David Simpson

Bringing clarity to your content

Posted on April 4, 2013

Life leans forward, constantly pushing us to reach and strive. Often we experience stress from how fast the pressures of life demand our response.

In the film Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, the iconic dreamer/slacker said it best: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it”. Focus and bringing clarity to content should be applied to every action - they are keys to slowing this pace. How well you are succeeding at this is reflected everywhere in life.

Overcoming Distraction

Recently I've noticed that a good deal of content posted around the web has lacked focus. Online content in general seems to need more of the simple and concise clarity needed to help us slow this the pace at which we are living today.

Distractions are everywhere. Yet we continue to push on life’s pedal - leaning forward even more, in order to go faster. If this is the case - how can we expect people to read every word we write?

The more I thought about this - I realized this really isn't about the web - the problem of bringing clarity to content has been around since printing and publishing first began.

Writing is Old (Right?)

We have been producing and distributing content since the days of bark and parchment. With most forms of general writing or content creation, it remains the primary objective of the author to reach an audience that has the ability to reflect on the message conveyed.

Regardless if the piece of writing is advertising or a piece of literature in a form such as poetry or fiction – every writer desires an attentive audience. This is why bringing clarity to content is a critical rule for online message delivery.

Redundancy is a turn-off and explaining your ideas in more than the number of words necessary is neither clarity, nor focus.

The Essential Nature of Clarity

In any writing you do, make sure the points you are trying to get across get across.

If no one really grasps what you have written, not only do you risk making the reader feel like they have wasted their time, you won't get any online social value because people simply aren't going to promote or share it.

Here are a couple of ways to help ensure your content is doing ok in the clarity department:

  1. Ask a friend to proofread your article with no warning or summary from you.
  2. Let posts simmer in your draft box for a day or two and then revisit to see if your meanings hold true.
  3. Understand your audience. These are the people at the different channels that you can reach if the content is shared. Any medium you choose should be ready for your humor or satire, otherwise it's likely not the best venue for an Onion-style satirical piece.

Don't Forget to Have Fun

Just because we need to be passionate and sometimes overly vigilant about making sure our content is clear, it doesn't mean you shouldn't have fun writing.

Writing is one of the greatest ways for creative expression. Make the content your own - use your sense of humor. Enjoy some wordplay and give your content your own unique style and flare.

Speed is Everything.

When everything is said and done, the user of online content's experience should be one of quick, easy-to-read and digest content. In the same way, this is just as important as how quickly the page loads for the user.

They should leave the page feeling like you have given them something valuable. You should leave them with the desire to share and promote your content on their social networks.

Creating quality content isn't always easy, but the more we focus on our writing with clarity, flexibility and good humor - the more we'll create content people just love to re-post.

The end

What do you think?

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