Let’s just take a second and remember what those habits are: using complex language, adding filler words to reach a certain word count, writing hyper-academically (writing primarily to sound smart and philosophical) and often confusing themselves with their own written word.
My point is, well, quite simple: simple content means a better reader experience for your target audience.
Sure, we all want to write well and in a way which is engaging and refreshing for our readers. However, eloquently written content becomes ineffective if your audience can’t understand what the hell they’re reading— then it’s just bad communication.
Online users have clicked on your content with a purpose: they’re in search of something. Writing clearly helps them find what they came for, whether it be an answer to a question or your general expert insights.
So what are some ways you can simplify your content while maintaining its value and integrity, but also drawing readers in? Let’s take a look:
Write in plain language
One of your best bets for simplifying your content is by writing in plain language. What’s plain language? By definition it is “communication your audience can understand the first time it’s read or heard.” That means helping your audience find that they’re looking for, understand what they’re reading, and use the findings to answer their questions.
Here are some tips to kick-start your plain language campaign for future content creation:
Get straight to the point
Put the purpose of your content at the beginning of your paragraph, rather than hiding it in the middle and expecting your readers to hunt for it. When effective content is all about helping your audience find the answers they need, it’s bad customer service to make that search more difficult for them.
Keep this in mind—your readers are bombarded with hefty content every single day, and thus have shorter attention spans than ever before. Don’t shoot yourself in the foot by boring them with words that are taking up space or are confusing.
Set yourself apart from the noise
When it comes to getting ahead of our competition, our minds automatically go straight to strategizing. It’s a competitive market out there, so if you’re going to stand out, you’d better have something ground-breaking and valuable. While this might ring true in the ideas and themes of the content you’re creating, this isn't necessarily the case for how you're presenting said ideas and themes.
Here’s the irony: most of your competition are trying so hard to stand out that they’re over-complicating their content delivery. So, if you’re writing clearly and simply you’re already a step ahead of all those guys. Even a revolutionary idea can fall flat if readers are having trouble understanding what you’ve written. They’re busy people in a busy world—give them what they came for right off the bat. Quality, clear content is the type that people will always come back for.
What’s holding you back from simplifying your content?
Gillian Sisley is a social media-savvy strategist hell-bent on engaging with people on a real, human level.
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