6 things to consider when writing for mobile

May 31, 2018

Journalists have always been taught to make every word count - writing for mobile takes the challenge to a new level. Here are six mobile writing rules to consider:

1. Screen Size

Mobile phone news needs short stories and you need to adapt your writing style to fit the screen size. Make your stories short of the weight of each word you write, and think about the context of the story before you start writing.

2. Simplifying  News

Provide maximum information with minimum words. Make every word count, use short, tight sentences, and remove every superfluous word. Adopt a simple language that can be easily read and understood. Direct vocabulary also helps you when you appeal to a wider global audience.

3. Create Catchy Titles 

Mobile audiences are mainly on-the-go audiences. You only have a second or two to catch their interest on these little screens. So, your headlines should be as tight and efficient as your text. Keep your titles brief, relevant, and descriptive. Avoid jargon. And, aim for a length of 65-70 characters max to avoid truncation. 

4. Remain Relevant 

Be sensitive to your in-depth mobile news readers, who don’t want to be baited into clicking on a headline that’s misleading or irrelevant.

5. Use the Medium to Benefit your Message. 

Some mobile devices – especially newer smartphones and tablets – are optimised for images. Take advantage of these visual capabilities by using graphics and images to complement your writing. 

6. Don’t Forget the Lists and Links 

Mobile readers love lists. Ordered or unordered lists; it doesn’t matter. Lists are easy to read. They clearly show the reader where one point ends and another begins. This makes lists ideal for scanning or browsing. Many people scan before they read anyway, and this is especially true among mobile users, who quickly try to determine whether it’s worth reading the entire article.