Even in a world where live-streaming video and podcasting are gaining popularity amongst knowledge consumers at a breakneck pace, there’s still immense power in the written word. Not only is reading still the preferred medium for consumption by many, but it can also be essential in cases where streaming connections aren’t practical or when consumers want to engage deeper with their content.
Let’s face it, you are reading this right now. That has to count for something, right?
Despite its importance, many people still have lackluster writing skills, or at least don’t ever bother into the intricacies that professional writers sweat over their perfection of day in and day out. Today, we’re going to go over three ways you can make your writing more effective by increasing reader comprehension.
Be a factbacker.
One of the things that becomes quickly apparent when you start reading through successful blogs and publications is that research efforts are never an afterthought. When writing pieces which largely consist of your own opinion or which are based primarily on your own experiences, it’s easy to just ramble and say what you want to say without too much of a basis.
One of the best ways to stand out from the crowd is to get used to infusing your writing with links to other sources that can back up what you want to say. If your goal is to say something completely new or put an unwritten spin on a topic (which is awesome, by the way!), then try and source some of the articles that got you thinking or that could help lead readers to your own conclusions. This push for credibility can really help the effectiveness of your messages.
What the hell is a fact-backer? I don’t know, I made it up! One of the greatest things Shakespeare and others like him did for the English language is add words to it. In fact, you’d be surprised at how many of the most common, normal-sounding words we use today were invented in the last few hundred years by a handful of creative minds.
Doing this not only makes people stop and really think about what they’re reading – you probably stop and try to figure out new words immediately when reading – but it also creates a mental association with your writing by forcing more engagement.
Get smart with formatting.
Finally, get spacey with it. Time spent reading a webpage increases with the general readability of that page, and a major contributing factor to this in the online space is how well your text is spaced out and formatted.
Unlike writing a formal article, let alone a research paper, writing for blogs and casual online properties should never exceed a couple of lines per paragraph. In fact, unlike in other forms of writing, it is perfectly acceptable for each sentence to be its own paragraph.
Beyond these three, it’s practice, practice, practice to get as good as you can at bringing concision and persuasiveness into your written words – good luck!