Choose Words Wisely

Michael Goetz MarketingIt’s important that all your communication is clear and concise. Your writing should be compact and use as few words as possible. The following strategies will help you write with a modern flair using minimal words.

Front load your copy. This means put the most important information where your readers’ eyes will immediately spot it. This includes headlines, first paragraphs and email subject lines. Be sure to organize so readers can effectively skim. Do this by breaking long information into lists, creating subheadings and limiting paragraphs to a few sentences.

Remove useless words. Cut, edit and remove words that aren’t necessary. Start by removing prepositions. If you remove prepositions and restructure your sentence to do without them, your sentences will be stronger. Remove passive voice. Passive voice weakens the impact of your writing and can create awkward sentences. The overuse of passive voice can cause your copy to seem flat and uninteresting. You can recognize passive voice because the verb phrase will include a form of be (was, am, are, been, is).

Don’t use jargon and other specialized language in your writing. There may be instances where they are appropriate, but direct language is generally always a better choice. Your readers outside certain professions may not understand jargon or may use a different meaning for the same word. Industry buzz words fall into the jargon category. Using obscure or little-used terminology clouds your intended message instead of clarifying it. Make your writing entertaining to read and as short as possible.

Keep your sentences focused. Every sentence should focus on one main idea. Multiple clauses or phrases, information stops and excessive commas makes your copy difficult to read and choppy. Be sure every sentence is necessary. Provide value with information rich content. Evaluate every sentence to ensure it’s necessary. Filler text, fluff and unrelated material have no place in your writing.

Producing error-free content requires you to proofread. Repeatedly. Nothing undermines your message faster than spelling errors, grammar mistakes and poor word choice. Producing clean copy is essential.

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