7 steps to Cutting Through the Clutter
You’ve prewritten and freewritten your message. Now it’s time to rewrite it.
Here’s where you’ll edit, hit readability targets, and nail spelling, grammar and punctuation. This is what we used to call writing!
To hit your readability targets, cut clutter in your:
- Piece as a whole. Readers spend only a minute or two on the average brand message. If yours is much longer than that, you’ll lose control of the message. Chances are your message would be twice as good if it were half as long.
- Paragraphs. Readers skip long paragraphs. Hit return more often to make sure yours are not too long.
- Sentences. Readers struggle to understand long sentences. Hit period more often to boost comprehension.
- Words. Word choice is the No. 1 predictor of readability. Choose mostly one- and two-syllable words. Translate the language of the organization into the language of the reader.
- Voice. Activate the passive voice. Write Subject, Verb, Object — not Object, Verb, Subject.
- Statistics. Take the numb out of numbers: Avoid statistics soup and other data dumps.
- Reading ease. Boost your Flesch Reading Ease, a scale of zero to 100 that quantifies how easy your message is to read. The higher your number, the more readable your message.
Then read your copy aloud. If it sounds delightful and conversational, like you, it’s good to go. If it sounds stiff and formal, soften the language. The best tone for most communications is a business casual writing style.
Work with — not against — your brain
While we talk a lot about what to write — More stories! Fewer words! Shorter sentences! — we don’t focus so much on how.
Writing is hard because we weren’t taught how to write. Instead, we were taught how to edit: how to spell, punctuate and use the right grammar.
But there is a how to writing. Learn a few simple steps that will make your writing time more effective and efficient at How to write Better, Easier & Faster — our writing-process workshop starting Dec. 12.
You’ll learn to invest your time where it’ll do you the most good … stop committing creative incest … even save time by editing before writing.
Save up to $100 with our group discounts.