Tips for Writing Simply

By January 23, 2015Content

If writing is a challenge for you then it’s helpful to keep in mind some basic tips to help you find your voice. When writing for your website, your voice must be simple, clear, concise, and knowledgeable. These tips help you achieve this and will help you to create high quality content that brings users back to your site again and again.

Be Conversational

Your users want to get to know you. They want to feel like they’ve found something special and that something is you – your expertise and your services. If your writing is stuffy and too formal for your audience, that connection isn’t going to be made. When you sit down to write, think about that last great conversation you had with a client.

Think about how you where able to help them, how you solved a problem, probably made them feel better. Think about how your personality was connecting with theirs. Then write about that conversation and write in the same way you spoke. Tell the stories you’ve learned through your hard work and experience, be friendly, be yourself. This is what needs to come through on your website.

Use Design to Enhance the Writing

Headings can help you divide and organize your thoughts. They can also help a reader scan to the most relevant content for them. It’s good to make your transitions clear so that whether a person is intently reading every word or simply skimming (for now) they are still getting the gist of your message.

Graphics and other visual content can also keep your writing simple. Especially if you have a complicated point to make or a lengthy explanation is needed. A visual can save you words as well as make a great emotional connection. Visual content also breaks up blocks of writing and helps to keep people reading. Good design will make your writing stand out by presenting it in a visually pleasing way.

Brevity

Sentences and paragraphs should be short. If you look at your favorite blogs and websites, you’re likely to see that five lines is absolutely the maximum length of a paragraph. The post your reading now follows that rule of thumb.

Paragraph breaks keep your content from appearing dense and gives your readers a chance to digest what you’re saying. They function like headers in that they tell readers when one idea has ended and the next begins.

Sentences also need to be short, no longer than 25 words. You’re not writing a novel, you’re writing amazing content for your website. Vary your sentence length for flow but shorter is always better. If you find you are too wordy, the next tip is a great way to learn to improve.

Proofread

Get a co-worker to go through your writing with a ruthless eye toward improvement. If this seems hard for you to get feedback in this way, just know that constructive criticism is the best way to grow and poor writing will lead to drop-offs instead of conversions.

You want to catch typos as well as any points that are either over or under explained. A good editor will help you remove unnecessary words and correct grammatical errors – which helps with clarity as well as simplicity.

Depending on the content, it’s also great to get feedback from someone who doesn’t know much about your topic. If they can understand and enjoy what you’ve written, then it’s likely your audience will too.

Simple content is easy to achieve even if you consider yourself the words worst writer. Simpler is better and over time, you’ll get there. Read authors who sound the way you want to sound and then work to imitate their style. Your clients will thank you for it.