Tips for Writing Effective Content

Posted: January 8th, 2014, 3:13 pm   By: brittany.corners

Keep the following eight tips in mind to write effective content that keeps your readers interested in what you have to say and provide relevant and useful information.

Avoid rambling prose

Keep rambling diatribes far from your content. It causes confusion, and your readers often lose interest much in the same way that loud music while you are studying makes it hard to concentrate. Concentration is important for a variety of reasons, and you can help your concentration by taking over-the-counter supplements.

See? Rambling turned the previous paragraph into something about everything BUT avoiding rambling prose. Avoid this type of off-subject writing at all costs. It only serves to undermine the message you want to convey.

Kick overwriting to the curb

Overwriting usually happens when you do not have enough information to construct effective content, or sometimes you may simply like the sight of your prose. In either case, overwriting diminishes the message of your content, and it often comes across as overselling. Consider the following sentence:

Example of overwriting: The fantastic benefits of using these out-of-this-world coffee mugs ensure every brightly-lit, fresh-aired morning you arise from your luxuriously comfortable haven of a bedroom is one that makes sure your glorious day starts out immediately on the path to one that is sure to end a great one.

Steer clear of fluff words

Fluff words are often words that qualify and are often adjectives. Eliminate these fluff words as much as possible from your content. Fluff words include (but are in no way limited to) very, rather, great, amazing, little, stupendous, basically and many, many other words. Fluff diminishes the quality of your content and provides no useful information. Consider the following sentence:

Example of fluff: Shop this amazing collection of tents that are basically the best on the market and are rather great additions to your stupendous collection of great camping gear.

Eliminate redundancy

Redundancy and repeating yourself repeatedly over and over creates content that is boring, making readers unlikely to make it all the way through what you write because it is boring. Say something once, and say it well, rather than repeating yourself with redundant content. Writing the same thing repeatedly is never a good idea because it is boring to your readers. (Yes, this paragraph is intentionally redundant to the extreme).

Write short paragraphs

When writing articles or any piece with multiple paragraphs, you should keep paragraphs short. Longer paragraphs discourage readers from reading the entirety of what you write. The human mind processes and absorbs information more effectively when it is viewed in shorter chunks of information. With this in mind, limit your paragraphs’ length as much as possible to encourage more readers to read all of your content.

Use simple words

Complex words or words reserved for the echelons of the very smart have no place in e-commerce writing. Consider your audience; it is likely to include people from all walks of life, income brackets, educational levels and age groups. You want your readers to understand and relate to your content.

Writing with simple words is more effective than content packed with big, complex words because it conveys meaning simply and directly. For example, replace utilize with use, facilitate with help, commence with start and peruse with browse. Longer, more complex words should only appear in your writing when no other word conveys what you want to say.

Stay specific

The more detail you provide in your writing, the more interesting it is to those who read what you write. Consider the following two sentences.

Sentence #1: This collection of handbags offers a variety of color choices.

Sentence #2: This collection of handbags includes brands like Prada, Lucky Brand, Fossil and more that offer a variety of fun, expressive colors, such as Tuscan red, silver shell and black cherry.

Clearly the second sentence is more interesting, and it provides more details to help those who read your content to visualize the handbags available.

Proofread as if your life depends on it

After writing content, proofread it carefully with zest. Eliminate any of the bad content mentioned above, and shorten, rewrite or delete words or phrases that do not add something to the message you wish to convey. Make sure you do not have extra words peppering your content and taking up space that is best used for relevant, engaging and effective content.

Following these eight tips is sure to improve the quality of your content, warrant positive comments from editors and, if you do a good job proofreading, a bonus from CrowdSource for work of exceptional quality.