A Quick Guide to Properly Using Bullet Points

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Bullet points are a writer’s best friend. Readers have short attention spans and limited time to read, so bullet points can be highly effective in delivering information in a quick, easy-to-consume manner. Numerous eye-tracking studies have shown that even if people don’t read anything else, they’ll almost always read the bullet points.

Of course, like anything else, bullet points have to be used wisely to get the most out of them. How can you get more from your bullet points?

 

  • Format them correctly—It’s important to pay strict attention to the way you format your bullet points. There should be consistency with each bullet point. For instance, I start each of these bullet points with a verb, describing the action you need to take. I also bold the main message, and follow it up with a brief description.
  • Highlight important information—Many people tend to scan rather than read content word-for-word. That’s why I like to highlight the main message in each bullet point. Someone looking at this bulleted list could read only the bolded phrases and still get the main idea I’m conveying.
  • Place them in a logical order—Consider the order of your bullet points. If you’re providing step-by-step instructions, make sure you’re bullets are in the correct order. If you’re highlighting benefits of a product in sales copy, put the most attractive and important benefits at the beginning of the list. Order matters!

 

Do you use bullet points in your writing? What are some of your tips for using them effectively? Share by leaving a comment below.

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