Improve Your Writing: Simpler is Better in 2015
posted January 2nd 2015, 2:00 pm by Nicole Nelson
It's a new year! The 12 months of 2015 stretch out before us, each with opportunities for blogging, posts on social, newsletters, proposals and more. And you know the key facet in all of those activities? Writing.
I'm going to make a bold statement here...Improving your writing is the #1 way to improve your marketing in the new year. And if it's not the #1 way, then it's at least in the top five. Improve your writing by making it simple. Simpler is better in 2015. Here's why.
Simpler is Better in 2015
- Simpler writing is easier to understand
- Simpler writing conveys complex and/or big ideas
- Simple writing is dependent on the audience - and means different things for each audience
You want visitors to your website to understand what you say, right? You want readers of your blog to comprehend your main points? You want subscribers to your newsletters to be informed, not confused? If you're answering "Yes" to these questions, write simply. Simpler is better.
Improve Your Writing with These Tips
Write how you speak.
Once upon a time, I was a writing tutor at a college. It boggled my mind that freshmen students, completely comfortable chatting with me beforehand, sounded so stilted when writing. Don't feel the pressure to sound perfect when you're writing. Rather, sound like yourself. Your readers will connect with your writing much more strongly when you do.
Follow a path.
Don't jump all around in your writing. Stick to a path that your readers can follow. Otherwise, they'll get lost.
When in doubt, write short sentences.
Sure, the semicolon is nifty, but don't use it if you're unsure. The easiest way to write clearly is to write short, sentences. Make them short and strong by using action verbs. I mentioned this rule in "How to Write Interesting Blogs." Read here for more details.
Write short paragraphs, too.
In this day and age of skimming loads of Internet writing, short paragraphs force you, the writer, to stay on task, keeping the reader engaged. One to sentences will often suffice, but never use any more than four.
Only write what you mean.
Don't throw in filler sentences. Get rid of all words, sentences, even paragraphs that are unnecessary. They only clog up your writing and bog down the reader.
Have a colleague proofread.
Once your eyes have glazed over and you can't find a single item to revise, hand off your copy to a colleague. He or she will catch things you totally missed, guaranteed. And, if your colleagure find that your writing is simpler, clear and concise, chances are, your buyer persona will, too.