Write Simply

Consumer insights on writing simply

Perhaps it’s because I’m having to edit more content for my business but I’m noticing people getting away from writing as concisely and as simply as possible.

I recently heard Dan Zarella, the social media strategist and author of “The Science of Retweets,” say that blog posts, ebooks and tweets written at a fifth grade level will be forwarded many times more often than more complex content.

With so many people generating content, we need a revival of Stunk and White’s The Elements of Style and commitment to write simply.  I recently wrote a post about the length of posts and articles and people not having sufficient time to read them (http://wp.me/pYHt6-eQ).

I know it takes more time to write concisely and thoughtfully, but if it enhances readability and pass along readership isn’t it worth it?

Here are a few suggestions.

Avoid big words.  Instead of the first word, use the second:

  • aggregate = total
  • ascertain = find out
  • demonstrate = show
  • finalize = finish
  • utilize = use

Eliminate redundancy:

  • close proximity = near
  • different varieties = varieties
  • first and foremost = first
  • joined together = joined
  • whether or not = whether

Know the meaning of the words you are using:

  • ability, capacity
  • about, approximately
  • affect, effect
  • over, more than
  • principle, principal

Eliminate clichés:

  • beyond the shadow of a doubt
  • cost-effective
  • dialogue
  • first and foremost
  • vitally important

What can you do to write simply?


About Insights From Analytics

Integrated marketing professional who generates insights from analytics to increase revenue. Daily blog now resides at www.insightsfromanalytics.com/blog.
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