As the world continues to become more complex, at least the language and vocabulary writers use should make people (i.e. readers) feel at home. Make sure the content you create doesn’t make readers scratch their heads. Instead of giving them a headache, offer them aspirin! After all, content that’s simply tailored and easily understandable holds a better chance of hooking readers and boosting website traffic.
There are some key strategies which can help writers develop simple yet meaningful content.
Here are the important ones –
Use an Easily Understandable Language
Language and vocabulary have to be kept as simple as possible when it comes to drawing readers. This does not, however, equate to scaling down the intellectual quotient of your work; rather, it basically refers to conveying ideas in a plain, concise manner.
Follow these steps –
Weed out confusing words with multiple meanings and spelling errors [For instance, 'fore' and 'for' or 'discreet' and 'discrete' are terms that may often get jumbled up and subsequently confuse readers.]
Eliminate passive voice wherever possible as active voice helps build a connect with the purpose of every written sentence
Fix long, winding sentences to avoid reader boredom and confusion [Writers should aim for a maximum of twenty five words when it comes to building sentences.]
Cut out bombastic, superfluous adjectives
Use examples and metaphors taken from daily life to express ideas
Keep away from the use of double negative phrases or sentences as a means to avoid confusion
Use a maximum of two conjunctions for any sentence
Go more for direct and literal expression of ideas instead of subtly implying them
Include meanings/definitions in case of complex words that cannot be avoided [Writers should note that this should be done in a casual manner without conveying a didactic impression.]
Get rid of uncommon phrases and words that have foreign origins
Trim down unnecessary abbreviations, synonyms and idioms among other stylistic devices
Online, readers have plenty of other things to do on a daily basis. If the language and the vocabulary of your content make it hard for them to grasp the presented idea quickly, they’ll barely be able to leave a comment or pass it on to their friends or colleagues.
Write in a Conversationally Instructional Tone
The writer’s ultimate aim is to instruct and stimulate greater absorption of the material presented. The best way to achieve it is through a conversational yet illuminating style. If you think that being conversational means looking unprofessional, you’re misguided. It’s always possible to write in a conversational tone and yet sound professional.
To write in a conversational tone, you should –
Let go of perfectionism
Think of someone specific, one single person
Have the courage to break a few rules
Read it out a loud once you’re done writing
Attaining such a style requires regular practice but is not impossible by any means. Keep trying!
Include Multiple Illustrations
Often, proper auditory and visual illustrations may serve your purpose by easily getting your message across to readers. This may be the perfect foil for your content and involves attractive videos, photographs, news and social media updates and other content types. This actually goes a long way towards keeping people interested. It serves as a live example of the ideas or message that you are essentially trying to convey online.
Avoid Unnecessary Links
Most pages that you see on the web are practically littered with unnecessary links that can sometimes confuse readers or divert their minds from the main idea or topic being discussed. Alongside, the presence of a large number of links often makes the entire reading or viewing process painstaking, something that drive a large number of readers away from the site.
Writers should always remember to include only those links which allow readers to dig deeper into the content topic at hand.
Develop a Universal Angle
Nothing works better than universality when it comes to getting your content recognized and accepted by readers. Evaluate the idea or topic you are dealing with and try to find a universal angle that readers can identify with. Doing this in a simple and concise manner by way of anecdotes, positioning, examples or simple conversation makes readers feel like integral parts of a larger community via shared benefits or experiences.
Format the Content Appropriately
Well-formatted content is always a pleasure to read. Writers should pay particular attention to the structure of their content so as to make it look good to the eye when published online.
Keep these tips in mind –
Proper paragraph division
No lengthy or huge paragraphs
Usage of bullet points and sub headings
Highlighting major points
Use of tables, graphs and charts
Formatting makes good content look great. It makes it easier for readers to quickly scan a page for important tips.
Gauge Reader Responses
Finally, you should think about the average reader. Once an article or a blog post or simply any other type of content has been created, you should evaluate it from a reader’s point of view.
Put yourself in the shoes of an average reader and examine your content against these key parameters –
Message, purpose or key ideas
Vocabulary and sentence structure
A neutral assessment will help you tailor your content accordingly and help your ideas attain the recognition that they deserve.
If the content on your website isn’t easy to understand, it will simply lead readers to a search for another website – one of your competitors’. And once they find one which serves them better than you do, they’ll never look back. Therefore, ensure you follow the above-mentioned tips and strategies to come up with simple yet effective content that actually transforms into your desired communication and marketing tool!
Please let me know what you think in the comments section below.