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The Internet: Every Word Matters

Are readers getting lazier? Or just more demanding?

The Internet gives consumers options. If you visit a website and can’t quickly find what you’re looking for, you’re going to leave and look elsewhere. It doesn’t mean you’re lazy. It means you demand well-written, well-organized content.

It’s egotistical for a writer to expect you to try to figure out what the heck they’re talking about. It’s their responsibility to make it as easy as possible for you to understand their message.

Clear writing takes time

“If I am to speak ten minutes, I need a week for preparation; if fifteen minutes, three days; if half an hour, two days; if an hour, I am ready now.”
—Woodrow Wilson

The same is true for writing. I find that it takes me much longer to edit my copy than it does to write it the first time.

Readers are giving us the gift of their time and attention, and we, as content creators, should honor them. It’s easy to call your readers lazy. It’s hard to write content that’s worthy of their attention.

Tips for writing better content:

Write a compelling, relevant headline to earn their attention. (Read: How to Write Magnetic Headlines from Copyblogger)

Write a strong lede that encourages them to keep reading. (Read: Five Lessons From Newspapers to Boost Your Blog’s Circulation from Copyblogger)

Edit, edit, edit (Read: 5 editor’s secrets to help you write like a pro from Remarkable Communication)

Don’t publish immediately. Let your copy sit overnight (or for at least a few hours) and look at it with fresh eyes.

“A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts.”
—William Strunk, Jr., The Elements of Style, 1918

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2 Comments

  1. Annabel Candy, Get In the Hot Spot on October 21, 2010 at 7:31 pm

    Hi Danielle, thanks so much for linking to my blog here. Great to see you getting into blogging – looks as if you’ve got off to a flying start and are soaking up as much knowledge as you can. Keep up the good work:)

    • danielle on October 21, 2010 at 8:05 pm

      Hi Annabel! Thanks for stopping by and for your kind words of encouragement! 🙂

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