Writers new to web writing often aren’t used to the concise, consolidated way that information must be delivered. If you are one of those who struggles to pack a punch in 400 words, read on for a few tips for more concise writing.
Keep a Clear Focus
“Easy reading is damn hard writing.” – Nathaniel Hawthorne
When writing in a constricted space, you don’t have the time or word count to explore multiple ideas. Split bigger ideas up into different articles. Focus on just one idea and explore it in more depth. Before you begin writing, create a sequential outline that shows how you will guide your readers through your piece. However, as you write, remember to focus not only on your idea, but also on your audience and what information you want them to get out of your article.
Tighten Up Sentences
“The road to hell is paved with adverbs.” – Stephen King
For web writing (and most writing) make your sentences as direct as possible. Many web readers scan an article before reading it. If they find large paragraphs or convoluted sentences, it can shut readers down. Cut out the filler information. Don’t lengthen contractions just to meet word count (we’ve all been there). Instead, fill out your ideas more to make every word and sentence matter.
Proofreading is the concise writer’s best friend. If you get lost in a sentence, chances are your readers will too.
Make Promises—and Keep Them
Tinder and web writing have a surprising amount in common. For potential readers—just like potential dates— you want to look appealing and draw them in to check you out more. If they click on the article, it’s like they’ve swiped right—you have them hooked.
Reading the article is like the first date. If you can’t deliver on what you’ve promised and what they’re expecting, readers won’t stick around for a second date. Don’t give your audience a reason to dine and dash.
Readers online want what you have to give them, but you have to give it to them on their terms. They want information to be clear, fast, and promising. Do this and readers will thank you for it.
How do you keep your readers interested in a limited space?