AMPERAGE Marketing & Fundraising

One-Minute MarketerShort and Sweet Web Writing Secrets

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Short and Sweet Web Writing Secrets

This is not going to be a long blog post because I’m writing about writing. And, if you talk too much about your writing, the writing gods will curse you forever. iStock_000068861827_Medium

Web writing is different from writing for print, because people don’t read Web pages, they scan them. In a study by the Nielsen Norman Group, nearly 80 percent of test users always scanned a new page presented. Only 16 percent read word-by-word. (In another study by the Nielsen Norman Group, “users read email newsletters even more abruptly than they read websites.”)

Here are some keys to scan-optimized websites:

  • Use bullets
  • Highlight keywords
  • Only have 1 idea per paragraph
  • Your headlines and subheads must be informative, not clever
  • Cut copy into half of what you think it should be (so I made this blog half my normal word count)


Written by:

Mark wrote his first direct-mail fundraising letter in 1981 for the University of Iowa Center for Advancement. The effort raised a few million dollars in undiscovered wills and legacy gifts. From that day forward Mark discovered a love of the big idea that moves the needle. After 12 years at KWWL, Mark became a business owner as a co-founder of ME&V — rebranded as AMPERAGE in 2015. After 25 years of leading creative teams in video production, graphic design, PR, writing and web development, Mark transitioned out of ownership in 2021. Today he serves in an employee role as special projects consultant. He is creatively ambidextrous — son of an artist and engineer — and famous for distilling complex ideas down to a few words and a few visuals. Mark is a writer. When he found that many nonprofits struggled with complex branding puzzles, he wrote the book, “NonProfit-NonMarketing .” He also wrote a novel called “Reenactment.” Mark is an active blogger OneMinuteMarketer® with nearly 1,000 readers each week on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter. One of his most popular YouTube videos is on “How to Look Good on Zoom.” One of Mark’s fondest business memories was being named to INC 500 two times and attending the INC 500 conference with other winners. Mark is considered by some a Civil War expert (and that explains his novel). Mark also served as an adjunct professor in the business and in the communications departments at Wartburg College. Mark is a graduate of the University of Iowa and is currently vice president of the University of Iowa Journalism and Mass Communications Advisory Board. Mark is married to state Sen. Liz Mathis, and the two love to travel, even when it means being trapped by a volcano in the Czech Republic for three weeks.