Right and Wrong Ways To Use Bolding

There is a right way and a wrong way to use the bold attribute in your articles. Lately, we’ve seen a large influx of bolding abuse where the author will bold keywords throughout the article. It makes the article look cheap, crappy and spammy. We’re cracking down by not accepting articles with keywords and key phrases that are bolded.

The right way to use bolding is on SUB-HEADS.

Beyond that, the rule on using bolding further is that “LESS IS MORE”… meaning, don’t go nuts and bold everything. It makes the article visually hard to read. Also, keep in mind that ezine publishers who reprint your content are not required to keep your font attributes…so think lowest common denominator when choosing attributes, if at all.


Klaus Henrich writes:

Dear Mr. Knight,

Thank you for your tip. Not all people like do go a wrong way, but some people think your right way is a wrong way.

best regards

Klaus Henrich

Comment provided July 27, 2007 at 10:10 AM



Hi Mr. Knight,

We understand your articel, but for our company we need to write with mutch keywords. We have all articel of our website. But that look them spam. What we can do ?

we wish the best

Mrs. Ratanaphon Nokthaban

Comment provided July 27, 2007 at 10:18 AM



I’m not saying the bolding SUB-Heads is the Right way, but it sure is better than bolding keywords and key phrases.

In fact, perhaps no bolding is best in many cases.

Comment provided July 27, 2007 at 10:19 AM




If you are writing your articles with only keywords and keyphrases in mind, you’re not an ideal EzineArticles member.

It’s ok to be keyword and keyphrase aware and it’s ok to do some research, but if you’re aiming to include “much keywords”… please find another place for them.

Reason: We care a great deal about our user-experience. Articles that are keyword loaded are spammy and contribute to a negative user experience.

Comment provided July 27, 2007 at 10:21 AM



Hi from me too, Mr. Knight!

I agree with you when you say that we should use bolding only for subheads but sometimes we want to emphasise a term this way. I noticed that the Ezine never accepts bolding, no matter how we may use it, even if we are not emphasising a keyword on purpose. On the other hand, usually the most important words in our article are keywords!

I simply understood that bolding is not permitted and stopped trying to use it in my articles. It’s not really necessary.

Comment provided July 27, 2007 at 11:27 AM


Alex Yeo writes:

I hate articles with too many bold “keywords”. It seems that they are writing for SE.

When I chance upon those articles, I will not even read the article, let alone click on the author bio links and check it out.

This defeat the purpose for the author isn’t it?

It’s good to see EzineArticles gets tough on this!

Comment provided July 27, 2007 at 11:31 AM


Norman Holden writes:

G’day Chris,

Thank you for your comment — looking again at my latest article I don’t believe I
have “overstepped the mark” with bolding but I am sure the reviewer will let me know.

I most definitely agree with you that if a author is only looking to emphasize keywords and keyword phrases the final result will undoubtedly look crappy and spammy.

Sincerely ,

Norman Holden

Comment provided July 27, 2007 at 11:37 AM


Edward Weiss writes:

I didn’t realize search engines gave that much weight to bolding text.

You’re never going to guess what or how google will structure its algorhythm. Best just to write good articles and please your readership.

Do that and you’ll get clickthroughs. Try and optimize articles by bolding keywords and you may lose in both fronts.

Comment provided July 27, 2007 at 1:20 PM


Chinmay Chakravarty writes:


Comment provided July 27, 2007 at 2:09 PM



My dear Mr. Knight,

I boldy agree.



Comment provided July 27, 2007 at 2:16 PM


Lance Winslow writes:

Dear Mister Knight, you are very right to correct us and give us this insight and as I begin to write and hopefully finish to tonight, I think with this new information I am going to be alright.

Comment provided July 27, 2007 at 8:00 PM



However, bolding is very good in other texts, besides articles.

I used bolding to summarize the principal concepts of my last ebook especially in very big paragraphs. This way the readers can read only the essential very fast when they just want to consult certain part.

Comment provided July 27, 2007 at 8:22 PM


Lance Winslow writes:

You know Chistina, since the system allows for Bolding, underlining and italics. I think if you want to highlight a main point, italics makes sense and Bolding other important sub-heads might too make sense. Over doing it does not make sense, I recently over did it and the article was shot back a few weeks ago, when I looked back at it, I must confess, over bolding had ruined the article, thus having that article shot back and refusal for posting it, made sense and I was happy to re-do it Correctly.

Comment provided July 28, 2007 at 12:01 AM



Hi Lance!

Bolding in articles is not necessary because they are short documents, but it’s very useful in books or ebooks.
Among so many words is nice to see the most important sentences stronger, so that we can only follow them and have a quick general idea about the text’s meaning.

Comment provided July 28, 2007 at 5:42 AM


Lance Winslow writes:

Christina, The Ocean is Blue and it is not necessary for a pond or a mere lake to have anything but black or green water. And I can make that blanket statement in every case if I reserve myself to be in lock step and perfect cadence with the thoughts of other men. It is a new religion with a Bold new beginning.

Comment provided July 28, 2007 at 2:33 PM



Lance, organization and simplicity are basic when you write an ebook to teach something to someone.
Things are totally different if you write a novel!

Look at the messages you receive in the Outlook Express. The ones you didn’t open yet are in bold letters. Isn’t it nice to be able to see directly which messages you didn’t open yet? That’s how it works. Bolding helps us see directly the most important points, without reading everything until we’ll find what we want.

Comment provided July 28, 2007 at 4:04 PM


Lance Winslow writes:


However, what you are basically saying by that statement is an absolute, akin to saying there is only one way to write a novel, one way to write a short story, one way to write a research paper, one way to write an online article, and one way to write a blog posting claiming that there is only one and that way is whatever you say it is. And while that may be true for your way of doing things, it wouldn’t be necessarily the same for me or my body of water. Be bold, and add water features and depart from the norm, isn’t that what art is often about? A novel is that way, whatever you make of it.

Comment provided July 28, 2007 at 7:19 PM



I guess you are distorting my words. I was not absolute in any point.

What exactly are we talking about?

Comment provided July 28, 2007 at 7:36 PM


Lance Winslow writes:

Well Christina, it seems you are constantly making blanket statements, about nearly everything really. It is not black and white or bold or italics, it is what it is, there is a right time and a wrong time to tactfully use bolding. Less is more, too much is cheap. So, for articles, bold sometimes allows you to sum up the key point fo the article in sentence

Comment provided July 28, 2007 at 7:54 PM



I don’t disagree with what you said. I was only defending the use of bolding in books and ebooks.
Nothing against the ocean, nothing against novels.

Comment provided July 28, 2007 at 8:04 PM


Lance Winslow writes:

Metephorically speaking such absolutes tend to project an attitude in favor of rules and regulations and against freedom of expression and art itself. Indeed such a stance on issues lends itself to the life, which mimics art, in all its variations, inperfections and chaos that makes the life experience the best VR game in the Universe.

Sometimes it pays to bold and brash, exciting, colorful and other times it pays to be more reserved with a good deal of discretion. Sometimes art in online articles shows personality, newness and a breath of fresh air. Sometimes Bolding can make a statement, catch the eye, make someone think. If everyone wears the same uniform, and everyone is equal, then one has to ask what the Beehive is for. Enjoy life, be bold when you feel like it, make a statement, take a stand. When it is totally inappropriate use your judgement and de-bold your comments.

Victory goes to the Bold, I am proof so behold.

Comment provided July 28, 2007 at 8:24 PM



Article writing is an art, but not only. You have to respect certain rules. The same happens with books and ebooks, depending on their subject.

Comment provided July 28, 2007 at 8:33 PM


Lance Winslow writes:

What “Rules” are we talking about. Virginia Wolf follows no rules in her novels yet we celebrate her work and her name. There are no rules for eBooks or Books. Bolding there is a matter of preference. Sometimes bolding works sometimes it doesn’t. In literature and writing classes they use to teach: “Do not use a dash in a sentence more than once per page, use a semi-colon, instead”

Today, everyone is competing for the reader’s eyes and to make their statements quickly, with bullets. The click happy crowd wants it now, all of it, and gets bored easy, thus bolding main points and bullets allows the reader to scan quickly in non-fiction books and they really prefer this. If the bolding is used too much, it looks salesy and trashy, or cheap. So one can over do it in an eBook too, just like an online article.

Online Articles can use bold, nothing wrong with that, too much looks like a sales letter and thus, this would not be the correct venue for that, which makes sense of course.

I do not believe that respect for rules is reality based in writing, if you want to stand out, you need to slaughter the sacred cows and take a stand. There is competition out there for traffic on the Internet, if you want to get lost in the masses of minutia fine, but sometimes it pays to go bold. Bolding can be beautiful indeed.

Comment provided July 28, 2007 at 8:56 PM



I believe that some rules are necessary. Freedom can be dangerous.

As a matter of fact, the best writers are the ones that never make grammar mistakes, that know the language very well and everything else that is related to writing techniques. You shall not despise the rules because if we didn’t have them we would be lost, without base, without knowing how to do whatever.

Many people are against the rules in general because they have the impression that rules are made only in order to complicate our life, but they are necessary if we want to be organized and save time.

Comment provided July 28, 2007 at 9:18 PM


Lance Winslow writes:

Freedom is Absolutely dangerous to those who wish to impede it.

This is an absolute statement: “the best writers are the ones that never make grammar mistakes, that know the language very well and everything else that is related to writing techniques.”

How can you make so many absolute statements, especially when I gave you a perfect example of someone who follows little if any grammar rules, who is an famed writer?

You have stated: “You shall not despise the rules because if we didn’t have them we would be lost, without base, without knowing how to do whatever.”

You are assuming that rules are made to help people. Often, rules are made to protect the lowest IQs amongst us, in the end such a tactic produces rules that only an incompetent would wish to follow.

Such a society, filled with so many rules, is no longer free, it is a prison. Writing is a lot about freedom. You take that away, then the writing is not worth reading, for it does not say anything that has not been said before by the mindless masses.

Rules are made to serve those who make them in order to propel their vision of how things should be, humans who made the smallest rules have job security adding minutia and more lines of regulation, causing unintended consequences, their followers are much more dangerous than those who seek freedom.

Too many rules impede free-flowing thought and slow innovation and the golden ages we all study in reverence. It does not save time to have more rules and the organizational advantage is off-set by the blob of bureaucracy in the name of law and order, that steals the essence of life from us all. Philosophically speaking of course.

Comment provided July 28, 2007 at 10:15 PM



Some rules are necessary, otherwise we get lost in a chaotic condition.

Freedom is necessary too, but with caution.

Comment provided July 28, 2007 at 10:25 PM


Lance Winslow writes:

Indeed. I agree. So, back to the point of “bolding” or rather the actual problem of “over bolding” we must consider this truth. Freedom is necessary, going Bold, is often a decision based on the author, those who abuse the use of Bolding, do harm to themselves and cheapen this website, hurting all of us, thus, “freedom is necessary, but with caution” too. Good point.

Some rules are necessary, rules should not be made to over control, if they are, freedom ceases and then eventually chaos is insured by those who lable the rule makers “unfit to lead” only to rise up as loved and respected visionaries of the people, only to create rules to protect themselves, and repeat the process. Therefore we must hold short as much as possible to more rule making or absolutes, otherwise we restrict innovation and freedom and create a causality in which we are doomed, based on the historical record. Think on it.

Comment provided July 28, 2007 at 11:09 PM



Sometimes rules are as dangerous as freedom can be!

Bolding shall be used to help people understand easier what the author wants to say. I never used it on literature works. I use it a lot in educational works only.

In literature we are free to express ourselves in many ways and each one that reads what we write can interpret our words in a different way. It doesn’t matter. There are infinite messages in literature.

However, when you write something concrete, you better define clearly what you mean so that everyone will understand exactly the same thing. This is important because they have to learn the correct way to be helped by the knowledge they are receiving.

Bolding helps a lot not only in subheads but also in the most important sentences of several definitions. This is helpful in books and ebooks because they are usually made of many pages, full of words! Divisions and everything else that can make them appear organized and easier to understand are always necessary.

In articles bolding is not so necessary because they are short documents and Google might conclude that their use is not helpful but only a way to attract more clicks with the emphasized keywords.

Comment provided July 29, 2007 at 10:53 AM



Is this thread in a circular loop or what?

Feels like a merry go round that doesn’t stop spinning. :)

Comment provided July 29, 2007 at 12:07 PM



Welcome to our discussion Mr. Knight! Lance and I are solving some of mankind’s writing problems, if you don’t mind.

Our discussion may seem turning around the same points but if you have sensitivity and perspicacity you’ll be able to observe how important our statements are.

Comment provided July 29, 2007 at 12:23 PM



Definitions of perspicacity on the Web:

* shrewdness: intelligence manifested by being astute (as in business dealings)
* judgment: the capacity to assess situations or circumstances shrewdly and to draw sound conclusions

* adverb form of perspicacious, meaning to have insight or knowledge. Used by Fields in film and radio.

* Acuteness of perception, discernment, or understanding.

Just keep it on topic please. :-)

Comment provided July 29, 2007 at 12:44 PM


Edward Weiss writes:

Speaking of rules, shouldn’t a conversation like this be on a forum instead of a blog?

Or better yet, via email or private messaging.

While interesting in a juvenile sort of way, I thought we were all beyond this on this particular blog.

Comment provided July 29, 2007 at 2:44 PM



Here we were talking about freedom and rules, about the ocean and novels, but always remembering that bolding was the subject. If you had enough perspicacity, you would understand that we were like philosophers searching the truth and you would realize that we came to a conclusion.

If you had enough sensitivity you would understand that we understood that we need rules otherwise we would live in a chaotic condition but that rules are as dangerous as freedom can be.

Google impedes our development with its judgement. There is no freedom in the Internet.

What else did we conclude Lance? They are saying that we were merely gossiping or I don’t know what during our conversation!

Comment provided July 29, 2007 at 4:20 PM


Lance Winslow writes:


We are discussing the very essence of the subject of Bolding and over bolding and what rules should or should not be enforced on an Online Article Website. We have used metaphors, philosophy, analogies, allegories, and considered the cause and effect of policies governing the “over use” or borderline over use of “bold” tags.

I believe for someone to call such a discussion somehow childish would only prove they did not understand deeper thought. In fact the topic has never waivered past the subject matter first presented. The conclusion we have come to in this dialogue is:

1. Limited Use of Bolding is “okay” in online articles, but should be used with caution.

2. Over use of Bolding hurts the writer’s credibility, perhaps their search engine rankings, other authors on this site and the looks tacky.

3. Bolding works best in “Training Manuals” and “Non-fiction eBooks” as well as sales letters, which Online Articles are not.

4. Too much bolding causes will cause a Internet reader to most likely “click out” and thus does not serve the purpose of the online article author.

5. Strict Rules are not wise, but a wise author ought to heed the warning and not over use “Bolding” and authors must use discretion. If not their articles at least on this site will be refused, as they should be.

6. Simplicity in rules should be favored, yet some rules must be made, even if unspoken in the form of guidance. There are many reasons why rules are made and why humans resist rules, the Bolding rule ought to be made with a threshold and author’s themselves need to use their best judgment and not blow it for themselves or cause the editors to kick back their articles.

7. These dialogues encircle the box, enjoy the reality within the box and think around the box, thus they are worthy and important for anyone attempting to consider problem solving without falling into the trap of the law of unintended consequences.

I think that sums up these discussions, if anyone cannot see this, then they will most likely fail to understand any intellectual article on this site, which did not “bold” the high-lights of the topic.

Thus if humans cannot understand the articles or dialogues they read then they will need additional bolding, otherwise they just won’t get it. So, a measured approach should be considered and therefore this entire set of comments is extremely valuable. Yes, it is circular in nature, but so is life, history and the Planet for that matter. Think on it.

Comment provided July 29, 2007 at 5:31 PM


David Morton writes:

A very amusing interplay of words between Christina and Lance. I tend to agree with them all, which includes Edward. Maybe we should just consider everything in moderation. A little question? What is a sub head and it goes (sub-below) exactly where?

Comment provided July 29, 2007 at 6:51 PM


Lance Winslow writes:

Don’t Blame ME ask the folks at MIT:


Somewhat timely isn’t it? Juvenile, not a chance, listen to what I am saying, put trust in Lance

Comment provided July 30, 2007 at 1:27 AM



Freedom is usually an illusion everywhere, even when it is supposed to exist, because there are always restrictions.

Congratulations Lance, you showed to Mr. Knight and Mr. Weiss how important was our discussion and how real were the problems we were trying to solve! If they had the perspicacity to understand our seriousness they wouldn’t criticize our discussion as they did.

Some people cannot evaluate many things! This is so common! What can we do? Instead of thanking us for discussing here they attacked us with their futile comments!… Never mind Lance, show mercy.

Comment provided July 30, 2007 at 3:37 AM




A sub head is a title of a sub section of text.



Body copy body copy body copy body copy body copy body copy body copy body copy body copy body copy body copy body copy body copy body copy body copy body copy.


Body copy body copy body copy body copy body copy body copy body copy body copy body copy body copy body copy body copy body copy body copy body copy body copy.


Body copy body copy body copy body copy body copy body copy body copy body copy body copy body copy body copy body copy body copy body copy body copy body copy.

Resource Box.

Comment provided July 30, 2007 at 7:47 AM


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