reading a HubPages Hub that, at first glance, seems appealing? Perhaps the title interests you, or the images, but once you begin to read the text, you find your thoughts drifting away from the page. You start to think about what to have for dinner, or what the weather will be tomorrow, or whether you should get a haircut. Maybe you get hungry or sleepy. After a few moments, you realize that you’ve stopped reading. So, you backtrack to where you lost your focus, only to find yourself drifting off again. Perhaps you eventually make it through to the end, but when you are done, your head hurts and your eyes burn.

HubPages Hubs don't have to be this way. There are steps you can take to make sure the readability of your Hubs keeps readers engaged, focused, and awake.

What Is Readability and Why Is It Important?

The commonly accepted definition of readability is this: The total of all of the elements in a piece of writing that allow the reader to understand it, find it interesting, and read it at a good speed. These elements include the reader’s language skill, knowledge, interest, and motivation, as well as the content and structure of the piece of writing. Readability is a matter of successful interaction between the reader and your piece of writing.

The easier you make it for others to read your Hub, the longer they will remain on your page, and the more likely they will be to remember you and your words. Think about the implications. More readers will join your fan club (readers will come back for more), your credibility will be enhanced (readers will believe you), and ultimately your HubScore will rise.

"Eats, Shoots & Leaves"

This immensely readable and entertaining book shows in no uncertain terms why faulty punctuation (just a little comma misplacement, mind you) would lead one to believe that the panda eats before he shoots and leaves.

1 - Be Clear and Precise in Your Writing

Most Hub readers expect simple chunks of information they can absorb and retain without working too hard. They want to move quickly through your words, and they certainly don’t want to re-read a passage they can’t grasp the first time. A subset of these readers includes people who read in a second language. Although you write only in English here, you can be sure you have many readers whose first language is something other than English; these readers expect you to keep your writing clear and precise.

  • Write shorter sentences written in the active voice and the present tense
  • Use commonly understood words, not jargon
  • Ruthlessly eliminate unnecessary words
  • Make sure spelling, punctuation, and grammar are accurate, to the point of zero tolerance


Illustration courtesy darkside, hubpages.com
Illustration courtesy darkside, hubpages.com

2 - Understand and Use the Features Inherent in the Hub Design

Remember that readability is determined not only by the words you write, but by the structure in which those words appear. HubPages developers created an excellent basic structure for your content, a structure that contains both fixed and flexible elements.

The following fixed elements contribute to readability as well as to your ease in creating a Hub:

  • Line length—The correct relationship between number of characters and length of line fosters easy reading; if a line of text is too long, the eye has to work too hard to keep from dropping to the next line or rising to the previous. Although the length of a full-column Hub line is a little longer than recommended, it is still within acceptable limits, and that’s one less thing you have to worry about.
  • Font styles, colors, and sizes—Occasionally we hear some griping about the limited font elements available here; however, this brilliant limitation works to your reader’s benefit by allowing you to focus on optimizing your organization and logic.
  • Relationship between white space and text—Think about your reaction to looking at a large block of solid text which is uninterrupted by sub-headings, sidebars, or images. Do you feel daunted? The Hub capsules and YieldBuild areas assure adequate “white spaces”, serving to anchor the reader’s eye to the text rather than encourage the eye to roam.


When you understand the purpose of the fixed Hub elements, then you can use the flexible elements much more effectively. Here are capsule practices you can follow to improve your Hub’s readability:

  • Break up text into multiple text capsules—In this way you will create appealing and effective white space around your words. Don’t forget to add subtitles to the capsules, when appropriate.
  • Illustrate text with affiliate, photo, video, links, and rss capsules—Look for ways to use eBay, Amazon, and photo capsules to reinforce specific content in your main text. For example, if your title is “Five Cheap Family Resort Destinations,” then make sure you place the picture of a destination as close as possible to the words you write about it.
  • Be consistent with font options—Take a consistent approach to using limited font elements in text capsules. For example, avoid using a Level 4 heading style when your logic and flow call for a second level of organization, not a fourth. Using that Level 4 font, just because it's different or you happen to like it, will serve only to aggravate your reader.

A Word of Caution about Using Readability Tools

Although these tools can be helpful in assessing the readability of your Hubs, be cautious about taking the numbers too seriously.  Readability tools like these do not account for a particular reader's motivation, reading skill, or general knowledge.  In other words, the tools may measure some elements of your text, but they don't measure anything about a specific person who reads your text.  What these tools will do for you is help you simplify and clarify your writing.

3 - Measure Readability with a Readability Tool

Tools that measure readability are available online or embedded in proprietary applications. It’s generally agreed that readability tools are less than accurate. Nevertheless, using them can give you some insight into the ease or difficulty a reader may have with your text. A readability tool like Microsoft Word’s gives you this kind of information about your writing:

  • Average characters per word, words per sentence, and sentences per paragraph (the lower, the better)
  • Percent passive constructions (strive for as close to zero as possible)
  • Flesch Reading Ease Score (the higher the score, the easier the text is to understand)
  • Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level (U.S. school grade level—seventh grade level is considered to be the most appropriate for successful online reading experiences)

A Short List of Wonderfully Readable Hubs

Here’s a small sampling of some of the most readable Hubs I’ve had the pleasure to enjoy.

  • Fall Foliage in a Dead Zone creates a smooth flow of text, keeps the main text isolated into a comfortably narrow column to the left, and joins the photos to the appropriate text. (Not to mention, the title is stellar.) I never tripped up once, lost focus, or drifted off. Also, I love old graveyards.
  • How You Can Save Christmas: Operation Santa Claus uses a fluid connection of sub-heads to support not only the Hub’s title, but also the flow of the text. Plus, I love New York.
  • Do You Ask for Advice? uses subtitles to lead you from the title to the conclusion, along with simple, conversational text. For those whose second language is English, some of the colloquial constructions like “off-handedly commented” might cause a little stumble, but all in all, a most readable read.

There are many beautifully readable Hubs out there, among them anything written by Julie-Ann Amos, Shirley Anderson, and Robie2.

When you find yourself captivated by a particular Hub, take a good, long, critical look at it using your newly gained readability knowledge to see what makes it tick.

What Do You Think?

Please leave a comment below to join the discussion on this article and share your thoughts. Let me and other members of the HubPages community know what you think.

If you are not a member here on HupPages, then sign up here. You can publish your own articles and even earn some money. It’s free to join!

© 2009 Sally's Trove. All rights reserved.

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Comments 144 comments

William F. Torpey profile image

William F. Torpey 7 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

Good tips, Sally's Trove. Sergeant Friday had it right: Just the facts, ma'am. Simple and straightforward with no flowers works best. Thumbs up!


Elena. profile image

Elena. 7 years ago from Madrid

Very readable hub, Sally, if you'll excuse the silly pun :-) 

I think, for me, what impedes readability the most is long paragraphs.  In some cases they make me desist altogether, but if I find the topic interesting and the article well written (up to that point), what I do is print it out, and then long paragraphs read much better.

I may be a funny cookie, but I am bothered by too many "side" capsules, the do break readability for me.  Oh well, great advice, as always :-)


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India

Great tips Sally! Didn't know about those readability tools - thank you!


Julie-Ann Amos profile image

Julie-Ann Amos 7 years ago from Gloucestershire, UK

I was reading this and thinking what a great hub, when suddenly I saw my name at the bottom! That's so kind of you - I'm always flattered by gestures like this that are unsolicited - thanks very much.

Without seeing my name, what I WAS going to say was what a great hub - and sorely needed because seeing what's wrong with your own writing is kind of like looking in a mirror by candlelight with a vel and sunglasses on; not always easy. You know something's off but can't see why.

Great advice!


annemaeve profile image

annemaeve 7 years ago from Philly Burbs

Excellent hub, Sally! Need proof that your hub follows its own advice? I am not asleep. Not even close. Love you!


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 7 years ago from Central Oklahoma

I second what Shalini said.  Big chunks of uninterrupted text make me lose interest quickly, but so do spelling errors!  It only takes a couple of minutes to read a  "finished" hub one more time before hitting that "Publish" button.  Doing so will (hopefully) eliminate what we so quaintly call "typos" which are really "speed bumps" that slow down the flow of a hub.  If spelling isn't your strong suit, use a spellchecker.  Please!  Be aware, though, that spellcheckers have no way of knowing you meant "two" instead of "too", or "there" instead of "their".  When in doubt, have a friend or family member proof the piece for you, even if that means emailing it to them.

Anyway, another great hub, Sally!


Teresa McGurk profile image

Teresa McGurk 7 years ago from The Other Bangor

Wonderful stuff. I try not to lose patience when I see errors on HubPages, and I'm sure I've made a few typos myself, but I do wish more people would follow your great advice. Thanks for recommending Eats Shoots and Leaves, which is an excellent (and LOL-funny) guide.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

William, your praise means a great deal to me. I've always admired your professional style, body of work as you've shared it here on HP, and your social and political commitments. Thank you so much for the good words. (I'll take a "ma'am" from you and Joe Friday any day.)

Elena, that's such an interesting strategy for reading too-long paragraphs. If I may read between your lines, I assume that you are motivated enough to read the too-long paragraph that you find a unique way of finishing the text, rather than abandoning the entire piece, nodding off, or walking away with too much of a headache. You described that important interaction between reader and writing that is the basis of readability. Most other readers (perhaps myself as well) would have turned away; therefore, the readability of the piece is acceptable (good) to you, but intolerable (poor) to me. Pun all you like, you are a very funny, and fun, cookie. :)

Shalini, I've been an MS Word user since there was an MS Word, and never realized it had a readability statistics feature until a couple of years ago, so you're not alone!


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Julie-Ann, yes, it is hard to see our writings (ourselves) in a realistic and revealing light. If advice / tools / tips such as these help others to look into a mirror not smudged by veil or smoke or outdated optometrist prescriptions, then that's all I want. Thank you for your comment, and thank you for your contributions to HP that help to make it a place I want to share my writings.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Annemaeve, I SO wanted to call you this morning to ask if you would read this Hub before I published. But we had been looking at your newsletter last night, and you had to be at work early today, and I thought, enough is enough, because you are the professional and so am I.

So, I published without you (raspberries). Now, you know that you can publish without me. Fabulous job on the newsletter.

Of course, my writings would never make you go to sleep, only my reading to you would.


Hawkesdream profile image

Hawkesdream 7 years ago from Cornwall

Thanks for your advice Sally, I tend to write as I think and then find it very difficult to edit , what I think is how I feel and then hope that that emotion comes across.

Is this a good thing or something I should work on? Your advice on this would be much appreciated.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

JamaGenee, thank you so much for your thoughts. Typos are excuses for the writer, but they are speed bumps for the reader. Well said.

I smell a rant in your comment, and a good rant it is. Here on HP, we have no editors, no one to say to us, "This sucks." We have to be our own merciless critics. Don't you think it's interesting that even the best writers on HP will not flag us for our faux pas? It is hard to get honest criticism here (unless by private email, of course).

I think there's a Hub here for you, unless I beat you to it. :)


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Teresa, you, like William F. Torpey, bring beauty, fascination, creativity, and discipline to the appreciation of the language we call English. I learn so much from you both.

I try not to lose patience, too, when I see gross errors, because people are here on HP, or here on the Internet, trying to say something they believe is worth saying and worth listening to (let's let the spammers go by the wayside).

So, in some way, I feel I am adjusting to their ways of communicating, which are not my ways. I think they sell themselves short, but, on the other hand, maybe there's a new way / wave of communicating that steps beyond you and me. If that's so, then I will listen. What will communications be like in 2050, 3050, 4050...I feel a song coming on.


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 7 years ago

Pretty soon, I'll have my own booklet from your hubs and I'll become a stellar writer. This is extremely helpful information, and I'm so glad you're sharing it all.

When I encounter a hub with very lengthy paragraphs, and even some with no spaces between them, I find I can't get beyond the first several sentences.  The reason for that is my eyes tend to glance down and see a sea of text waiting for my eyes to get there.  Quite frankly, just the thought of finishing a wordy hub tires me out, so I'm quite apt to leave it unread.  This is not to say that the content isn't good.  I may or may not go back to it.  Often, it is something I'm interested in, but I really don't want to read a book online.

My hubs are all based on personal experiences.  When I write, I do check it for the usual things, spelling, flow, and ease of understanding.  Many times I need to move either a sentence or a paragraph around just so the story doesn't lose its connectivity.  I don't want my reader confused.    I have to be critical in my thinking, and ask myself questions, such as did I leave anything out, do I need to add more, is it making sense so far and so on. 

I find that the better I become at analyzing and reacting to another's written work, the better I will then analyze and react to my own.  It is important for me to decide what is logical or right.  It is important for me to become critical of my own work.

One thing for me is that it's hard to define what audience I am writing to.  Other than gifted writers, such as Sally, I do not for example, know readers' values, prejudices, educational background, or even assumptions about life.  This limits my determining what aspects of my writing process to focus on.

I think I'll stop here for now.

By the way, thank you so much for linking my hub here. You're the best :)

Great job as always, dear friend :)


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Hawkesdream, I find that I cannot write something worthwhile for publication unless I have the reader in mind.

I've been at this for so long, it is alien to me to leave the reader out of the purpose of my public writing. On the other hand, I do write as I think, freely, when I write in my journals, and when I try my hand at poetry or lyrics, but I keep those things to myself.

It all depends on what you want to do. For me, I keep my private life private. But I feel I have a lot to say about things, lots of things. Those thoughts I make public.

If you want your emotions to come across, then you must think about your readers' expectations. You can't expect your readers to know what you are thinking just because you think it so. Your readers will expect a consideration in their direction...you must pave the way for them, by writing in the language they understand. I hope that helps. If not, please email me.


C.S.Alexis profile image

C.S.Alexis 7 years ago from NW Indiana

You are so on with this hub. I have turned away from several hubs because of the layout and difficulty in reading. Thanks for sharing this good info,I hope a lot of hubbers read it.


Feline Prophet profile image

Feline Prophet 7 years ago from India

You've done it again ST...eminently readable hub! :)

Just arrived here after wandering around HubPages for a bit and I have to admit to skipping many of the longer hubs on the way. My eyes tend to skim over long hubs, which is a bit unfair because length is no benchmark for readability. Or perhaps I'm just too lazy to read till the end? :P


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Trish, you made so many interesting observations. There's material in your words for several Hubs.

"Audience" or "reader" is a vital consideration in writing (this topic alone is worth a few Hubs; many language professionals have made the study of it their life's work). At times, the characteristics of your audience are quite clearly defined by a writing project, such as writing advertising copy (talking directly to the 14 to 17-year-old girl who wants to look grown-up, or to the 60-year-old woman who wants to look like a girl). When your audience is not so clearly defined, then you need to define it for yourself by creating an imaginary reader whose desires and motivations you then address. As I said, BIG topic!

Thank you for sharing the processes you go through while reading and writing. Your thoughts are very valuable.

Maybe you and I should get together soon to fight over who gets to write all these Hubs your words suggest!


delzky profile image

delzky 7 years ago

thanks sally for becoming my fan. I just finished reading your hub. You are really a professional writer and a teacher. Your attention to details is admirable. All the more I will do my best to avoid putting up sloppy hubs.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

C.S.Alexis, I often turn away from Hubs for the same reason. If the Hubber didn't put the effort into making himself clear, then why should I make that effort for him? Thank you very much for the good words.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Hi FP!  You are right, length by itself is no indicator of readability.  I think it all comes down to the reader's expectations.  On HP, most readers expect a quick read, and unless you are a speed reader, or committed to a topic or a special fan, an overly long Hub will discourage you.  As Trish1048 said in the comment above, "Often, it is something I'm interested in, but I really don't want to read a book online."

I don't think there's anything lazy about you!  You are just making the choices you need to make about what to read or not.  Thanks so much for your thoughtful comment.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Delzky, thanks for becoming my fan! I hope you keep writing here, if your current three Hubs are any indication of what's coming in the future. I find your writing inspiring and easy to read. Thanks so much for the comment about being a good teacher. That means more to me than I can say.


marisuewrites profile image

marisuewrites 7 years ago from USA

I found this so helpful!!  I had not discovered the tool on MS Word, but will take advantage of it!  As usual, you lift me up ( and others!! )!!

For me, what is uncomfortable to read and most annoying are run-on sentences!  They seem to be written as though the writer isn't even pausing to breathe.  These forever-long sentences, filled with too many adjectives and "points" or opinions are not reader-friendly.  Also, those who try too hard to be funny, using too much sarcasm are not only a lot of work to read, but seem to be written for some other purpose than entertaining or informing.  I get the feeling I'm being played for the writer to receive a reward other than "wow, that touched me!!" 

Humor is useful, but not if you have to concentrate so hard while reading that you miss the author's point, if there is one.

When telling a story, the author must build to a climax, and more than 2 climaxes, as in uh, other activites, runs the risk of becoming over-done.

When informing, the introduction,which sets the "why should I read this?" foundation and then the step by step logical explanation both take the reader to a higher level of knowledge, and as usual, you did it!!

Ok, not meaning to rant, and I'm sure my writing could be improved.  I'll get to it!! =))  Thanks for helping us climb higher!


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Marisue, thank you so much for ranting for me. You may use my comments section for any rant you want to make, any time.

The Hub characteristics you mention annoy me, too. Often, they are the reasons I choose not to read a particular Hub. To me, it all goes back to, "If you didn't work hard to make yourself understandable to me, why should I do your work for you?" The writer is supposed to open the door for the reader to have an experience, not make the door almost impenetrable by installing dead bolts, lock chains, and thirty-four other impediments.

About sarcasm, a little goes a long way, like using salt to flavor a stew; just enough is delightfully tasty, too much makes for the trash bin.

Thanks so much for your comments and kind words.

*getting my mountain-climbing gear on now*


bdizzle99 profile image

bdizzle99 7 years ago from Bethesda, MD

Great post! I tend to write long and drawn out sentences with lots of commas. It always sounds good in my head, but I definitely think it affects the readability. Thanks for reenforcing this principal for me!


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Bdizzle99, thanks for the good words. Glad to be of help.


issues veritas 7 years ago

Sally,

Most of the news services on the web still use the same style as found in their printed versions.

The online font size is small and boring, yet no one seems to complain about it.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Issues, I had to chuckle at your comment about no one complaining about the standard online font size being small and boring. I can't imagine that more than 1/2 of 1 percent of online viewers have any opinion about it at all. I think when words went online, the fine art of typography failed to hop the same train. I'm with you: I care and I notice.

But there is a good reason for using this boring type (mostly from the Helvetica and Arial families). These sans serif-fonts are considered to be a lot easier to read online than the serif faces, because they have none of the projections that accompany the letters. Boring perhaps, but effective.

Thanks for your comment!


DarleneMarie profile image

DarleneMarie 7 years ago from USA

Super informative!  I think many of us could learn how to be better writers from your Hub. Thanks for the valuable information.


issues veritas 7 years ago

Sally,

You are correct boring type but effective.

I spent too many years in front of computer terminals that were monochrome and they didn't even have lower case. It was a big deal when they came up with inverse video screens, to basically put black font type on a white background.

I like color, but I understand that many people don't like color when it is used to emphasize text. Some people have color blindness or difficulty with some colors or shades of color, that may make the text difficult to see for them.

Anyway, your point is well taken about the boring font types. I will however, take my chances on the roads less traveled.

If I get lost on that road, I will reference this hub for directions.

 


powerspike profile image

powerspike 7 years ago from Sydney, Australia

Thanks for the tips, it has given me something to consider writing my next hub.


annemaeve profile image

annemaeve 7 years ago from Philly Burbs

Awwww SALLY! I guess that means we're both strong, independent, self-publishing writers. *sniff* But that doesn't mean I don't still crave a late-night session with your purple pen of thought-provoking questions!

Love you. Can't wait to see what you have in store next!


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

DarleneMarie, you are so welcome. I appreciate your good words.

Powerspike, glad I can be of some use. It never hurts to put these ideas into practice.

Annemaeve, yes we are. I am always happy to bring out the purple pen. And your color would be....?


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Issues veritas, I am right there with you. When I first learned to program, I wrote my code in pencil and handed it off to Jackie, the keypunch operator, and compiled the keypunched cards myself. Mind you, this was in a very progressive computer facility, for its time.

Then came monitors...and all uppercase, white on black, as you say. WordPerfect shifted that background around and offered a variety of fonts. That product was the leader. How far we've come.

Yes, there are those who have color blindness to varying degrees, and I know that you know that there are standards out there for any kind of disability. That's a whole subject in itself.

Thanks so much for sharing your experience with this incredible electronic life.


annemaeve profile image

annemaeve 7 years ago from Philly Burbs

Hunter green. :P


Mayra Mejia 7 years ago

Sally thank you for caring and taking the time to help us become better writers. I know that you know this and in my opinion you are one of the most supportive people I know. This is what came to mind after reading some of the comments: I think that when it comes to expressing yourself and being judged not everyone is ready to hear or accept constructive criticism because self expression is such a personal thing. There are things in life that we either have or we don't, but it doesn't mean that we shouldn't pursue what interests us. I think that it is so important for people to express what they feel in this day and age no matter how great they are at expressing it. Unfortunately not everyone is going to be able to apply the above because maybe all they are doing is expressing themselves  and in our judgement we are telling them that what they had to say was boring, uninteresting or unreadable when perhaps all they wanted was an opportunity to express themselves. To have a say at something. What I'm trying to say is that for those who aspire to become writers, it would be to their best interest to get to work and sharpen their skills, but for those who are here to develop relationships with others and be part of a great community of people, from my perspective, it isn't important for me that they write at a writers levels. It's ok with me.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Annemeave--Funny, hunter green doesn't surprise me! :)


Lena M. profile image

Lena M. 7 years ago from Toronto

Wonderful hub, Sally. Nowadays when I read articles online I always scan it first in a few seconds, and then I'll judge if I'll read it more closely a second time. Readability is very important!

Question - do you think that bolding keywords is a good idea?


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Mayra, thanks for commenting with your considered thoughts.

HubPages is an environment for both writers and those who want to develop relationships. That's one of its "charms". As you say, it depends on what the Hubber wants to get out of it. HubPages is also, to a large degree, a self-regulating community, where the completely unreadable and the overtly "adult" get filtered out by community members. Within those two extremes is a lot of breathing room.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Lena M, what an interesting question about bolding key words. In terms of readability, bolded keywords can be an enhancement if they contribute to efficient scanning, but if they don't, then they are a distraction, since they can disturb the reader's flow. On the other hand, I've heard that there is--or was--an SEO reason for the practice. Maybe one of the SEO experts here can shed some light on this aspect.

Thanks for your thoughtful comments and good words!


kiddee 7 years ago

this hub is a must read. these three tips are not too difficult to do. I have learn from this to write next hub and articles. thanks this really useful


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Kiddee, I'm so glad this Hub is of use to you. Thanks for reading and commenting.


cindyvine profile image

cindyvine 7 years ago from Kyiv, Ukraine

Some great tips in there, from you Sally, and also the other hubbers in their comments. I have to say, bad spelling and grammar is a no-no for me. I just can't do it. I have to mark my Grade 4's work during the day and at night, I just need a rest from that kind of writing.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Cindyvine, thanks for sharing your perspective. Imagine, turning to proper grammar for a rest. Love it! I'll bet your fourth graders are getting a great education from you. I couldn't agree with you more that poor spelling and grammar equate to just too much effort on the reader's part. Thanks for the good words, too.


mattressguru profile image

mattressguru 7 years ago from TO, ON, CA

Thank you for these tips, as a hubpage newbie, these are invaluable tips for me!

Thanks again.


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis

Dear Sally:  What a pleasant surprise to see me mentioned.  I don't think I deserve it, but I'll accept it graciously just the same.  Thank you.

Once again, you are right on, and once again I recognize many of the pitfalls as transgressions I possess.  I am getting better at "to the point" writing, though some of my work is still pretty free, and I mean for it to be. But as they say, you have to know the rules before you can break them. What has been interesting though, is that by implementing the rules for "readability" in some of my factual hubs, the discipline has invariably creeped into my other writing as well.

When you suggest, "Ruthlessly eliminate unnecessary words," I am reminded of a Stephen King quote on the self-editing subject.  Here is how he put it in a book called 'Writers on Writing':  "You have to kill your babies."

Thank you again for an insightful, thorough, knowledgeable piece.  One that should be required reading for all newbies, oldies, and all writers everywhere.  Thank you.


lafenty profile image

lafenty 7 years ago from California

Very informative hub. The most distracting thing for me is spelling and grammatical errors. When I see them in a hub, the credibility of the writer goes right out the window for me. Which may be unfair, but I feel if they didn't take the time to use the spell checker, then maybe they didn't take the time to research their topic either. (Hope I didn't misspell any words here!)


Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 7 years ago from East Coast, United States

yes, i agree with lafenty, poor spelling is very distracting and i am the worst speller in the world. also, you mentioned the book - eats, shoots, and leaves which should be used in high schools as the very title shows the importance of punctuation. nice hub, sally. (and let's not forget about appropriate capitalization!)


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

well said, dolores. especially about the capitalization. :)

So you are in the poor spellers' club, too? When spell checkers were books, the checking was a little slower, but I think we learned more...we had to work for it. Now, it's so easy (barring the trouble with homonyms), that there's no excuse for poor spelling.

Thanks for reading and leaving your neat comments.


mcstir profile image

mcstir 7 years ago

Great Hub... and by the way, very readable!!! LOL


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Thanks, mcstir, I was goin' for that!


RKHenry profile image

RKHenry 7 years ago from Your neighborhood museum

Being a fast read, is important to me. Some authors, and myself might be included, have not been able to fine tune their writing style. I know I'm going to take your advice. I hope others do too. Thanks for the tips.


eonsaway profile image

eonsaway 7 years ago from New Mexico, USA

Just joined, enjoying all the really good information on everything. Would like one day to be able to write something then enter it in hub. In the meantime will keep reading and learning from all the different articles. Very readable.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

RKHenry, thanks SO much for your thoughts and the show of support. Fast read is totally important in this medium.

eonsaway, hang in there, it will all come together.


New Day profile image

New Day 7 years ago from Western United States

Perfect advice. Keep your article skimmable too. People have short attention spans. The white space tip is super important.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Christoph, I believe everyone who wants to write on HubPages should read your Hubs and work hard to emulate the creativity and professionalism you bring to each and every piece of writing. It is clear that you love what you do and that you are very skilled. We all gain from you.

I know the King quote about killing your babies. How true, and how well said. It really can hurt to make those cuts. There's another favorite of mine that illustrates a different point about writing, as it describes what to do when you find yourself obsessively editing a piece that just needs to be considered done: Put the baby in the basket and abandon it on a doorstep (or something like that). I wonder if someone knows the origin of this?

Thank you as always for your thoughtful and insightful comments.

Your adoring fan,

Sally


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

New Day, you are so right about keeping your article "skimmable". My Hub, Three Quick Tips for Fine-tuning the Writing in Your Hubs, talks about this in terms of using subheadings to create a visual map of the article. Thanks for reading and commenting.


Paul 7 years ago

Great Hub really good read will be back for more pf your Hubs


Shane Belceto profile image

Shane Belceto 7 years ago from WA USA

Now this is something I can chew on. I can say I have been hesitnet in getting my first hub up since I do wish to provide something people wish to read. So Thank YOU for this.

~Expect Miracles


Ktoo profile image

Ktoo 7 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Excellent tips, thank you! I love anything that can help me make my Hubs better!


Covert Hypnosis 1 7 years ago

Thanks, I never heard about those readability software programs. Pretty interesting!


SEM Pro profile image

SEM Pro 7 years ago from North America

Great hub Sally! Very well written, accurate and wonderful. I just ordered each of the books recommended – there’s always room to learn. Also, appreciate the Flesch 7 tip – tough to do. I do believe it’s important to keep our goal and targeted audience in mind. With one hub, I kept reminding myself it wasn’t for the skimmer. Hoping to help people change their way of thinking, it required more than a scan to honor them. The temptation is always there to appeal to a larger audience though.

If I may be bold enough to offer a few benefits concerning your bolding question. 1) A sub story to offer a completely new dimension can be added 2) It enables a scan to get the gist and decide if applicable or what portions might interest the reader 3) SEO wise - a well written website is a good example for us (i.e. organic pg 1 on Google). Their bolded keywords/links are scattered naturally throughout avoiding Googlebot’s stuffing penalization. That can help us, as you suggested, mercilessly slash repetition. I do miss the eloquence of lengthy writings though. Tantalizing a reader’s imagination with descriptive adjectives is another way to keep them awake - and help them remember.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Paul, thanks for the good words!

Shane, I read your profile, and it seems you have lots of things to share with us. I'm looking forward to reading your first Hub, and I'm glad this one might be helpful in getting that first one published.

Covert, thanks so much for reading and commenting.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

SEM Pro, thanks for your thoughtful comments and good words.

As I mentioned earlier in the comments, audience consideration is a big topic. I empathize with writers who struggle with the nuances, for I certainly do.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts about bolding key words and text passages for specific purposes. Since I've spent many years writing for technical and business audiences, my use of bold is strongly linked to procedure (as in, "Phrases in bold type indicate a series of keystrokes."). So, it's good to learn of a different perspective.

Enjoy the books...they are worth their weight in gold!


robie2 profile image

robie2 7 years ago from Central New Jersey

Hi ST- I finally got here and what a great hub this is. You are right on the money as always and I must say I am honored to be a hubber you recommend( really, I'm not just saying that!) You have high standards, original ideas, and a real gift for communicating them so I'm doubly honored. Thanks for another wonderful read and of course this one gets a big thumbs up from me:-)


cindyvine profile image

cindyvine 7 years ago from Kyiv, Ukraine

A word of advice to some hubbers out there, don't try to sound too pompous and learned in your hubs, because that often affects the readability and makes them difficult to read. Most of us just enjoy reading informative or fun hubs and want to be entertained. We don't want to feel as if we are reading a university paper on the subject. Try and write in a more conversational style, and engage your reader that way. Like Sally does, and many of the other more experienced hubbers.


Ashxyz profile image

Ashxyz 7 years ago from In Corrupt Illinois haha

Definitely a good read and full of good advice...thanks!


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Robie2, you are among the writers I admire most, and not just here on HP. Thanks so much for your good words. It's a real pleasure to point others to your Hubs.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Cindyvine, thank you SO much for your comment.  It's a great addition to this Hub.

Nobody wants to be preached to.  Also, you are right about wanting to be entertained.  No disrespect to HP and its Hubbers, but readers here are looking for an entertainment element, and if you want to be successful here, you need to keep that in mind.

I think professional writers who write on HP know that, and tailor their Hubs accordingly.

Thumbs up for your comment!


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Ashxyz, thank you for reading and commenting.


dianacharles profile image

dianacharles 7 years ago from India

This was a real treasure Sally. Is there some way of putting together all the hubs one likes somewhere on this site for referring back to? I have bookmarked it, but does HP have any such option? I especially was interested in the Readibility Tools. It was new to me.

Thanks for a very readable and interesting hub. :)


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Dianacharles, when you say "bookmarked", do you mean you added the Hub to your "Favorites" in your Internet browser? If so, then HubPages has a bookmarking feature as well. You can find it on your account page on the right hand side. Click Bookmarks and then set up folders of your choice (Food, Relationships, How To Make Money, whatever categories you like). Then, when you visit a Hub, look under the writer's avatar and you will see "Bookmark this hub." You then add the Hub to one of the folders you named.

I hope this answers your question. If not, then perhaps you could ask your question in the HP forums.

Thank you for reading and for the good words!


Tiptopcat profile image

Tiptopcat 7 years ago from London, UK

Hi there. I am a newbie and am trying to educate myself in writing good content. Thank you for the tips given here.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Tiptopcat, so glad you find this information useful. Welcome to HP!


Anna Marie Bowman profile image

Anna Marie Bowman 7 years ago from Florida

Great Hub!!!! Fantastic information!!! I could use some tips, I think!!!


Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 7 years ago from East Coast, United States

Sally, these are some really good tips, thanks. I become quite annoyed when I run into bad spelling which is stupid because I am the worst speller that ever lived and would never be able to write without spellcheck. And even then make spelling mistakes.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Thanks Anna for the good words. For the record, I think we ALL can use tips...that's just the nature of the beast. After all, once we hit perfection, what's left? :)


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Dolores, I am afraid you and I will have to vie for the title of Worst Speller Ever. I really do think I'll win the prize. This is the truth: I could not pursue a writing career until spellcheck was invented. It's not that I didn't have a good education, or that I didn't care, or that I can't convey my thoughts in words. It's just that spelling never, never clicked with me. Let me know when the anti-spelling bee is being held. You can buy me a cup of coffee when I win. :p


cashmere profile image

cashmere 7 years ago from India

I had no idea "Readability tools " existed. This is a very useful hub. Thanks for sharing it.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

You are so welcome cashmere, and thank you for reading and commenting.


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 7 years ago

Great tips--now, we can discard those boring "how to write better" books--you've just broken them down into chewable bits that are tasty and will give juice to our hubs. There, I'm guilty-- run-on sentences that keep rambling on. Ok, I'll be succinct. Good hub and thanks for the bit on readabiltiy tools.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

anglnwu, you brought a smile to my face. I always want to give someone something to chew on that is tasty and gives the juice to fuel the going forward. You put this into words, and you rock!


sabu singh profile image

sabu singh 7 years ago

Thanks very much for this Sally's Trove. Very useful


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

sabu, thank you so much for reading and commenting.


Stephen Beck profile image

Stephen Beck 7 years ago

Great tips on hub page readability. I'm newer to hubpages and can definitely benefit from these ideas. Thanks!


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Stephen, thank you for reading and commenting. I hope these tips work for you.


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 7 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

This is such a wonderful and informative hub -easy to read and understand. I'm bookmarking this one for reference! :-)


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Michelle, I'm always happy to see that you read a Hub of mine and find it worthwhile. Thanks so much for your good words!


JPSO138 profile image

JPSO138 7 years ago from Cebu, Philippines, International

Very interesting tips. I am very happy indeed to have read this hub.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Thanks so much for reading and commenting, JPSO138. Glad you found the tips interesting.


Bibowen profile image

Bibowen 7 years ago

Thanks for the information. Very practical and applicable.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Bibowen, welcome to HubPages. I'm glad this Hub is of use to you.


marshall92 profile image

marshall92 7 years ago

Very good hub. Your hubs are all very enjoyable to read. I hope that I can use your advice to make my hubs appealing to more people. Thanks for the info!


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Marshall, you are so welcome. Thanks for reading and commenting.


Duchess OBlunt 7 years ago

Ok, I found you and I'm not letting you go! (Well actually, you found me, but the result is the same.) This was an awesome hub and I will be reading more of your hubs hoping to glean some great information.

Your Hub was full of information I can use, and the comments from others are just as informative. Bookmarked.

Thank you!


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

It really makes my day when someone lets me know my words are useful. And I couldn't agree with you more...the comments from others add so much. Thanks for reading and leaving your wonderful comment.


ReMarkaBlogs profile image

ReMarkaBlogs 7 years ago

Fantastic info! Wish I'd read it before, but better late than not at all.

Okay, let's Bookmark this and see what else you've got here.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Mark, thank you so much for your continuing enthusiasm and support, which I appreciate very much...but really, I think you have a lot of light to shed on the topic of mastering the art of writing. Maybe you'll write a Hub or two or more about it sometime.

Best regards,

Sherri


Stephen Beck profile image

Stephen Beck 7 years ago

Ha! I noticed that I had already commented on this hub. Just goes to show how good it is. Seriously. You gave some great tips that I obviously need to read and re-read. Thanks!


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Stephen, that's such a great compliment. Thanks so much for the good words...again!


carltonsbooks.com profile image

carltonsbooks.com 7 years ago

Great article. I'm a newbie and can use all the pointers I can get. I especially appreciate the reading list from Amazon. Also the link to adding eBay and Amazon to you post. I have not figured that out yet. Good Work and Thanks again!!


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

You are so welcome, carltonsbooks. There's a lot of great info on HubPages about publishing quality Hubs if you are inclined to spend a little time hunting. Welcome to HubPages!


kartika damon profile image

kartika damon 7 years ago from Fairfield, Iowa

Excellent well written contact and very readable! Thanks Sally! Kartika


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Kartika, thanks for reading and leaving the good words!


TnFlash profile image

TnFlash 7 years ago from Tampa, Florida

Wow! I've read a couple of your posts on improving your hubs and its be really great info. Thanks for your help!


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

TnFlash, thanks for the good words, and welcome to HubPages!


elayne001 profile image

elayne001 7 years ago from Rocky Mountains

I have a problem rambling on and on in a sentence. Your hub is very useful. I am fairly new to HP. Hope I can improve my writing.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Elayne, thanks so much for reading and commenting. Keep writing and reading about writing. The more you do, the more naturally it will come to you.

Welcome to HubPages!


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 6 years ago from Dallas, Texas

Your credentials on HubPages are proof enough that you know what works. Thanks for the tips on becoming a better writer. That is why many of us are here! My best to you.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

PegCole17, thank you so much for your thoughtful comment. I've been away from HP for a while and have also disabled email notification of Hubbers' new works. I am delighted that you stopped by and left this comment. It's time for me to read what's new in your series.

Best wishes to you! And see you soon.


ClaudiaP profile image

ClaudiaP 6 years ago from California

Thanks for the tips, Sally. I find them particularly useful, since I am totally aware I need to improve my writing and the readability of my texts.

Since I am not a native English speaker, I sometimes use phrases that don't sound English, from what a friend is telling me. He cannot tell me exactly why they are wrong (there is no grammar or spelling mistake), he just says that "a native speaker wouldn't say it that way".

Well, I definitely have things to learn... as long as I live :)


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

ClaudiaP, you are so welcome.

We all have things to learn, as long as we live.

I do not write in a language which is not native to me. I so admire ESL speakers and writers. It is hard work!

Thank you for your comments. I wish you well in achieving your writing goals.


ClaudiaP profile image

ClaudiaP 6 years ago from California

Thank you, Sally :)

I love foreign languages. It's not only that they help you communicate, but they give you a glimpse into different cultures and the way different peoples see things. We create the world through our language, so the language we speak somehow affects the core of how we see life and things (just look at expressions and proverbs and you'll see what I mean).

I know I don't write perfectly in English, but instead of saying "Oh, I'm not doing great, I'll just give up." I say "Practice makes perfect!" (see, that's a proverb we don't have in Romanian, but I learned it from you, guys :)

You probably know that Joseph Conrad, the famous English novelist of Polish origin, wrote some of the greatest novels in the English Literature though he did not speak the language fluently until he was in his twenties (and then always with a marked Polish accent).


Eileen Hughes profile image

Eileen Hughes 6 years ago from Northam Western Australia

This is truley a great and helpful hub especially for the newbies. And us oldies, as sometimes we get carried away and forget things like what you have mentioned. Thanks for the reminder.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Eileen, you make such a good point about getting carried away. HP is a forgiving place when it comes to publishing articles that that would not be accepted without revision in other venues. One big challenge here is developing self-editing habits and using them religiously.

Thanks so much for your good words and insight.


cluense profile image

cluense 6 years ago from Cartersville, GA

Awesome Hub! I have taken your advice in the past and this will be no exception! Thank You again!


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Thank you so much, cluense, for your affirming comments. I'm glad these tips are useful. You are welcome!


MyWebs profile image

MyWebs 6 years ago from Sheridan, WY

I know I sure hate reading huge blocks of text, it is hard on my eyes. I was trying to read an otherwise good hub yesterday and I just had to leave it because of massive blocks of text. Great information.

Another great hub to add to my "How To Make Great Hubs" bookmarked folder.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Your experience with this Hub of huge blocks of text speaks volumes about the negative effect a so-called writer can have on potential readers. You said it. You had to leave it.

A writer's job is to anticipate the needs of the reader, thus making the reading both painless and engaging.

Thanks so much for your enormously constructive comment.


Habby profile image

Habby 6 years ago from College Station, Texas

Great hub, Sherri. I completely agree about being intimidated by a big block of text. Interesting how the internet has changed my perspective. My attention span seems much shorter these days. ;)


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Habby, I'm experiencing the same thing about attention span. I believe the expression is "the attention span of a gnat," and that's exactly what my ability to sustain a reading focus has become--gnat-like--especially on the internet. Thanks for sharing the pain!


Missi Darnell profile image

Missi Darnell 6 years ago from Southern California

Love this Hub! Excellent tips for the new or experienced hubber. Thank you.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

You are so welcome, Missi. Thanks so much for reading, commenting, and finding the info worthwhile.


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 6 years ago from South Africa

I found this Hub very useful and written in a helpful way. Thank you. Bookmarmed!

Love and peace

Tony


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

You are so welcome, Tony. Glad you found it useful. I really hate writing useless stuff, although it does happen from time to time. ;p It's the price some of us pay for writing for a living, I guess.


Dobson profile image

Dobson 6 years ago from Virginia

Readability should always be a concern of writers. Stopping to try to read your own is one failsafe, but you list more ways to check up your work that will be a great hep to all hub Page authors. Thanks for this!


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Dobson, you are welcome.

Unfortunately, writers get blind to their own writings rather quickly. You can only read the same words or follow the same train of thought so many times before you become numb to your own writing's readability.

Absent a trusted, astute, dedicated, editor in the form of a real person, I believe we writers are obliged to learn how to view our writing objectively. Tools such as templates and grammar checkers can help, but only to the degree that we ourselves are willing to learn from them. The famous answer to the question of how to get to Carnegie Hall ("Practice, practice, practice!) applies here as well.

Thanks so much for adding your thoughts to these comments.


Computer Guy profile image

Computer Guy 5 years ago from Indianapolis IN

great article: This article defines direction which is key to good writing. Thanks for the direction.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 5 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Computer Guy, you are so welcome. I love giving directions. :)


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York

Judging by the comments alone, this is a great hub. Your information is readable and valuable. I've always tried to break up my text and keep it in small capsules but must admit I've never really thought about second language readers. Seems Sally's Trove is a treasure trove! Voted up and useful.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

tillsontitan, ty so much for your affirming words.

It's sad that most Internet readers are looking for quick fixes. That creates a challenge for us writers. The KISS principle (Keep It Simple Stupid) comes to mind. The best writing in this Internet venue is writing that delivers information in easily digestible chunks, and HP's capsules give us a way to do that.

I love being a treasure trove. :)


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK

Great tips Sally's Trove. Definitely a hub I shall return to when I am in need of the further direction. You make the point in another comment that as writers, we get blind to our own style of writing and we have to be objective to it and boy, that is hard sometimes isn't it?

I am still a short way into this HubPages journey but I am learning all of the time and hopefully, it will all rub off in due course.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Jools, you are so right. We get blind to our own stuff. I wish every one of us could have an editor standing behind us, saying things like, "Do you really mean to say that?", or, "What are you SAYING?" If I win a big lottery, I'm going to hire a whole slew of editors to keep me true and in line.

We can learn every day, and so I applaud your quest for that learning. But we all need a little help from our friends. Ah! I hear a song coming on...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EmOtWyjs8iU


rcrumple profile image

rcrumple 4 years ago from Kentucky

Great tips for the writer's of HP's, or anywhere. I've talked to many about long extended paragraphs that are simply scary to look at. A reader looks at these and says, "No tonight, maybe later." The web is definitely a place to remember attentions spans are short. Loved it! Great Job!


mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida

Another good reason I think to make several different text capsules: Not only does it break up the body with the text, but if you need to go back and edit your text, it sure makes it easier to do.

Great Hub. I voted it UP, shared.


midget38 profile image

midget38 4 years ago from Singapore

Excellent, Sally. I agree with everything here. Sectioning off hubs into smaller blocks of text is very important, because we also have to remember that readers have lots to read and in cases here, write as well.

We have to make things interesting and help them to do so quickly. Thanks for a great write. I share as well.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 4 years ago from Nashville Tn.

Sally - I always love to read your hubs because I learn something that will help me to be a better writer. You've given some very helpful tips for improving the readability of a hub.

Thanks so much. Up and more and sharing.


carozy profile image

carozy 4 years ago from San Francisco

I found this advice very helpful and well put.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

rcrumple , mary615, and midget38, you all hit the nail on the proverbial head. Net readers have little patience (I know, I am one) and when they hit a huge block of text, they disappear. HP's capsules make it easy to break up text and guide readers through well-thought-out subtitles. Not to take advantage of that feature means undermining the potential of words and ideas.

Thank you for your votes and shares!


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

vocalcoach, thank you so much for your good words. It's important to me that I give something worthwhile. Your comment lets me know I'm on the right track. :)


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Thank you for reading and commenting, carozy.


Gail Meyers profile image

Gail Meyers 4 years ago from United States

Thanks for the great tips. Voted up and useful.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Gail Meyers, you are welcome!


mdscoggins profile image

mdscoggins 2 years ago from Fresno, CA

Thank you Sally very insightful article. I am always looking at ways to improve my writing. Voted up!!

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