Do you remember what the last article you read was about? Can you recall why you chose to click on the link and invest your time reading the content? What is it that makes some articles click and share-worthy over others, and what can we learn from them?
Given the ever-increasing impatience of users in the digital sphere, online writers have had to constantly up their game in writing to grab the attention of readers. We recently stumbled across an article that we loved which cuts straight to the chase on the top 10 writing tips and the psychology behind them which includes tips such as shortening your sentences and eliminating weasel words. No fluff, no BS, just good content.
Inspired by the article, we came up with our own top 10 tips that make for brilliant writing. Check it out:
1) Know your topic well
When you know the topic on hand well, you’ll naturally use fewer words to reach out to your audience. Vague and lengthy scripts do nothing but confuse the reader and also shows a writer’s lack of knowledge on the subject.
2) Good content needs good structure
What needs to be told is as important as how it is being told. The text should flow seamlessly and logically from one thought to another. The old school of thought to what makes agood article – an introduction, body, and a conclusion, still applies.
3) Write succinctly
Compound sentences and extensive usage of joining words like ‘and, also, but’will just add to the confusion of the reader. Trimming sentences to meaningful, shorter ones make for a greater impact.
4) Research well and corroborate facts
A good article stems from the fact that the information is well researched. Plagiarism is not only illegal but also reflects badly on the writer’s credibility. A good practice is to ensure that any statistics mentioned is hyperlinked to the original source. This will add value to the written piece.
5) Use bullet points
Too much prose can make an article a bore to read. Clipping and organizing information under bullet points will highlight the main points, ensure the article is easy on the eyes and helps the reader easily digest the information given.
6) Don’t beat about the bush
While an introduction is sometimes needed to ease a reader into the subject, readers appreciate it to be short and to the point. Identify long phrases and replace that with a single word. To quote an example from The University of Wisconsin-Madison: the phrase ‘concerning a matter of’ can simply be replaced with ‘about’.
7) Avoid using weak words
Words like think, believe, and feel water down the impact in sentences. It just makes you sound less convincing or credible. Eliminate the use of these words and be assertive in what you’re saying. Similarly, a positively framed sentence rather than a negative one builds confidence and trust with the readers.
8) Break the text monotony
Long texts, however informative, will likely lose the reader’s attention very quickly; studies have shown that most readers scroll only up to 60% of an article. A great tip to deal with this is to intersperse the text with images, videos, and graphs. Visuals break the monotony of the text and boost the interest levels of the audience.
9) Give headlines that make even you want to read the article
Jeff Goins, the author of ‘The Art of Work’, says the most important part of an article is its headline. It should intrigue a reader and fill him up with anticipation. “Simple tips to help you be a better digital marketer” or “You can become a great writer too with these 10 tips” are some examples of headlines that will spike the reader’s interest to find out more. Adding personalisation text like you can make the reader feel like this article is for them and thus encouraging them to want to read the article.
10) Double, triple check your work
This might seem obvious but resist the attempt to publish/submit an article immediately after you draft it. Keep the spell check on and review the draft multiple times for correct tense, unnecessary commas, homophones, and punctuation marks. Nothing is more disruptive to a reader than bad language and grammar.
Whether you are writing in a personal or professional context, we hope these tips will help make your content more impactful for your readers. If you’ve got additional great tips to share, we’d love to hear them.