Once you start writing descriptions, you´re going to realize that it´s fun. And, just like anything fun-chocolate, roller coasters, break dancing, "South Park," or malt liquor-you´ll have to moderate your activity.
Here are some guidelines:
"?¢ Read your paragraphs aloud and make sure that they´re concise and moderately enthusiastic.
"?¢ Use short paragraphs, short sentences, and short words. Newscasters do this. Learn from them.
"?¢ If you tend to be long-winded, take whatever you´ve written and reduce it by a third. This makes useful content more prominent, reduces "noise" level, and, in this Web age, reduces scrolling.
"?¢ Refrain from using complex analogies.
"?¢ Create images, make them memorable, and keep them simple and accessible.
"?¢ Make sure you include all the important factual details.
"?¢ Use bullet points.
Let’s talk about some basic formatting rules for a moment.
When you´re selling in person, you need to wear shiny shoes, a crisp, white shirt, and pressed pants. On the Web, you need the equivalent in text presentation. We touched on this in last month’s workshop on visual techniques, but it deserves revisiting. Make sure that your text is the following:
"?¢ Left justified: Left-justified text is easy to read. Center-justified text, which is, unfortunately, quite common on eBay, makes the reader´s eyes work overtime, trying to find out where to start on the left side of the page. Right-justified text has the same problem.
"?¢ Serifed (for long descriptions): Serif fonts (like Times New Roman) are easier on the eyes than sans-serif fonts (like Arial). Steer clear of sans-serif fonts when you´re writing a long explanation or
"?¢ Broken up: Start a new paragraph with every new idea you have. When you converse, you pause between ideas. The same is true with writing.
"?¢ Typed conventionally: Don´t use all capital letters, for example. They´re very difficult for readers to process, and in the Web world, they mean you´re YELLING!