How To Keep Your Writing Concise

In today’s digital world, we are constantly being bombarded with information. Whether we’re relaxing while watching TV, keeping up-to-date with friends on social media or on our commute to work, our minds are constantly wading through a never-ending stream of content. So, cutting through the noise is no easy task for a brand. This means that when crafting copy, above all it must be concise. Of course, it should be interesting, informative and engaging but most importantly, it needs to get to the point quickly. If you follow these tips, you’ll be writing attention-grabbing web copy, succinct blog posts and captivating captions in no time.

When creating copy for your website, you need to tread the fine line between providing an intimidating amount of information and not providing enough for it to be useful. Your website is where potential customers will go to learn about your offering so you should certainly include all the relevant information that will persuade them of its value. But, do not include this in one long paragraph at the top. When scanning over your site, users want to see small chunks of text that are easily digestible with just a glance. Use headlines, bullet points, numbered lists and bold or italicised text to help with this and be sure to complement copy with corresponding images. Remember that not everyone who visits your site will scroll down so place the most important information at the top and be sure to include unique keywords on each page too to give your site maximum exposure on search engines like Google.

Social media already lends itself to bite-sized chunks of copy and some sites even impose their own character limits, so writing concisely is key. With social media, you want to be posting little but often. If you have ten things to say, spread them out over ten different posts. This will make each one more impactful and allows you to keep your captions short and punchy, ensuring they are easily comprehendible for your audience even if they only scan quickly over your post. Again, remember that many people won’t click on the “see more” button, so be sure to include the most pertinent information in the first few lines. If you’re struggling to condense the key message into just a few lines, try removing unnecessary adverbs, technical words or jargon.

Everyone knows that blog posts include a much larger block of text than a website landing page or a social media caption, but that’s not an excuse for including unnecessary words, sentences or paragraphs. In fact, that’s even more reason to keep your writing concise and encourage users to read to the end. When crafting a more lengthy piece of writing such as a blog post, it can be helpful to create a structure prior to writing using simple bullet points. If you spend time planning what to say in the introduction, the body text and the conclusion, you’ll find it much easier to remain on topic when you do begin writing and to avoid adding unnecessary and irrelevant content that will distract from the key message.

When writing any sort of copy, whether it is for your website, social media pages, blog or indeed any other kind of marketing material, proofreading and editing your text is essential. It can be helpful to begin with an initial draft since this allows you to gather your thoughts and get them down on paper. However, this initial version is likely to be long and wordy, including many unnecessary sentences and irrelevant points. So, proofreading is an important step in the copywriting process that should not be omitted. Some questions to ask yourself as you read over your text are: Does this adjective add anything to the sentence? Is this adverb essential for the meaning of the sentence? Have I repeated the same point twice using different words? Have I included too many clauses in one sentence? These questions should help you easily identify words that can be instantly cut, paragraphs that can be significantly shortened and areas where amendments are required, which will ultimately result in higher-quality, more concise and therefore more effective copy.

Writing concisely is essential in today’s digital world where a steady stream of content is readily available at just the click of a button. However, to do it well is a challenge and important stages such as proofreading and copy-editing can take a considerable amount of added time. Nonetheless, the rewards that come from investing this time are bountiful as you’ll find much higher engagement with your content, maybe even an increase in people sharing it with their networks and thus increased awareness of your brand and your offering.

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