Digital media has fostered a lazy writing generation.
Unlike printed publications – where space is finite – digital platforms have infinite space. The format does not force the authors to edit . (The character limit of Twitter is an exception, anyone who has written a long tweet and revised to fit the 280 characters developed includes.) To keep their skills sharp, authors should do drills. writing.
Ready to develop your writing muscles? Do this five exercise exercise.
Exercise 1: Limit "I" and "We"
In this article, I will not reinvent the wheel, but I will explain in detail how to create a content marketing program that, I know, will produce excellent results.
Without reinventing the wheel, I will explain in detail how to create a content marketing program that will produce excellent results.
What has changed? The revised sentence includes only one reference to the first person instead of three. However, the revision always reflects the opinion of the author.
Why Studies show that it is more likely that people who use multiple references in the first person are less confident and less assured, or worse, that they are suffering and that They are embarrassed by their own conscience.
These conclusions come from a study conducted by the University of Texas, James W. Pennebaker in Austin, who wrote The Secret Life of Pronouns: What Our Words Say about Us .
TIP: Do not insert in content, unless it is relevant. If you are part of the story, you do not need to use a lot of "I" and "Me". The reader should be able to tell his story through a wider exhibition.
Exercise 2: Weasel hunting
With all due respect, ABC Cakes believes that healthy living requires a sweet treat on occasion. That being said, mini-cakes are an excellent choice.
ABC Cakes thinks that a healthy lifestyle requires from time to time a sweet treat. The mini cupcakes are an excellent choice.
What has changed? The revision eliminated the indistinct sentences of "with all due respect" and "that being said" without changing the meaning.
Why "We use mischievous words when we want to give the impression that he gave a clear answer to a question or made a direct statement, while that reality they said vague, wrote Leslie Ye on HubSpot.
TIP: Write down what you mean.
HAND HELD CONTENT: 7 common error writing errors [Examples]
Exercise 3: Resist Qualifiers and Intensifiers
Subject matter experts are usually excellent resources for content. Speak to them before writing as they can be especially helpful in identifying highly relevant topics.
Subject matter experts are excellent resources for content. Speak to them before writing as they can be helpful in identifying the relevant topics.
What has changed? The qualifiers (usually rather) and the reinforcers (especially very) have been removed.
Unfortunately, the authors abuse these words, which minimizes or exaggerates the meaning.
TIP: Review your content for qualifiers and intensifiers (for example, very, really, rather, rather) and delete any unnecessary use.
Exercise 4: Question "to be"
When you are forced to write succinctly, you do it. When you do not have to, you do not have to change your content to provide more punch with fewer words.
When you are forced to write succinctly, you do it. When you're not forced, you do not modify your content to create more punch by using fewer words.
What has changed? The forms "to be" have been removed.
TIP: It can be difficult to write without using "being" or a form of passive voice. Write a draft without thinking of the passive or active voice. Then browse the content and edit it to use only the active voice. (And when you think you can not make it active, look again.)
Exercise 5: Cut the Prepositions
With the acquisition of XYZ Widgets in January 2019, Scranton's factory employees decided to hold a party to celebrate their new employer.
To celebrate the acquisition of the company in January 2019, employees of the XYZ Widget factory in Scranton held a party.
What has changed? Five prepositions have been removed.
Why? "A string of several prepositions in a single sentence can make the text jerky and potentially confusing to your audience," according to American Journal Experts.
RELATED CONTENT HANDPICKED: More than 15 worthless words to cut to improve the experience of your readers
Create a training plan
As with any workout program, set realistic expectations. Do not do all the exercises at the same time. Pace yourself according to how often you create content. If you write several times a week, choose an exercise each week. If you write less often, choose one exercise per month.
Master each exercise before moving on to the next. In a short time, the muscle memory you have developed will allow you to automatically integrate these tips into your writing.
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Cover image of Joseph Kalinowski / Content Marketing Institute