Knowledge Base

What are some tips for tightening up my writing?

Eliminate junk that only weighs you down, cut out unnecessary things that only get in the way of your goal, remember your purpose, and do your research to get your best results.

As intimidating as they might be, I’ve always admired people who are extremely dedicated to their intense daily workouts and eating the healthiest of foods. They’re devoted to every step required to make sure their body is strong enough to do more than simply function. They start diets and begin workout routines. They follow steps to make their bodies stronger, more capable and effective.

Just like creating a stronger body, there are some key ways to make your content stronger that will help set it apart from all the other content that’s out there. Eliminate junk that only weighs you down, cut out unnecessary things that only get in the way of your goal, remember your purpose, and do your research to get your best results.

No “Junk Food”
Sometimes content is fun to read, but, like junk food, only satisfies a temporary craving without providing any long-term benefit. Why would your readers want to read fluffy junk from you when they can get substantial, engaging content from your competitor? Do more than simply throw out information. Give your audience content that raises their curiosity and prompts them to engage and interact with you. An engaged audience latches on to everything you write, they feel connected to it, and are likely to share that with others.

Eliminate “Fluff”
Tight writing is important for clear communication. Unnecessary words can block your purpose and make your message confusing. Avoid clichés and wordy phrases that only serve to clutter your purpose. It can be challenging to condense what you have to say, but your goal isn’t to write award-winning pieces of literature. Your goal is to communicate well and get the job done. Ultimately, the quality of writing and how you deliver your point is most important. Don’t focus on a specific word count. Remember, a longer post isn’t necessarily a better post.

Remember Your Purpose
From losing 50 pounds to just toning up, no health or fitness goal is achieved overnight. Just as in fitness, writing content is about the step-by-step process. How you get to there is just as important as what you ultimately have to say. Sure, what you have to say might be the most brilliant and fantastic idea in the history of the blogosphere, but neglecting the persuasive storytelling process will only result in lost readers. If the reader isn’t interested after the first two sentences, she won’t think twice about leaving your site. Your purpose is, above all else, to keep people reading.

Do Your Research
I don’t know about you, but I don’t know anyone who has become an expert on anything overnight. If you are not an existing expert on the topic: research, research, research. Know what you’re writing about. Know who you’re writing for and what your audience wants. Understand background and context. Research enables you to understand your readers. Information loses meaning without knowing the context of your audience.

- Katie Coleman