“Keep your bullet points symmetrical,” advises fellow blog content writer Brian Clark. One way to do that, Clark explains, is to keep all bullet points in a group the same approximate length. That’s easier on online readers’ eyes, he adds.
That bullet points in general are a good fit for blogs is actually something I stress in corporate blogging training sessions. By most accounts, search engines like bullet points. Even more important, I’ve found over the years as professional ghost blogger, bullet points keep everyone on track, especially the writer.
It’s interesting that, just the other day, I was helping a student team at Ivy Tech learning lab put together a Power Point presentation on the subject of effective studying for tests. I noticed that their textbook recommends that students organize their notes using bullet points.
Clark offers a second bullet point-related tip that can relate to corporate blogging for business. “Practice parallelism,” Clark says, meaning that each bullet point should begin with the same part of speech and should maintain the same grammatical form.
This “honey-do” list in a blog by Cypress Media is a good example of Clark’s two rules (All the bullet points are one short line long, and all begin with a “command” verb):
- Take out the garbage
- Feed the dog
- Drop off dry cleaning
- Wash the car
- Buy stamps
Cypress’ Catherine Hibbard explains that using numbers in place of bullet points would imply an order of importance; with bullet points, all items have equal value. Like Clark, Hibbard recommends beginning each bullet with an action word where that’s appropriate, but in all cases making tenses and verbs consistent.
There’s no doubt bullet points are of business blogging help, but be careful not to overuse the technique. I remind Indianapolis blog writers that SEO marketing blogs need to be conversational and personal in tone. Truth is, we don’t tend to converse in bullet points!
Going back to that Ivy Tech textbook recommendation about organizing material, it seems to me that bullet points’ highest and best use is as organizers. That means the bullet points can be good tools for freelance blog writers whether those bullet points find their way into the finished blog posts or not!
As someone who offers business blog writing services, here’s how I’d sum up the subject of bullet points: By all means, practice symmetry and parallelism, but consider also practicing restraint!