5 Ways to Keep Your Copy Visually Exciting

What’s the worst thing your marketing materials can be?

Hint: the answer isn’t “confusing,” “misleading,” or “derivative.” 

No—the last word you want applied to your digital communications is. . . 

Boring. 

Of course, you also don’t want to be confusing, misleading, or derivative, but none of that matters if nobody engages with your content in the first place. 

Exciting, memorable content is born from a combination of copy and design. In this blog post, we’re going to look at 5 ways you can keep your copy visually exciting, so you don’t end up with that dreaded block of uninterrupted text. 

(Because nobody looks at your website and thinks, “this would be so much better if it felt like I was reading an academic paper.”)

Not all of these tips will work for all pieces of copy, but not using any of them is a sure-fire recipe for boring copy. And if you want to play along at home, see how many of these techniques you can spot in this very blog post. Let’s dive in!

1. Bold, underline, and italics.

Some of the easiest ways to keep your copy exciting are bold, underline, and italics. They each have different technical uses, but in the modern digital landscape, they all serve the same basic function: emphasis.

Here’s a hard truth of copywriting: most people will skim. Your job is to write in such a way that keeps readers interested and delivers your main takeaways just from skimming. Bold, italics, and underline make your copy interesting to look at and help readers find the most important bits.

Bolding is the most useful of the three. Bold words, phrases, or whole sentences that you want your readers to take away. Italics is more useful for emphasizing single words, adding clarification or imparting tone. 

(Side note: Be careful with underlines, as they can be confused for hyperlinks.)

Do: Be liberal with your use of bolding. Make your copy pop on the screen.

Don't: Bold, italicize, or underline everything. If everything is emphasized, nothing is emphasized.

2. ALL CAPS.

Want to make a word, phrase, or sentence look “louder” than the rest? 

TURN ON CAPS LOCK.

Writing in all capital letters can draw a lot of attention to your copy, especially in contrast to sentence case. The capital letters are larger and have more empty space around them, making them very distinct from regular copy.

Do: Use all caps in headers, subject lines, or to emphasize single words.

Don't: Leave caps lock on, unless you want your readers to think you’re yelling at them.

(If you want to learn more about the different uses of capitalization in copywriting, check out our blog post on the topic here.)

3. Varied sentence and paragraph length.

One of the best tools you have at your disposal in copywriting is rhythm. 

Variety is key. Long sentences have their usefulness. So do short sentences. But too many short sentences in a row makes you sound juvenile, and too many long sentences gets boring and unreadable. 

The secret is to mix and match your sentence and paragraph length. 

A few single-line paragraphs interspersed throughout your copy can make the whole page pop with excitement! The visual contrast keeps readers interested.

Do: Turn some of your best sentences into single-line paragraphs. (For even more pizzazz, try the occasional single-word paragraph.)

Don't: Use paragraphs of equal length back-to-back-to-back.

4. Bullet points.

Any time you find yourself writing more than three items in a sequence, ask yourself, “Would this work as a bulleted list?”

Bullet points are a godsend to your copywriting. They can totally transform bland paragraphs into something

  • Visually distinct
  • Fast-paced and choppy
  • Perfect for note-taking
  • Easier to read than a traditional sentence


See what we did there? 

(Bonus tip: on certain platforms like social media, you can get extra creative, using emojis or symbols in lieu of the bullets.)

Do: Use bullet points to highlight value, your USPs, and potential positive outcomes.

Don't: Overdo it. Too many bullet points, and your lists will run together and become visually indistinct.

5. Numbered lists.

Numbered lists are a cousin to bulleted lists. For lists where there is a distinct order to follow, or you’re counting or ranking the items, use a numbered list. 

Numbered lists have all the benefits of a bullet point list, plus some added meaning from the numbers. Maybe you’re putting directions in a specific order or ranking items in order of importance. 

Just don’t add numbers to a bulleted list for no reason. The numbers should add meaning to your copy, even if that meaning is as simple as “5 is an easily digestible number of topics to cover in a blog post.”

Do: Use numbered lists for groups of 3 to 10 items where the order or number of items is important.

Don't: Use multiple numbered lists on a single page. Not only can this get confusing if there are multiple “Step 3s” on one page, but the lists lose their visual distinction the more you use them.

Need something a little more hands-on to keep your copy interesting and distinct? Not sure how much bold is too much, or when to use bullet points vs. a numbered list? You don’t have to do it alone. Schedule a call, and we’ll help you create exceptional marketing materials that are engaging, clear, and—best of all—never boring.

Ready to tell your story? Let's get started.

Get Marketing Tips Every Monday: