My Blog Editor

Make bulleted lists easy to read

Evil Dr. Doofenshmirtz is thinking “Curse you, hard-to-read bullet points with passive verbs!”

“Curse you, hard-to-read bullet points with passive verbs!”

Bulleted lists (in all their concise glory) are perfect for blog posts. Just make sure they’re written well.

For example, let’s say you have a bulleted list like this:

Every week on Phineas and Ferb, evil Dr. Doofenshmirtz:

  • Likes to capture his arch nemesis, secret agent Perry the Platypus.
  • Usually explains his evil plan.
  • Further describes his evilness through song.
  • Is thwarted by Perry the Platypus after capturing him.
  • Likes to shout “Curse You, Perry the Platypus!”

That’s okay, but the version below is easier to read:

Every week on Phineas and Ferb, evil Dr. Doofenshmirtz:

  • Captures his arch nemesis, secret agent Perry the Platypus.
  • Explains his evil plan.
  • Breaks into song about his evilness.
  • Thwarts Perry the Platypus only to be thwarted by him later.
  • Shouts “Curse You, Perry the Platypus!”

See how, in the second version, I made the verbs active (captures, explains, thwarts) instead of passive (is thwarted, likes to shout). The bullets are now parallel too: All of the verbs are in the same tense. I also started each bulleted line with just a verb instead of an adverb followed by a verb (usually explains, further describes.)

It may seem nerdy or OCD to edit bulleted lists with such detail, but it makes the list within your blog post easier to read. And that’s the goal. You want your readers to be able to scan (read down the page) and absorb the information quickly. Reading content should be a good experience – not an evil one.

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