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Writing for the web, make it simple

People are constantly bombarded with information from all directions. Whether it’s social media, news organizations, or advertising, the sheer volume of content can be overwhelming. It’s important to cut out the noise and provide clear, purposeful, and easy-to-understand content. In this post, we’ll discuss how to keep content simple.

Know your audience

The first step in keeping it simple is understanding your audience. who are they? What are their needs, interests and pain points? When you know your audience, you can tailor your content to their specific needs. This will help you write in a way that connects with your readers and makes your content more accessible.

Clarify the message

Defining the purpose of your content helps you focus while keeping your message clear and concise. A simple, clear purpose is helpful when writing, editing, and asking for feedback. Facilitate better conversations about what can be improved since a clear goal has been stated. It also makes it easier to make decisions about what can be removed while editing.

Use simple language

The language you use can make or break your content. Avoid jargon, buzzwords, and technical terms that might confuse your readers. Instead, use simple, everyday language that everyone can understand. This doesn’t mean dumbing down your content. It means expressing complex ideas in a direct way.

Keep sentences short

Long sentences can be difficult to read and understand. Keep your sentences short and to the point. This makes your content more digestible and helps your readers follow your train of thought. Aim for sentences that are no longer than 25 words.

Use active voice

Active voice makes your writing more engaging and easier to read. It puts emphasis on the subject of the sentence and makes the action more immediate. The passive voice, on the other hand, can be cumbersome and confusing. Always try to use the active voice wherever possible.

Active voice: The author wrote the book.

Passive Voice: The book was written by the author.

Divide your content

Large blocks of text can be intimidating and difficult to read. Break your content into smaller chunks. Use headers, subheadings, and bullet points to make your content more crawlable. This will help your readers find the information they need quickly and easily.

Edit and edit again

The first draft is never good, and that’s okay. Editing is essential to keep it simple. Once you’ve written your content, go back to it and look for ways to streamline it. Think about the needs of your audience and the key message you want to communicate. Eliminate unnecessary words or phrases. Read your content aloud to see if it flows naturally. Keep editing until you’re satisfied that your content is as simple and straightforward as possible.

Final thought

When it comes to simplifying content, it’s as much about what is left out of the text as it is about what is included. It is essential to clarify the message, understand the needs of the readers and remove ambiguities. Ask for feedback early and work collaboratively, getting advice from subject matter experts and people within your target audience.

Photo credit Sergi Kabrera on Unsplash