Day 13 – Use Sub-Headings to Break up Your Text
The writer can use sub-headings to break up long blocks of copy and highlight the document’s important points. They can be tricky to get right but when you have them right, they can be golden.
Lets get down to basics. There are other ways to break up text in a document, some which we’ve discussed already in this ‘31 days to write better copy‘ series. So why would you use sub-headings to break up your text?
Benefits of Sub-Headings
1. Show relationship between ideas
Sub-headings allows a reader to see with one glance the topics or ideas within a document. They can see immediately the relationship between the ideas and then decide whether they want to read on or not.
2. Tell a story
Sub-headings tell a story on their own. They allow your reader to see the content and encourage them to read on further about the topic.
3. Visual impact of key points
Sub-headings are generally written in bold, larger font, underlined or italicised. Your main points are highlighted so your reader gets every chance to read your topic.
4. Increased focus
Using sub-headings within your text allows you to focus on your message. You will avoid repetition and remain focused on the sole topic of your paragraph(s).
How to Use Sub-headings
Here are a few tips when crafting and writing sub-headings:
1. Sub-headings should be specific
When you use headings, be as specific as you can. Don’t be vague or your reader won’t read your article. Instead of saying ‘Sales to increase next year‘, use ‘25% increase in sales next year‘.
2. Sub-headings should be parallel
To get maximum impact from your sub-headings, your headings should be parallel. By that, I mean that they should have the same inflection, tone or style.
These sub-headings are parallel as they all start with verb:
- Increase market share
- Write great copy
- Grow sales now
These sub-headings aren’t:
- Increasing market share
- Great copy written
- Grow sales now
3. Sub-headings should be fit for purpose
When writing sub-headings, make sure you discuss only what your headings suggest. If your sub-heading is about increasing sales in quarter one, don’t digress and go into sales for quarter two. Make that point into another paragraph with it’s own sub-heading.
Day 13 Homework
Today, there is no homework. Sub-headings are a great way to break up your text. Just be aware of their existence when planning your next copy.