We need to be honest with ourselves: we have all read something that just isn’t written well. Maybe it was a shoddy article, book, webpage, or even just a news report. Even the most dignified readers have read something horrible. How else would they develop their tastes? But just as every reader has read something horrible, every writer has written something horrible.
No one wants to write horribly, let alone have someone read their horrible writing. Content writing hooks readers with good writing that keeps them engaged and interested. Once you learn the common attributes that frequent your poor writing, you start avoiding them quickly.
No one enjoys reading a wordy article. Writing with copious elaborate examples of inferior vocabulary makes for a mediocre read. Just the last sentence alone was painful. Avoid this kind of messy writing. It makes you look pretentious while being both boring and confusing to the reader. Keep it quick, snappy, and easy to read.
This includes cutting useless filler words. We may say “um” and “ah” in real life, but no one wants to read that. They want straight to the point. When proofreading your own work, watch for the superfluous words. Sentences should flow easily and smoothly. Throw out the padding and garbage that adds nothing of substance.
When in doubt, replace long words with shorter synonyms. Avoid long-winded acronyms unless they are particularly well-known. When you cut the fat of your work, you do so in the name of readability.
Being overly wordy and adding fluff is just one problem in bad writing. Your word choice is another. When you specialize in a subject or field, you get easily caught up in its terminology. You learn special phrases, learn new acronyms, or even figures of speech. But when you write content about these fields, you must remember:
Not everyone specializes in the same fields as you.
If anything, you gather readers for this reason. Your audience has no expertise in the field you write and teach about. They came to read your content or seek your brand to learn about it. If your brand offers a service, they seek it to have others do the work for them. Throwing business jargon at an uninformed audience would be no different than throwing a toddler in a pool. Just as you would not expect a toddler to learn to swim, you cannot expect the same of new readers.
Similarly, you cannot completely fill your work with SEO keywords and expect the audience to leave confusion-free. Utilizing SEO techniques help with a website’s exposure and hits, but too many will confuse the readers.
Selling a customer on your brand, service, or product may be your main objective, but not at the expense of quality. Once you begin forcing certain aspects on your work, it becomes clear you are trying “too hard”. Your goal of selling a person on a product or service becomes painfully obvious and hurts the work itself.
What kind of aspects reek of this desperation? Using certain techniques or phrases like buzzwords or clichés are among the first red flags. Clichés not only imply lacking originality a dependency on recognition. Using buzzwords such as “cutting edge”, “dynamic”, “synergy”, or even phrases like “think outside of the box” are more than overused. They have become so overused that they mean little to the readers nowadays.
But you might not just be trying too hard with your words. A misleading article title, thumbnail image, or headline can be enough to detract the audience away. Known as clickbait, this bait-and-switch has been widely criticized across the internet. Once the reader feels lied to, they may never look back. It may earn clicks, but it will not build an audience. Instead of relying on easy crutches, improve yourself and your own writing. When content is well-written, that alone can hook the audience.
If you are struggling to write the best content for your brand, you can find help. Through services such as law firm marketing, social media management, and blog distribution networks, Actionable Agency can help you. By offering many marketing solutions and web development for law firms across the country, we extend their reach and develop their business. At Actionable Agency, we can provide an analysis of your current strategy and website of your firm to help formulate new solutions. For more information, call us toll-free at (855) 206-9689.