Stick With Simplicity
Don’t complicate things to make yourself sound smart, to reach a word count or for any other reason. Simplicity is solid gold. If the topic is simple, keep your writing simple too.
Write with confidence
Limit use of words like probably, maybe and I think. Writers tend to use this language because they’re uncertain or they don’t want to be held responsible.
If you’re writing “probably” or “maybe” because you’re not sure, you should be researching not writing.
And if you’re using those words because a result depends on the circumstances, tell us that or explain the lack of clarity surrounding the outcome.
When you make a statement and add “I think”, it seems like you don’t feel worthy to be speaking. It’s like you foresee a pushback and you’re telling us upfront, well this is just my opinion.
If you’re going to write something sit up, straighten your spine and write it directly.
Trying to weasel around a topic doesn’t limit responsibility for what you say, it makes you less credible. And no one wants to waste time reading a coward’s work.
Cut the jargon
Don’t use language to try to sound sophisticated or to paint yourself as an insider. No one cares that you know tech talk or legalese.
People either want to be informed or entertained. And trying to be stuck-up or fancy is a quick way to fail at both.
When people see jargon, they roll their eyes. They start ignoring you. They skip across the page and look for words they can relate to. And if they don’t find anything that reels them in, they say fuck it and do something else.
You’re not impressing people with jargon because they aren’t reading it.
Info-stuffing is the practice of adding irrelevant information. It’s common, silly, and needs to come to a stop.
If you’re wondering what this looks like, it’s that post that’s supposed to tell you how to unlock your Instagram account. But it starts out telling us when Instagram was launched, who founded it, how fast it’s user base is growing… blah, blah, blah.
The answers don’t come till hundreds of words later.
Or it’s that celebrity article with a title like “Khloe Kardashian Steps Out With New Look.”
It starts talking about Khloe’s hair cut, outfit, nails and jewelry. So it seems like we’re on track. But then, the writer’s focus strays and she begins talking about Khloe’s marriage to Lamar Odom who nearly died in a brothel and her current boyfriend Tristan Thompson.
We don’t need to pull out the relationship file to talk about fashion and beauty.
Give us the information we came for and get out of the way. We appreciate it.
Don’t Deceive With Clickbait
You can call a deceptive title clickbait to dress it up. But that title is actually just a form of lying.
Bloggers and editors do it all the time. And that leads other people to think it’s a good idea. But it’s not.
Think about it…
How many times have you been pleased that you were deceived? How many times have you been happy that the joke is on you?
No one wants to be lied to. And although clickbait can get you short-term results, like a lot of clicks on a post. It can also do long-term damage.
Think about your writing like any other product. If you get ready to use something only to find out that what’s inside isn’t what was adevertised on the package, will you be a loyal fan of that brand?