There is a right way and a wrong way to do almost anything. When it comes to writing, less tends to be more. Unfortunately, many writers bloat their articles with a plethora of unnecessary words. The end result: a confused reader.
This problem is prevalent on the web due to the more colloquial blogging style. But even blogs pack a lot more power if the author manages to express his ideas in the most concise way possible. Keep in mind that most web surfers only scan pages for bite size info. In that spirit, here are three tips to get your message across with the secret power of word economy.
- One idea per paragraph
- Three to five ideas per blog post
- Short sentences (no more than 1.5 lines)
- Inverted pyramid
1) One idea per paragraph
When explaining something new to a reader it is important to keep things simple and take one step at a time. Overwhelming your reader with too much info will get you absolutely nowhere fast. It does not really matter how much you know about any given topic if you can’t present the info in bite size format. Restrict yourself to one single idea per paragraph and stay on topic.
2) Three to five ideas per blog post
When was the last time you read anything online that was an entire page long? Exactly. No one likes to read walls of text online. It strains the eyes and takes too long. Sticking to three to five ideas per blog would roughly translate into about five to seven paragraphs with the inclusion of the lead (intro) and the conclusion. Using this formula will attract more readers due the visually appealing organization of the info. It will take only one look to determine if reading your post is worth the time and effort.
3) Keep sentences short
Naturally, long sentences are the proverbial hairballs in the readers’ throats as they are impossible to digest no matter how much you love the English language. Limit yourself to 1.5 lines. Not only will it be much easier to follow your train of thought, but you will also notice that your writing will improve and flow better.
4) Use the inverted pyramid
The inverted pyramid is a staple in news reporting for very good reasons: it creates a hook while saving the reader time. As mentioned above, time is of the essence online even more than in the print media. By presenting the most important facts in the lead (intro) you give the reader your story in a nutshell. He then has the choice to read the rest or move on. Your reward will be more readers who appreciate your considerate presentation.
Effective writing comes down to expressing even complicated issues with the least amount of words necessary. Being wordy makes it more difficult to comprehend any points made since most people need to re-read the sentence several times to get it. Practicing word economy, on the other hand, is a win-win for bloggers and readers alike.Tweet this!